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SAP Mentor Spotlight Interview: SAP Learning
Originally published on the SAP Community
|The SAP Mentor Spotlight Series highlights key strategic topics, such as learning, and provides insights from Mentors and SAP leaders on turning ideas into innovative approaches that impact people, process, and technology.|
Empowering Transformative Outcomes Through Continuous Learning
Staying on the cutting-edge during times of change is more important than ever. One of the keys to success is the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and learning.
As business, technology, and user experiences change, there are a wide range of ways to continually refresh existing skills, acquire new ones, and evolve new ways to think about business and IT challenges.
To reflect on how to take advantage of SAP and SAP Community learning resources, Max Wessel, EVP & Chief Learning Officer at SAP, caught up with Tammy Powlas, Senior Business Analyst at Fairfax Water and SAP Mentor, to discuss what role learning has played in her life, and how she has furthered her knowledge through the SAP Community.
During their session they discussed:
- Enabling learning, whether experiential on the job, or formal learning to help one progress in their career.
- Adapting to many changes given the realities of the last year to address digital transformation and embrace the importance of continuous learning.
- Pressing one’s skills; pushing forward to take expertise to the next level.
- Turning to the SAP community to get inspired and engage in peer-to-peer learning.
- Assessing RISE with SAP and how members of the SAP Community can keep their digital transformation initiatives moving forward.
As Max shared during the session, “When driving transformation, the more value we bring to the table, the more guidance we can deliver that helps people step forward, the better it is for all of us.”
SAP and the SAP Community provide many learning resources to support building knowledge, driving innovation, and staying agile.
How do you learn? Let us know in the comments below!
- [Blog Post] RISE with SAP S/4HANA Utilities Webcast Recap by Tammy Powlas
- SAP Learning Hub
COMING SOON: Science & Innovation: 11 Ways to Orchestrate Your Next Job!
Author’s Note: This blog has been adopted into a Job Seeking book which will be announced and published in the upcoming months. The book, which is written and designed, is going through the final review process. Stay tuned!
Explore Featured Assets:
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– Interview Preparation Sheet >>
– Job Interview Preparation: A Winning Formula!
– Networking Preparation
– Interviewing Tips
Whether you’re a new graduate or long-time worker the best practices required to succeed have many common characteristics.
In sales and business development you must sell a product, solution, or service while in the job hunt you must sell one thing: yourself.
Back in the day, when I graduated from Drexel University, it was beyond hard to find a job that I truly enjoyed. Years later I learned that my graduating class landed in the middle of a BIG recession which added to the challenge. My path took me on travels through Europe, Middle East, and Hawaii over a year’s time so it was not easy to jump start my career upon my return.
While I found work it was more about “settling” vs. directing my searches. After paying a former professor big money to coach me in “how to get a job” I made a vow, “If I ever learned how to find a job” based on a scientific and innovative approach, “I would share it with others who would follow in this path.“
As a result, I have compiled this top 11 list for all who are interested:
- NETWORK: Identify successful people who are in the field that interests you. Make connections and request “informational interviews” to learn about how they got in their positions and background on the challenges they face. Ask for referrals and knowledge; understand that they “may not have a job” or know of one but they can point you in the right direction. Send everyone who helps you a thank you!
- TRENDS: Research compelling business issues and marketplace conditions which impact organizations that you are targeting. Send notes to those quoted and their teams to make meaningful connections on current and emerging opportunities. Find out where investments are taking place – “Follow the money!”
- TARGET: Confirm a target list of companies and roles that interest you. Connect with the economic decision makers (i.e. VITO = “Very Important Top Officers“) and their teams around posted and non-posted opportunities. Minimize primarily going to Human Resources and Job Board postings. See book list below.
- PLAN: Develop a spreadsheet which tracks your progress. Set goals for each day and week and show your progress to yourself and perhaps one or two friends (or coaches) (Review: JOB_PLANNING_TEMPLATE). Learn the proper way to prepare for an interview.
