Systems, Applications and Products (SAP) is an international software corporation which sells products for tracking customer interactions and business processes. Holding the title of the world’s leading provider of software that enables companies and industries to do business on a global scale, SAP caters for the requirements of midsize and large organisations in all industries and sectors.
In particular, SAP focuses on planning and managing all functions of an organisation, from operations to financials. This support is invaluable to businesses, as it allows them to operate more efficiently.
As an SAP consultant, you have the skills, have completed the training, and now it’s time to consider an extremely popular option for your career. You could even do this on a contracting basis.
The first thing that most people think of is the financial benefits, and these are of course very compelling. For example:
- As a contractor, you will easily earn more than a full-time employee
- SAP contractors attract high rates of pay due to their skills and the flexible nature of the relationship
- Depending on your individual skills, the state of the industry in which you work and the location of a contract, you can command high rates of pay
- You have the choice to contract through an umbrella company or your own limited company. The limited company route is the most tax-efficient way of operating, and isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as you might think
- If you operate through a limited company, you have far better tax planning opportunities which can reduce your overall tax burden and increase your take-home pay
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As your own boss, you’ve got the freedom to make your own choices, this can often be very satisfying and enjoyable. For example:
- SAP contractors have a higher degree of independence than permanent employees
- You have the freedom to work when and where you choose
- Contractors can take as much or little holiday as they wish
- The company you work for is not your employer, but is instead your client, which differentiates your relationship
- Contract roles will give you much more flexibility when it comes to agreeing on working conditions
- You have the opportunity to develop your career in a way that suits your personal circumstances at any point
As an SAP contractor, you will naturally work in a variety of different contract roles and in many different companies. This will help to build up your portfolio, showcasing the unique range of skills which you have acquired, for example:
- Gives you the opportunity to test out other industry sectors to see if you can widen your experience
- Allows you to gain a good insight into different company cultures, processes, operations and structures
- Working in many different companies gives you the ability to build up a wide-ranging CV and to establish an extensive list of reference contacts.
- The ability to build up a good reputation, you may even find that your services become sought-after, rather than you having to apply for new positions on a regular basis
- As a contractor, you will be exposed to many different styles of working, not only in relation to your peers but also in relation to your managers and subordinates. This helps you to develop as an individual, in more ways than just your core skill set
- Your role is to come into an organisation as the ‘industry expert’, which is not only a nice position to be in, it also adds to your credibility as an industry professional, widens your experience further and helps increase your daily rate
Becoming an SAP contractor or any contractor, in fact, provides you with a range of positives. On the other hand, it is only fair to point out the negatives.
- You are responsible for finding your own work and making sure that you have a regular source of income
- You will also be responsible for negotiating your own payment terms and working conditions, which is something that you may not be familiar with in the early days
- Contractors are responsible for managing their own finances
- Contractors don’t get the same benefits that permanent employees receive, such as sick pay and holiday pay