Should You Switch SAP Consulting Firms?
Deciding when to stay at your current SAP consulting firm or switch to a new employer is a pivotal career choice for SAP consultants looking to maximize their career potential.
Both options can enable long-term success and have unique advantages, but it is important to assess accurately what these are, and if they apply in your case before taking any steps.
At some point, most SAP consultants contemplate making a strategic job move: seeking out new career-growth opportunities, better compensation, more interesting project work, or to gain different experiences. However, there are also strong incentives for SAP consultants to remain with their current employers: like job security, comfort with the status quo, deeply developed expertise, or networks.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The optimum path depends greatly on your personal career goals, and aligning these to what each consultancy can provide for you now and in the future.
Carefully weighing the pros and cons specific to your motivations and each firm’s strengths helps determine the better career move. By analyzing key factors like the growth trajectory, domain expertise, credentials, company culture and work environment fit, SAP consultants can make informed decisions on the tradeoffs.
This week IgniteSAP looks at compelling reasons why SAP consultants choose to remain at their current employers, or seek new career challenges with different SAP consulting firms.
As life circumstances change and careers progress, priorities and goals shift, imposing the need to continually evaluate if it is best to stay the course where you are or explore new roles. Being aware of the merits and risks associated with either option, while keeping in mind your short and long-term career goals, will help you to make the right choice.
Reasons to Stay at Your Current SAP Consulting Firm
One of the primary benefits of remaining with your current SAP consulting firm long-term is the opportunity to develop significantly deeper expertise in their proprietary SAP solutions, services and industry knowledge.
By staying in a familiar environment, consultants can perfect their technical competencies as well as the intricate business processes and important pain points faced by clients in specific industries which their current employer supports.
Long tenured SAP consultants focused on specific application areas or industries often use this deep knowledge to serve as subject-matter experts, either internally or for client engagements. They gain recognition as trusted advisors with proven SAP credentials: enhancing their personal brands, reputations and future career. Specialist or expert standing also earns opportunities to author white papers, host webinars or speak at high-profile industry events.
Staying with one consultancy also enables SAP consultants to foster far stronger internal relationships across the organization over years of collaborations. Lasting networks amplify visibility for upcoming opportunities and the ability to influence better positioning for key projects.
Maintaining connections with colleagues and management pays dividends with insider tips for internal transfers as well as receiving impactful referrals and endorsements.
Another consideration is that many SAP consulting firms offer clearly defined promotion paths for rising through the ranks more easily within the company’s existing hierarchy.
While these structures provide clarity for growth trajectories, consultants still need to put themselves up for consideration: whether through formal annual review cycles or making their ambitions known.
Additionally, consultants who are content with their present SAP consulting roles may wish to avoid the various risks associated with changing jobs or firms unnecessarily.
There are no guarantees that “better positions” at another employer will surpass your current secure role at a stable and reputable firm. So perhaps for you it may be a case of “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” but why not check and find out?
Reasons to Switch SAP Consulting Firms
While remaining with an SAP consulting company long-term has some definite benefits, consultants may reap considerable career benefits by switching jobs after a few years.
Exposure to diverse SAP solutions, projects and industries expands an SAP consultant’s capabilities and opens more career doors. As large global SAP consulting firms maintain specialized practices across customer sectors, moving between firms allows consultants to gain variety of experience.
The learning curve intensifies initially during onboarding at the new consultancy, but it eventually enables commanding superior qualifications. The added capabilities gained with each role prime consultants for higher-level positions.
Another advantage of moving is the expansion of your external professional networks from collaborations with new colleagues and clients. Building out a large web of industry connections pays dividends for years via inside opportunities, enhanced credibility and referrals.
Joining a new fast-scaling SAP consulting firm hungry to upgrade skills in new technology areas or booming sectors offers SAP consultants acceleration for their career compared to mature firms with ingrained leadership hierarchies.
Rapid promotion chances motivate some consultants to change jobs despite the risks. If this interests you, first see what your options are, and take action to assess and mitigate risks if you decide to change employers.
The compensation increases often associated with a new employer also entice SAP consultants, especially those recruited due to growing demand for their particular skills. Lucrative salary and benefits packages, coveted bonuses or equity compensation may persuade some to take the plunge.
Finally, the desire to escape unpleasant company culture, office politics or lack of upward mobility propel some SAP consultants through the exit. Quality of life considerations matter for career satisfaction too. Limited advancement projected for years suggests moving out may prove best for specific career goals.
Weighing these factors helps determine your optimum career move. Remember to get as much information as possible before making any decision, and don’t burn your bridges as you may work with your current employer in a different scenario in the future.
Key Factors to Consider
When considering staying or switching SAP consulting firms, assessing alignment around strategic career priorities proves instrumental for happy long-term fits and advancement potential.