- TIME UTILIZATION: Spend 70% of your time networking and outreach (on-line and in person), 15% with recruiters, 15% with job boards (i.e. Monster.com, etc.). Too many job seekers have these time ratios in reverse and don’t take charge of their own destiny. Note: If you see a job on a job board focus on a 3 prong approach: (1) Post; (2) Identify who you know (i.e. alumni / friend / colleague; (3) Confirm the economic decision maker.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: Update you’re Social Media sites such as LinkedIn and others so they can help you network and build your brand. Makes sure your resume is impeccable and consider new ways to connect including Twitter, YouTube videos, thought leadership blogs as well as building your own website to showcase your skills, work experience and related professional passions. Take down any photos from your sites that are not professional. Prospective employers will check out your Facebook / Social Media posts.
- ALUMNI: Leverage the resources that you have earned as a graduate of a university. Reach out to your alumni office and career services; make connections via the directory, events, and/or volunteer opportunities.
- VOLUNTEER: Provide weekly and monthly service to a non-profit (i.e. association) or charity around the skills and work experience that you have now or seek to secure in your next job. Find a cause that connects you to leaders, professionals, and the community. Also, make sure you have some part-time work that pays a few dollars as well.
- PERSIST: Expect to receive rejection and a few set backs. When you run into trouble step back and move ahead. It takes small steps to achieve goals; understand there is a process – you can not easily (or practically) leap frog to the end result; start with the end in mind. Remember the famous saying, “When one door closes another will open.”
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Accept self ownership. No one owes you a job. You must wake up each day and make forward progress. Stay disciplined and focused and the results you seek will come to you…but they may take a bit longer then you would like… remember, “patience is a virtue” (just not too much of it!)
- 3 PRONG APPROACH: When you post for a position (i.e. LinkedIn, Indeed, Job Board) make sure you ask yourself: Who do I know or connect to (i.e. Alumni)? Who is the top economic decision maker (i.e. VITO, CEO, Chief Marketing, Finance, Operations, Information Officer or their teams)?
As you contemplate this list ask yourself what are you passionate about? Where do your skills, education, and work experiences point you to?
Think of a job as an exchange of time and services in return for money. What can you provide that is worth the time and money to an employer who is investing in you?
During your search create small amounts of value along the way. Give your skills to others for free in small amounts. Chip away and success will be yours!
Remember…everything on this list takes time and hard work.
Over the years when I have shared these points with friends and colleagues looking for work they yield results 100% of the time, BUT only a small percent are willing to do what it takes.
It takes discipline and persistence to search for the right position.
If you are willing to climb the steps vs. expect an easy elevator ride to the top than you can secure a great job based on a proven scientific methodology and practicing an innovative approach along the way.
Selling to VITO (“Very Important Top Officer”) – Anthony Parinello
Winners Dream – Bill McDermott
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Richard D. Blumberg, President, World Sales Solutions, writes this series of blogs to help senior executives and their teams, leaders, influencers, educators, and students develop effective strategies and tactical execution which results in more revenues, profits, growth, jobs, and value. More >>
Hong Kong: The Sites, Landmarks & Destiny
After an awesome week in Hong Kong, during our ride back to the airport the driver said, “when you arrived you saw Hong Kong as a pin on the map” and I added “and now it’s a magnifying glass with a big spotlight!”
What my wife and I found was a fast moving, bright light, vibrant, safe, friendly city with a surrounding region of country trails and rolling mountains. In fact we enjoyed it so much that we walked 9-10 miles each day to see as much as possible!
What brought us to Hong Kong?
Our son Steven is a Drexel University study abroad student at the University of Hong Kong and having a great experience. He was a perfect tour guide pinpointing many great sites, landmarks, restaurants, and less traveled fun places to check out. Also, for 3 days he was selected to spend time shadowing the CEO of the top global publication, the South China Morning Post, (on par with the Washington Post / NY Times) which was an amazing opportunity so between this experience and his classes we had some time to explore.
