At SAP, everyone is a talent. We have the power to shape and achieve an amazing career at SAP and have a bigger impact on the world. As you reflect on your own career planning and development, we hope you will enjoy this collection of advice bytes that our employees have found to be most impactful on their journey towards career and personal success.
Take control of your career
Taking responsibility by owning your career development and growth is vital for achieving the fulfilling career you want. You will be happier and more productive when you know you are working towards your career aspirations. See what our employees are saying about the importance of taking responsibility and empowering yourself to drive your own career.
The best career advice I have ever received came from my husband, who told me to 'NEVER GIVE UP.' There have been many challenging situations throughout my career, and there have been few times where clouds of doubt and uncertainty have pulled me down and I felt like giving up. But then my husband cheered me up, saying 'You will not just give up on a difficult situation because if you do, you will be giving up on all the hard work and the sacrifices you have made to be where and what you are today'.
To grow your career and take it to the next level, you need to make yourself redundant in the current role as soon as possible. We cannot really get promoted to the next level unless there is somebody else ready to fill in or replace us in our current position. It is contradictory to the common belief where people think they should make themselves so important that without them nothing can really move in the company.
The best career advice came from my first manager who told me 'If you really don't know - ASK.' Though it sounds pretty simple, at the beginning of my career I was unsure about how I was contributing to the company and its growth by doing my job. With this in mind, I did muster up the courage to ask my HR head this question and was immediately provided with truckload of resources and guidance to find out how I mattered to the company. To this day, this advice has never failed me in any situation.
Your career is in your hands. Do not expect your manager to manage your career. You have to take the initiative and responsibility for your career. Your manager can only facilitate what you want to do.
Take risks and get out of your comfort zone
Taking risks and stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone can be downright frightening. But if you are strategic about it, and know when and where to take risks by applying some of the strategies our employees have shared below, you will start noticing all the opportunities you can take on to grow yourself personally and professionally.
The best career advice that I ever received was to be flexible in my career goals and to not dismiss opportunities because they weren’t part of a greater plan. The best opportunities often come when you least expect it and are not always something you will foresee.
Based on my experience, the best career advice is to come out of your comfort zone and explore alternate careers and believe that lateral growth is also growth (against the popular belief of vertical growth as the only growth).
Based on my past career experience, my advice to everyone is "explore" what extra values you can deliver in your current role. Come out of your comfort zone and look for new career passions and opportunities within your company. Explore different careers laterally and vertically. Have a great career!
Plan…but be flexible about your plan so you don’t miss any opportunities. Always do the right thing – follow your heart but use your brain too. And never be afraid to try something new.
Best advice I have ever received is never turn down an opportunity. If an opportunity presents itself, take the risk.
Working around your passions
Finding and following your passions can re-energize you and help you thrive professionally. By working around your passions, you can also inspire your colleagues to excel towards excellence and success for your organization. See below how our employees have identified and worked around their passions to achieve an amazing career.
My best career advice would be 'Do something valuable'. Let the problems in the world dictate what you do, rather than forcing a preconceived checklist labeled 'success' to be your motivation. Do something that genuinely helps others and makes the world a better place in a major way. That's the way to have a successful career.
The best career advice I received from a mentor is do what you love by finding what motivates or drives you both inside and outside of work and make that your job, so you don't feel like you are "working" anymore. I have also heard it explained as finding what makes you whistle at the coffee maker in the morning.
At least once a year, I ask myself a few questions: Am I having fun? Do I like the people that I'm working with? Am I continuing to learn and grow? Does my work life support my overall life-vision and values?
My advice is very simple, enjoy what you are doing and everything else will follow.
A working career is a long journey and occupies a major part of our lives, so it's very important you understand and love what you do and be passionate about it at the same time.
Respecting your work and others
Respect can go a long way in helping you achieve a fruitful and fulfilling career. Check out some valuable advice our employees have to offer around the importance of respecting your work, yourself, and others in helping you reach your full potential.