Analyzing and comparing where each consultancy excels in core competencies, geographic reach, clientele, talent development initiatives and workplace attributes aids decisions. Weigh up if the company’s unique selling points match well with your personal SAP specialty ambitions, location preferences, ideal client-size and values.
Quarterly financial reports, press releases and employee feedback provide clues on scale, growth, volatility and business roadmaps helpful for charting realistic career paths. Does the SAP consultancy invest in employee training, leadership programs, mentoring or offer clear promotion process?
Carrying out due diligence on size, reputation, clients, stability and transparency is crucial. Assessing the company financially, but also more generally using employment sites, social networks and your own contacts helps evaluate corporate health, management and culture. Check for warning signs like high employee turnover and bad reviews by past employees, but also keep in mind that this information may also be negatively biased.
If you get to the stage of preliminary discussions ask pointed questions on the expected scope of responsibilities, onboarding ramp-up, support, and upskilling. Define what success looks like at each potential new employer after 1-2 years: will you outgrow capabilities quickly, prompting further moves?
Work-life balance, corporate culture, office policies and space also influence career choices. Stress levels, lack of support teams, collaboration or cutthroat competition all impact job satisfaction and career trajectory within consulting firms.
Understand what motivates you. Analyze how well each firm measures up on those fronts and negotiate the best deal. This strengthens success rates for those considering strategic job changes, and also those choosing to stay.
Leveraging competing consulting job offers to motivate current employers to allow specialization shifts or counteroffers such as higher pay also helps advance SAP careers. Always make sure your current company knows your career ambitions and objectives so they can have a chance to provide for them.
Making a Successful Jump
Once the decision is made to switch, proper planning and execution enables smoothly navigating the transition while advancing your career.
Target those SAP consulting firms actively hiring for positions closely matching your background and goals. Prioritize consultancies where current clients have immediate needs suited to your own niche SAP specialties. Evaluating where your niche skills apply positions you for preferable treatment.
Update your resumé (CV) highlighting your most current and highest level consulting experience, as well as SAP certifications, other solutions experience, and quantifiable achievements that translate well across companies. Use your resumé as a platform to tell a compelling narrative of your successful career trajectory.
Emphasize your soft skills like leadership, communication, analytical thinking and team collaboration. Tailor the details on domain knowledge for each application. Showcase how your work directly and beneficially impacted your client’s KPIs.
Use networks to get referrals and references from former colleagues or mentors working at target SAP consulting firms. Their advocacy and endorsement lend credibility for hiring managers. Having an inside advocate eases onboarding too.
Once you have a preferred option, assess in more detail the culture, leadership bench, inclusion policies and employment site satisfaction ratings. Get a sense of training, investment and internal support mechanisms for career progression. Does the firm actively help rising stars elevate via high-exposure assignments or rotational programs?
Before accepting offers, negotiate aspects essential for success like duration of training periods, new hire coaching programs, designated mentors and connection opportunities with organization leaders or veteran teams. Ask what bonuses or performance incentives you can expect. The best consultancies reward and celebrate success.
With meticulous preparation, and when matched to firms with complementary strengths, SAP consultants can confidently transition between employers to accelerate their career accomplishments.
Master Your Craft
Both remaining at your current SAP consulting firm long-term and switching employers can have advantages for career enhancement, depending on each consultant’s objectives, stage of career and circumstances. There is no universally superior path: the optimum strategic move relies on knowing what most aligns with your motivations.
For SAP consultants seeking deeper niche expertise, strong internal networks, predictable promotions or avoiding transition risks, staying put will probably suffice.
Consultants wanting exposure to diverse SAP projects, wider industry connections, accelerated leadership opportunities or higher compensation will likely benefit from judiciously switching firms.
The SAP services industry is currently demand-driven, as is the SAP jobs market, and demand will remain for the foreseeable future. You have the right and the ability to choose your own preferred circumstances. With a dedicated effort you will find your perfect employer.
Also, remember that you can change your employer but you can also change your self to be more employable.
Continual learning and skills development ultimately provides the most career options over the long-term. Grow your expertise in high-value SAP solutions and expanded industry domain knowledge. Build both internal strategic networks and external professional connections through speaking, writing and conference participation.
With clarity on your motivations, assessment of options and careful planning, SAP consultants can make career-enhancing moves between consultancies at pivotal junctures.
But sustained excellence in mastering, applying and advancing SAP methodologies proves the surest path for ascending to top consulting tiers, regardless of employer. Just make sure people know you are valuable!
If you an SAP professional looking for a new role in the SAP ecosystem, our team of dedicated recruitment consultants can help match you with your ideal employer and negotiate a competitive compensation package for your extremely valuable skills, so join our exclusive community at IgniteSAP.