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SAP is weak in Canada but growing in China. Should I move?

I have 2 years of Basis Admin experience with MCSE. I had Unix admin, and Oracle admin training. After I quit my job in Nov. last year, I can't land a permanent job because employers want to hire Basis admin with 3 or more years of experience. I am considering giving up SAP altogether as there are few position in Canada. SAP seems to be breaking into the market in China. I am 37 and am fluent in Chinese. I like to become a functional person, but no company seems to be willing to train me. Will taking some SAP functional courses help me land a job?


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If I'm reading you correctly, you haven't been on an SAP project in a year. It's really been a challenging market, and I'm always sorry to hear about folks who have had so much trouble finding projects. Remember that you're not alone, and that in an economy like this one, your lack of opportunities is not a judgment of your abilities. It's a mistake, however, to assume that the grass is greener on the functional side. I think you'd face just as much competition on the functional side, and you'd have less experience to draw on. You're reaching a major crossroads: either move on from SAP for good, or take some drastic action to jump-start your SAP career. This might mean moving from Canada, or at least looking at long-term international projects. I'm not sure what's out there for you, but I like your thinking about SAP projects in China and you should definitely pursue that. Of course, China may be a tough market to break into, but that's the right kind of thinking: how can you repackage your current talents and bring them all to bear on your job search? If you're going to invest in training, why not invest in training that will help to strengthen your current skills in some way? For example, on the Basis side, you could invest in Web Application Server training, and get a window into where SAP technology is going. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: sometimes the best way to break into SAP is not to chase it from behind, but to anticipate where it's going and meet it there.


This was first published in January 2003

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