Meet Thomas

Consulting at SAP

Hi, I am Thomas and I work in consulting at SAP.

I took a few months of paternity leave to spend time with my little son, which was a whole new field of learning and experience for me. I am based in Walldorf, Germany.

👣 Returning after life event

Three years ago, I came back to work after my son started to go to daycare. I was very nervous about my ‘first’ day, as I didn’t know what to expect. I had been informed about changes during my absence, nevertheless I wondered: What will I be working on?

When I entered the office, I realized that all my worries were just in my head. My new and old colleagues welcomed me warmly and were so excited that I was back, they even decorated my desk, like I was a Newbie! It was even more exciting that my manager had a clear plan for me. He provided a suitable role for me with an interesting scope and a workload that allowed me to work part-time. On the same day, my manager and I agreed further adjustments to my scope.

That is how I got started back very fast. I felt valued, because this approach showed me that I am also valuable to SAP as a part-time worker. It also shows me that management understands that part-time employees perform equally in relation to time.

That's exactly what they can expect of me. Having this opportunity encourages me a lot and gives me the motivation to do both jobs – at SAP and at home – with fun and enthusiasm.

🎧 Getting airtime with manager

I do enjoy my work and I really appreciate the cooperation with our customers. I live for our purpose because I really want to help the world run better and make life easier for our customers.

After my last assignment, I got a lot of appreciation from external partners. Other companies are also reaching out to me to get my support, but I would prefer to get more appreciation from inside the company. It is strange when I get more recognition from outside for my work, than from inside!

I wished my L1 manager paid more attention to this customer feedback and confirm the recognition and appreciation. It’s frustrating, as I’m afraid that nobody in upper management knows how much value I add to the relationship with our customers.

🙋🏻 Getting approached to take on a new opportunity

Just a few months ago, the constant positive feedback from my customers got finally noticed and I was asked to take on the leadership role of the project with one of them. I was unsure at first, because I felt overwhelmed by the new leadership challenge. My manager encouraged me to take it, she was full of trust and sure that I would make a good manager.

Coming from the meeting, I wanted to tell my office mate because we always share news and have a close working relationship. But, something was holding me back. We had been peers for three years and I knew he was planning to apply for a managerial position as well. How would he react when he saw my new position posted with the comment ‘preferred candidate identified’? Would he be disappointed that our manager had not approached him? Does my new team trust that I am qualified?

🌱 Receiving suitable recommendations for learning & development opportunities

When I started in my role, I was really impressed that there was a “customized” curriculum with trainings that I should attend. After my initial excitement, I saw that the curriculum did not consider the skills I brought from my previous role.

I don’t want to complain about these online courses too much as I appreciate the effort. What I am really seeking is a long-term perspective for my career. We have fluid roles here, so, I get to shape it, but I also never know what the next step is, and it becomes hard to navigate. It's always about self-training and manage your own development, but it's hard when you don't know what you are supposed to do training for.

Also, leaders seem unsure what or whom they are looking for in their teams. I always had a great job, but not that many growth opportunities. Many colleagues got nominated as high performers or catalysts, but few really are given career opportunities.