Congratulations—you’ve decided to advance your career and begin learning SAP. Obviously, you’ve done some research into the subject, and you’re ready to sign up for a course.
Learning a subject like SAP - especially for the first time - can be overwhelming to the point where you begin to procrastinate. Don’t do that. Dive in, take a look around, and find your way to becoming the SAP expert you can be.
If this is your first venture into SAP, or even e-learning, here are some ways you can learn it more effectively without feeling swamped.
What are you trying to get out of SAP training? What’s your purpose in learning it? Learn to do your job better? Find a better job and advance your career?
Identify your motivation so that when you feel like procrastinating—or quitting—you’ll have something to remind you of why you decided to undertake learning SAP. You will run into difficulties. Keeping your end goal in mind will help with motivation when difficulties arise.
When you begin learning something new—especially if it’s something you’ve never seen before—you may look at a book, program, or other material not knowing what to do with it. Your eyes get big, because it’s not something you’ve ever seen before.
One way to make it easier is to break it down into parts. You’ve probably heard of Pareto’s Principle: 20% of efforts lead to 80% of your results. Start with something small, such as the SAP basic skills you need to start with, then keep going. As you progress, you’ll begin to understand how it all works together.
It’s easy to go over the parts where you excel. But if you’ve glossed over parts that you find harder, it’s time to pay more attention to them. In order to learn more, you’ll need to get out of your “comfort zone.” Working a little more on the pieces that you’re not so good with will help you understand more than just the easy parts.
Are you learning SAP with someone? Consider working together to learn the things you’re both having difficulty with.
If you know a fellow student or coworker who is also trying to learn SAP, but having a difficult time, consider offering to teach it to them.
Did you join study groups in high school or college? You may have noticed that you had an easier time with a subject that was trying for you. Working with others on a particular topic, skill or subject is known as social learning, and is one of the most effective ways to learn a new subject.
Sure, you’ll need to do a fair amount of reading, practicing and hands-on work before you become proficient with SAP. But you’ll also have to learn it well enough so that you can help another person learn it as well. Along the way, you’ll learn more than you would simply as a student.
When you learn SAP with the intent to teach it, you’ll have to review it more closely, think of it with a more thorough and critical fashion, which helps you understand it better.
Try explaining SAP to friends and family who are unfamiliar with it. If they can understand it, this means you may have a better grasp of it than before.
At some point, you’ll begin to understand how everything comes together. You’ll reach the point where you start to figure things out, and everything makes sense, even if you’re not completely proficient with it. But you’ll get there only if you continue learning.
There’s an old joke that goes, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Answer: “Practice.”
The same is true of SAP—if you want to not only learn SAP but master it, you’ll need to practice as much as you can. The more you work with it, the more you understand and the more you can do.
If you use SAP at work, you’ll probably have time to practice. If you don’t and need more hands-on work, we offer Live SAP Access so you can get to your next career move—and even Carnegie Hall.
That sounds a bit bizarre, but it’s true—by doing, you learn what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes—you know you will. Everybody does. Making the mistakes while you’re learning SAP will not be the same as making a mistake on the job (even though you know that will happen eventually.)
After making these mistakes, you’ll know what to do, as well as what not to do.
Most people think of tests as an end goal. But that’s not always the case.
Testing yourself after learning something will help you retain the information better. Anki is a spaced recognition software that you can set up yourself to help learn and test yourself as much as you like. This free, open-source flashcard program is simple to download, set up, and use to learn nearly anything you need. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, so you can use it anytime, anywhere.
Once you’ve learned to use SAP, keep learning it. Keep testing yourself. Take a related course. Read articles and blogs (check out ours here), subscribe to newsletters, and follow SAP thought leaders on social media. Look for answers and information from multiple sources, and keep up with new developments and updates that affect you and your SAP career.
Interested in a new SAP career? Michael Management has helped more than 300,000 people learn SAP effectively and move into a better career. Learn more at our YouTube channel, where we have more than 75 SAP videos on tutorials, intros, and instructions.
And if you're not ready to fully jump into it just yet, take a look at our guide to learn SAP for free - this might convince you after all.