The best career advice I received actually came from my father back in my childhood. He always said and lived it himself that you will get the most attention and support from people when you are able to first show empathy for the situation they are in. It doesn't help to complain about others and their way of doing things – they do it their own way and sometimes just can't do it differently. But once you've found a common basis to start doing things together, you will be able to show the other person alternative ways to do things that might work even better for themselves, and you will also learn from their perspective to question your own way of perceiving and doing things!
My best advice wasn't given orally, but lived by a previous colleague: Take pride in your work. Don't just make it OK, go the extra mile to make it fabulous. It's the small things that count and they can be found in every task. Just do these two quick mental checks when you finish a task: 1. Am I happy with the result? 2. Can I add something that takes little time, but would be appreciated by the receiver? Often enough you can add extra value for both sides without much extra investment. Talk about satisfaction in your job.
My best career advice is… at 60, when you have retired and look back at your life, you should feel proud and satisfied that you shaped something significant and made a difference in the lives of the people around you… and you did this without any deviation from the principals of integrity and ethics.
What I have learned in life, including my college and personal life, is to always maintain a symbiotic relationship with your peers. Respect the people you are working with and learn from them. Also make sure that it goes the other way around too, where you also share your knowledge and experience with them.
Network for career success
Building a solid, strong network at work is critical to getting things done and advancing your career. But meeting new people can be intimating for those of us who are not born as extroverts or natural networkers. Below, our employees offer some simple but powerful tips on how you can improve your networking skills and share some of their own networking success stories.
Create visibility through building a network across the organization. When you work for a big organization, it's very easy to get lost in the cracks, so get out there and meet people when you travel to other global offices, share your knowledge and make your skills visible, ask about things you don't understand, and take on new challenges.
My best advice was to keep a strong network that isn’t reserved to where you want to make your next career move. Keep an open mind about everyone and every organization even if you don’t think you’ll ever have a role in that group. It’s beneficial to understand the role they play in the ecosystem.
I would not have had any success without the contributions of my colleagues. Big companies run on relationships. It's all about people. Take the time to get to know people, and it will yield rewards. It's the best investment you can make for your career.
The best advice I received was from my hiring manager who said that the most important thing I needed to do was to build my personal network. That advice has been critical to my ability to get things done and navigate the organization.
The best advice that still sticks with me today is to take the time to build your own brand.
My dad gave me a piece of advice when I was just finishing school: "Don't be afraid to ask people for advice. Everybody likes to give advice." This has been good feedback as it has helped me to reach out to people to build my network – and it has even led to job offers.
Finding work-life balance
We all take great pride in our work, and many of us identify who we are by what we do. But when your work begins to heavily and regularly seep over into your personal life, you inevitably spend less time on other enjoyable aspects of life, such as your family and friends. Below you will find some very useful tips our employees have applied to successfully achieve a successful career with a good work-life balance.
Give your family as much respect as you give work. You don't allow your kids to interrupt you during work hours (unless for emergencies obviously), then give them the same respect when it's family time. Turn off your work phone, shut your laptop, and give them your full attention. Family comes first. Another great piece of advice was inspired by Sheryl Sandberg. I was given the advice not to take myself out of the game before I even get to that point in your life. Lean in. Work hard and strive for the career you want. You'll make it work when it comes time. You CAN have it all.
My best career advice came in my fourth job after college in a small marketing consulting firm. When my manager came back to the office after hours and found me still working on an analysis, he said 'You're no good to me dead. There will be time to work on this tomorrow. Please go home now…' It reminded me that you do need to strive for balance between work and the rest of your life.
The best advice I ever received was when I was pregnant with my first son, to 'LEAN IN', long before this term was coined. I was told that my career would not stop and the company would not assume my potential or enthusiasm was less. And make time for my family, and stop the crazy continuous 80+ hours weeks.
Be professional at work. Come to the office and work and leave the work at the office only! Don't carry home anything from the office. And don't always try to find happiness in work, indulge in different interests that will make us happier in life.