Q

Growing SAP skills with your current employer

Jon Reed discusses the value of capitalizing off your current employer for your future SAP career.

Hello Jon,

I'm a big fan of your column and have read your books. Thank you for all the great advice and pointers.

For the past three years, I've worked my way up from an SAP Business Analyst, which supports one company, to my current Team Leader position, which supports several regional companies. I am very proficient in the SD, MM and PP modules, plus I'm certified in both SD and MM.

Recently I've been tasked to lead a newly set up BW team that focuses on regional reporting requirements. I'm involved in a major rollout project. I'm planning to further upgrade my skills by taking the PMI course and I am also thinking of getting certified in BW. I think that these resources will help me tremendously. What is your opinion and how would you reckon I could grow from my current position? I do plan to move on to another end-user company or consulting firm once I've achieved my plan and the rollout project is complete.

It's hard for me to assess the prospects for growth at your employer without knowing more about your history there and where their implementation is going. It certainly seems like they have a track record of promoting you and challenging you with bigger responsibilities. This is a good thing; not every SAP professional can say the same. I also like that you are proactively pursuing training that relates to your focus areas in terms of project management and BW.

The best use of SAP training is to reinforce your skills in areas you are transitioning to. So, your plan makes sense. My only advice going forward is to remember that at some point, you have to focus on one major area. So, in your case, I can see a point where you will need to choose between a BW focus and a Project Management focus. If you want to move on to a consulting firm, I would suggest sticking with a hands-on team lead role for now. That may be the most appealing skills profile if you want to get onboard a consulting firm.

This was first published in December 2006

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