Navigating your Salesforce Career


Whether you are beginning your career or making a career change, it can feel like a very stressful time. One where you think through each step carefully— and rightfully so. When it comes to navigating your career it is easy to look at someone else who has been successful and ask, “how did you do that?” thinking you can replicate those steps. After all, imitation is the finest form of flattery, right?

The problem is looking at how someone created their career assumes that the variable is in the navigation and not in the individual, or their circumstances. It’s almost like thinking life is a puzzle and only a few—the successful ones—have figured out how to put it together. The reality is that life and careers are not a puzzle… They are more like Lego blocks.

Think about the last time you put a puzzle together for the second time. Wait, no one does that. Because the puzzle goes together the same way every time. Now think back to when you dumped out a bucket of Lego blocks. Every time you put them together you created something new, better, and different. Navigating your career isn’t about putting a puzzle together where all the pieces only go a certain way. Navigating your career is about choosing your blocks—or skills—and putting them together in a way that makes you successful!

Let’s look at how we can put our skill blocks together not in the same way that someone else has, but in a way that will make you successful.

Build the Skills

To start building our careers we need skills. Much like building with Lego blocks you need the actual block to create something. How do we get the blocks? Easy: Trailhead. Trailhead is the fun way to learn Salesforce. You can get hands-on so that you learn by doing, not just reading. As you navigate trails, projects, and challenges you earn badges. Badges are a tangible way to show what you have accomplished. They are a digital representation of your skill “blocks.” As your badges and points accumulate, so do your skills. Continuously learning allows you to move up the ranks from Explorer to Ranger! The more you learn with Trailhead, the more confident you will feel in your skill building-blocks on the platform.

Beyond the Skills

Once you start blazing your trail on Trailhead, what other skill “blocks” do you need? At TrailheaDX I had a great conversation with an Admin who had over 200 badges. Many of the badges were about Salesforce products and features her company uses, but she was looking for more experience. I challenged her to start applying the skills she learned on Trailhead by building fun apps to manage her life and her hobbies. In fact, I ended up writing an entire blog post about it here! Building apps to manage things like hobbies are a fun way that I challenge myself to get more experience on the platform.

But, building fun apps isn’t the only way to gain more experience. As a Salesforce Admin, you need to be a leader in your organization. Whether it’s presenting to executives or training end-users; speaking confidently in public is an important skill to your success. Personally, I encourage you to take improv classes. Improv taught me a lot about being confident on a stage, rolling with changes, and being aware of how an audience pays attention. However, improv isn’t the only way to get speaking experience. Often, community or local colleges will offer public speaking courses to further your skill-building. We even have a public speaking module on Trailhead.

Build a Brand

Finally, when was the last time you searched your name online? What were the results? If you haven’t taken the time to look at how others view you online, now is a great time to start. First, go to a friend’s computer or an incognito window and search for yourself. Do the search results say, “this person is invested in learning Salesforce?” The reason I ask people to search for themselves online is so that you see how potential employers will view you as a future candidate.

It might help to take it a step further and think of yourself as a brand. Again, we can think about Lego blocks. Their brand is bright, fun, creative, and sometimes technical. You instantly recognize their sets, and seek them out. This means, think about what you share on social media and with the world as if you were a brand like Lego. Have you written a guest blog post? Or thought about starting your own blog? What about the kinds of content you post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? Are you confident with the image you’re creating? If you’re invested in creating an amazing career out of your skill “blocks,” these are questions to think about not just when you are changing careers, but all the time.

Getting started today

Navigating your career doesn’t mean repeating what everyone else has done. It means taking your skills, knowledge, and experience and putting them together in a way that is successful for you. It means asking people WHY they love their job, not just WHAT they did to get where they are now. It means networking to understand the different career options you have and connections available to you. And, it means understanding that, like Lego blocks, rarely will two people put them together the same way.

To help you get started right away here are three Trailhead modules:

Also, to expand on this post, listen to Navigate Your Salesforce Career from TrailheaDX ’18 below ??:

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