1) Hello Liviu, thanks for participating in our freelancer insides series. First of all, can you tell us bit about yourself and what are you up to these days?
You are welcome! Now, few things about me. I am a SAP FICO Consultant with 15 years of experience from Romania. I've been a freelancer since 2008 and currently I'm under contract in Germany.
2) What made you decide entering into the SAP field? What was your academic background and how did your career start?
I graduated at the economic university in Bucharest. As a young economist, I had the chance to be involved in a SAP implementation in the company that I was working for in that period. I observed what the consultants did and found it very interesting so I decided to become one of them.
3) What exactly made you decide to jump into freelancing?
After several years of gaining experience in the SAP field I decided that it would be better to look for projects which are suitable for me. Before that I worked for several IT companies some global, some local.
Now I'm working project based, sometimes full time, sometimes part time, sometimes for several clients in parallel. Each client has its own needs and I try to help them to fulfill their specific needs.
4) What kind of services have your clients asked you to provide?
The most common request is as a team member for a new SAP project, in accordance with my specialization, FICO. But I had other requests like: training, redesign of a specific module already implemented, pre-sales for SAP or, business analysis for SAP systems.
They also sometimes request implementation of SAP localization in my country.
5) What does your typical work day look like? Do you work a normal “9 to 5”, Monday until Friday?
This depends on the specific project. Usually in the first phases of the project implementation I work “9 to 5”, but it can also be that before the project goes live I might have to make some adjustments during the weekend. And then there are remote projects, in this case you can choose your working time as long as you deliver the customization on time.
6) Now tell us, how do you find new clients that are interested in your services?
Usually the clients find me. My profile is online on several professional sites and I am also in touch with many recruiting agencies. Sometimes I'm available for new contracts, sometimes not.
7) Could you cite one thing that you learned in your professional life that surprised you?
My personal motto is “Any problem has a solution. It only has to be found.” And that is also what I learned during my professional life.
8) How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special?
The most important thing is to deliver good quality work because SAP is a field where feedback from the previous clients counts. Also, as I said, each client has its own needs so, in this case, flexibility is key.
9) What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting a freelance career? And what does it takes to be successful as a freelancer?
In the SAP world a joke says:
“SAP actually represents THE three steps in any implementation:
When a customer decides to implement SAP, he hires a partner to do the job. The partner hires lots of technical consultants that will work between 16-20 hours a day, 5 days per week, to do the job. That's the "S" phase: Suffering.
Then, as the go-live approaches, the "incredible" team starts working 22-26 hours a day (yes, 26), 7 days per week... No one sleeps, psychiatrists get called, and the only food they get is pizza, twice a day. They have reached the "A" phase: Agony
And then the long-awaited day arrives: GO-LIVE.... All users are waiting to do all tests they couldn't do during the implementation, and, suddenly, the system halts because an emergency transport file was transported out of order. Yes, my fellows, we have finally reached the "P" phase, the one everybody tries to avoid, but is unavoidable: Panic.”
So, a new freelancer must be ready for all these steps. But the key for success is to never give up.
10) What are your future plans? Would you like to continue freelancing or to switch to full time employment?
Certainly as a freelancer. It is a freedom that a regular job can never give me.
Where to find Liviu:
Link to freelancermap.com profile: Liviu Andriescu
Pic: © Liviu Andriescu
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