The chicken or the egg, vanilla or chocolate, red or white wine, consulting or industry? Are these some of the biggest questions in the universe? You may argue not, however for a SAP professional, deciding between a consulting or industry position is an important career choice. This is one career choice you may reevaluate throughout your career depending on personal life events, career goals, and present opportunities. The truth is, there is no wrong choice. It’s about what opportunity works best for you at that point in your life and career.
I’ve found that some people have a strong opinion about one career path over another. Die-hard consultants enjoy the travel perks and prefer the longer hours and higher pressure environment. They quickly move up in their career when they perform at a high level and reap the rewards for their dedication in their paycheck. Many have their eyes set on achieving the title Partner, or simply want to be the best in their specialty. These zealous consultants have a harsh view of industry jobs as stagnant, insipid and predictable.
On the other hand, I’ve worked with SAP end-customers that would never dream of giving up their industry job for a consulting gig. In their mind, there are normal people that have a job and go home at night, and then there are consultants. They can’t wrap their head around how consultants manage to travel, work long hours, and still have a personal life (prioritization is important!).
As for me, I’ve experienced working on the industry side and life as a consultant. While I’ve spent most of my career as a consultant, I hold my time on the industry side, working for a SAP end-customer, as an important experience that formed my consulting approach. I’ve mentioned before that working in industry prior to consulting gave me an appreciation for the challenges that SAP projects bring my clients.
I never pictured myself as a consultant to be honest. My dad has 15 or so years on me as a technology consultant. Growing up with a father that lives the consulting lifestyle probably made me more open to the idea. While most may only have the movie ‘Up in the Air’ to reference the consulting lifestyle (it’s not too far off, right?!), I understand it could be difficult for many to imagine a traveling gig providing guidance to clients. It’s an interesting contrast between these two very different types of jobs!
Don’t miss the Consulting V. Industry Q&A Webinar where Tracy Levine and I will compare and contrast SAP careers in consulting vs. industry positions. This will be an interactive Q&A session where you can ask about our experiences and advice. Reserve your place now!