Diving INto Salesforce Head-On with Ozzy Solorzano

3 Tips for Diving Into the Salesforce Ecosystem Head-On

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Greetings, folks. I’m Ozzy Solorzano, a Salesforce Administrator under contract with Uber in San Francisco. How I got here is quite the journey. In this blog post, I’ll share my experience of changing careers and entering the Salesforce ecosystem with zero technical experience — the ups, downs, lefts, rights — and you’ll see how anyone can dive into the Salesforce ecosystem head-on!

Here are three important pieces of advice I’ve gathered from my own experience.

1. Take control of your career

First, a little background. I’m a born-and-raised local kid of San Francisco. I attended high school here, and then graduated from San Jose State University (Spartan UP!) with a degree in Kinesiology, concentrating in Sports Management. I spent many years working alongside the greatest minds in sales, service, event management, and operations. While I enjoyed my time in the sports industry, I felt unfulfilled and lost. It was as if I wasn’t in the right place where my true potential could flourish. And so, I made the decision to go back to community college and take a career prep course, which ultimately led me to take some courses in information technology (IT). As it turned out, I absolutely loved it and wanted to learn more!

Coincidentally, the Salesforce Pathfinder Program was being offered to a select number of students at my college. I’d seen Salesforce’s prominence in the tech industry throughout the years, especially when I saw Salesforce Tower being built in my city. I knew I had to jump on the opportunity. I applied and was selected to be interviewed! Coming in with a completely non-technical background, the feeling of being out-of-place skyrocketed. I could have let this feeling overwhelm me, but instead, I took control by focusing on taking the next step in front of me. With the help of instructors, self-reflection, and by practicing confidence, I went through with the interview by remembering another important aspect of any career change: to understand your skill set.

2. Understand your skill set

The thing to remember about skills is that they’re not always tangible. That is, you can’t always quantify them in the same way you can when talking about, for example, the number of programs you’ve built, networks you’ve configured, or how many functions you know in spreadsheets. Often, however, the most sought-after skills are the intangible ones — communication, collaboration, leadership, time management, organization, change management, and (my favorite) a willingness to learn.

With that in mind, I jumped into the Salesforce Pathfinder Program interview with a very clear strategy: to highlight these intangible skills along with everything I learned from my IT courses. I reframed them as transferable skills and answered the questions as if I were being interviewed as an admin or developer. The imposter syndrome I felt was very real during this process, but I was committed to doing everything I could to broaden my horizons and build a career I felt passionate about.

3. Find your niche

Another important thing I learned along this career-changing journey was to find my niche. Discover what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing, and master the heck out of it! Whether it’s automating processes, building reports and dashboards, or writing triggers — whatever it is, take steps to hone your craft.

One of the biggest challenges many new Salesforce Admins face is trying to be the “master of everything.” If I could go back in time to the beginning of my journey, the advice I would give myself is to “take one step at a time, Ozzy!” You don’t have to know EVERYTHING to be a good Salesforce Admin! It is, however, important to know where to look for answers — and above all, be comfortable knowing WHO to ask! I’m so grateful to all the people who were there (and continue to be there) on my journey in this new career as a Salesforce Admin, including those I met during the Pathfinder Program, colleagues at my current workplace, and all of the #AwesomeAdmins in the Trailblazer Community around the world.

You’ve got this

To summarize:

  • Taking control of your career is all about making tough decisions, exploring what you can learn, and focusing on the task at hand.
  • Understanding your skill set is all about understanding the marketplace for the skills you possess and identifying those skills you need to develop.
  • Finding your niche is all about knowing your strengths and taking steps to develop them even further.

There are FANTASTIC resources to help you take control of your career and shape you into the admin, developer, consultant, etc. that you want to be. Trailhead is a great and free resource for all levels. You can start with the Admin Beginner trail to learn the basics and dive into Salesforce head-on!

Additional resources

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