Our first lesson was how to use the MTR system (aka – subways, trains, metro)… Very quickly we learned about the blue, red, green and orange lines and main attractions like…
- Wan Chai (灣仔) one of the busiest commercial areas in Hong Kong and the closest stop to our hotel
- Tung Chung (東涌) meaning ‘eastern stream’, formerly a rural and fishing village and now the gateway to Ngong Ping’s Big Buddha, the world’s largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue and Po Lin Monastery
- Che Kung Temple (車公廟) the stop to visit the Hong Kong Heritage Museum which houses the “Bruce Lee – Kung Fu ‧ Art ‧ Life” exhibit
And of course these lessons allowed us to travel by MTR to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort which had popular attractions like “it’s a small world,” “Disneyland Railroad” and “Jungle River Cruise” as well as unique ones only found in Hong Kong including “Mystic Manor” and “Iron Man Experience.”
Interestingly the short ride to the resort had a custom Disney metro car with Mickey Mouse windows and a custom interior with blue lined seats, Minnie statues, and hand holders in the shape of Mickey.
Other memorable sites included:
- Victoria Peak – The highest mountain on Hong Kong island with amazing views
- Chi Lin Nunnery (志蓮淨苑) – Constructed entirely with cypress wood, without the use of any nails and is the world’s largest hand-made wooden building
- OZONE – One of the highest rooftop sky bars in the world, located on the 118th floor of The Ritz-Carlton)
- The University of Hong Kong (aka HKU / Hong Kong University) – Founded in 1911, it is one of the most prestigious universities in Asia (& globe) with a beautiful campus and a great Alumni Affairs office
- Malls – Some of the biggest and most impressive in the world with many top global and local brands
- Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system – The longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world surrounded by Hong Kong SoHo
- Kowloon Walled City Park – Originally a Chinese military fort and more recently restored into a beautiful park
- Tung Choi Street (通菜街) is a well-known street market popularly known as “Ladies’ Market” where you walk through stalls and shops to find deals
Historically it was interesting to think back to when “Made in Hong Kong” was very popular (back in the day!) to the ancient farming and fishing villages — to today where Hong Kong has evolved into a major port and international financial center with more global brands and shopping malls then we have ever seen per square block.
In fact, our hotel, the Grand Hyatt was right next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China took place in 1997.
As we walked around Hong Kong you realize it’s always on the move… hustling and bustling… the MTRs are clean (we once saw a glass of water or soda spilled and it was cleaned within minutes). Rarely did we have to wait for the MTR more then 2 or 3 minutes… and the people are friendly and peaceful. The streets and malls are alive and busy into the night.
Interestingly we learned that every Sunday maids from Indonesia and the Philippines gather together and take a government required day off where they play cards, picnic, style hair, and socialize.
Perhaps when it was all said and done we realized how valuable the experience was for us.
To gain perspective about Hong Kong, China, and Asia is very worthwhile. Whether for business or vacation we would highly recommend taking time to get to know Hong Kong.
In fact, like so many places I have visited there will always be a part of us in Hong Kong and as the news takes place and others share their stories my interest will be sky high to learn more and share insights.
Who knows? Perhaps our new friend who we met at the HKU Alumni Affairs Office said it best… Sometimes “who we meet” and “when we meet” is simply “Destiny!” (see symbol on right) and it seemed like finally getting to Hong Kong was our destiny which will live on as a priceless memory for a lifetime.
Appendix – Photo Gallery
Chi Lin Nunnery
Hong Kong Heritage Museum – “Bruce Lee – Kung Fu * Art * Life” exhibit
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – MTR (Custom Train)
View from OZONE
Ngong Ping’s Big Buddha
Grand Hyatt Hotel
View from Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak Hiking Trail – Pok Fu Lam Country Park
Hong Kong University