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Stay with permanent job or move to consulting?

As explained in this expert response by Jon Reed, sometimes it is more valuable to stay with a company willing to teach additional skills than it is to jump into consulting.

I am seeking a second opinion for my next move. I have been an SAP MM consultant for about five years, and before that, I worked with ABAP. I have been considering whether to leave my permanent job for contract positions or stay longer in the current company, where I could pick up new SAP skillset. What do you suggest?
It's hard to give perfect advice without knowing a bit more about your situation. I don't know what kind of contract offers you can get, but with five years of MM skills, as long as you have some 4.6/4.7 experience, you should be able to get some good contracts. If you have a 5.0 install under your belt, your situation might be even better.

I don't know what new skills your company is willing to teach you. I can think of hotter areas than MM, for example,...

SCM (Supply Chain Management) and RF/RFID might be logical areas that you could move into if your current employer is heading in that direction. The best strategy is to find out what your company can do for you, and then get a contract offer in hand and see what the rate is and what the opportunity is. From there, you should have a clear sense of your options and you can decide which is the best to pursue.

This was last published in December 2006

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