Recently I got job offer as a SAP consultant. I am in a fizzy state over whether to accept the offer or not. Please help me in making my career decision. I have a total of 6 plus years experience in product design, tool design and CAD/CAM package expertise like Pro/Engineer. I am a team leader and my career is going great.

The new job offer requires that I work on variant configuration. The job role involves building product configurators by product analysis and implementing those configurator rules in SAP using variant configuration. I am in a real dilemma, as to whether this new SAP career will help me climb higher ladders in the future or if I should stick to CAD/CAM field. I appreciate in advance your advice.

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Usually when people write to me about two different career options, it is a false choice, because they usually only have one job offer. That's not really a true choice, because without a job offer, it's all hypothetical. But in your case, you have two actual job offers in hand. Therefore, your choice is simple: choose the career path that interests you the most. Ultimately, you have two viable career options, and it really does come down to which area you have the most long term interest in. I hope you don't choose one or the other based on income concerns. In the long run, I find that choosing an area you are passionate about can often make up for a perceived income shortfall in the short term. When you care about your work, you work harder, and when you work harder, your expertise grows. It's that simple. If you are really torn between the two, and you really want me to decide for you, I would say that the tiebreaker is always the field where you have the most previous experience. So, in your case, I'd avoid SAP and stick with CAD/CAM. The deeper your skills in a particular niche, the better positioned you are in today's "expert economy." But remember, both choices are viable. It is truly up to you.

This was first published in October 2004

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