Headshot of Katie Moran next to text that says "Achieve Success with a Beginner's Mindset."

How Salesforce Admins Can Achieve Success with a Beginner’s Mindset

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Beginning a new career journey in the wonderful world of Salesforce is exciting! It can also feel intimidating, as Salesforce is so vast and versatile. With the Salesforce ecosystem being so large, and the platform being so customizable, new admins can often find themselves questioning their moves at every turn. I felt this myself when I started my journey, but I’m here to share some tips to overcome the fears you might face in those beginning months of your new career journey.

Before I share my top tips, I’m going to share a little about my Salesforce journey, what a beginner’s mindset is, how my team works together to solve problems, and how new admins can grow their skill set.

How my Salesforce Admin journey began

My love of and interest in the Salesforce Platform began in the fall of 2019. I heard about Salesforce through Eleven Fifty Academy here in Indianapolis. I was enrolled in their .Net Development bootcamp and I heard the staff discuss the Salesforce Pathfinder Training program often. Once I discovered that a Salesforce Administrator could take the Salesforce Platform and customize it for their end users, I knew this was what I wanted to pursue. I received an email at the end of summer in 2020 that there would be a Pathfinder Program info session and I couldn’t have been more excited. I applied and was so incredibly grateful to be accepted!

In this blog, I want to share with you my personal insight and advice for how to overcome the anxiety and imposter syndrome that can often accompany not only any new career adventure, but one in the Salesforce ecosystem.

What is a beginner’s mindset?

A beginner’s mindset, in my eyes, means being honest about what you don’t know and are willing to learn. It means being vulnerable outside of your comfort zone — and ultimately, this is how you’ll enhance your admin skills. We often get so anxious to grow our skills so quickly that we forget that it can be a gift to see something for the first time with fresh eyes. When I first began my Jr. Administrator position in June of 2021, I placed immense pressure on myself to avoid mistakes and get everything right the first time. I wanted to be a professional so quickly that I didn’t take into account that making those mistakes is what actually helps me learn.

As a Salesforce Admin, you’ll be expected to solve everyday business problems, of course. However, know that with each day you spend building those incremental learning blocks, you’re one step closer to becoming a professional. Coming from an IT service desk background, I’m used to troubleshooting problems and knowing the exact steps to resolve the issue.

The beautiful thing about being a Salesforce Admin is that you get creative range to solve issues since you know the platform more thoroughly than your end users. For example, let’s say someone from your sales team requests a new field on the Account object. The question here is, is there a value that could exist to fulfill this need already? And does this value need to also exist on the Lead object? What about the Opportunity object? What is the best field type to capture this information moving forward? These are the types of questions that we, as admins, may already be asking, but we can also expand on them in different ways for the benefit of our end users.

Teamwork makes the dream work!

If you’re lucky enough to be part of a Salesforce team like I am, take it all in! I’m part of a team of three, comprised of a Lead Salesforce Admin and two Jr. Admins. Our Lead Salesforce Admin is a fantastic mentor and leader. He takes the time to challenge our point of view to broaden what we take away from business issues, and advises us using his own experience.

Our team is currently reviewing and planning for future training sessions for new company employees. Our company is rapidly growing! One of our biggest points of planning is to put our heads together and create ideas for efficient training, while also welcoming new employees and letting them get to know us. Our brainstorming sessions not only give our team a chance to hear each other’s point of view but also allow us to get to know one another and how we express ourselves. It’s during these sessions that I also get to know Salesforce through their eyes. My teammate, for example, may know something that I don’t know or haven’t thought about when using the platform.

Looking towards the future

When seeking that first opportunity for employment in the Salesforce ecosystem, really look for a position that speaks to you and will foster your growth. I personally found that a Jr. Admin position provides mentorship and growth by learning from a Lead Salesforce Admin who has worked in the ecosystem for some time.

Think about opportunities from your career background and translate them into a Salesforce job search. Do you have Salesforce Operations experience? What about IT experience? There are many ways that past career skills can translate to sought-after skills in the Salesforce ecosystem. For example, any position in sales has an automatic link to Salesforce, since its first intended functionality was to foster sales growth and opportunities. Any service-related experience can be translated into the Service Cloud feature of Salesforce, which helps to enhance customer service and relationships. You’d be surprised by how much your past experience can relate to a career in Salesforce.

Never underestimate the importance of soft skills, too, when seeking employment in the Salesforce world. Being collaborative and approachable will give your teammates confidence to work alongside you. It will also give your end users reason to trust that you’re open to feedback, you represent Salesforce products well, and you’ll be there to support them when they need help using the platform. Remember, it’s not always about having the right answer right away. It’s about letting the end user know that even if you don’t know the answer now, you’ll work to find one or develop a solution that works best for their challenges.

I would love to one day mentor others who are hoping to make a career shift to the Salesforce ecosystem. I, myself, have ADHD and have experienced challenges surrounding this shift, but I’ve also found strengths in being neurodivergent. I hope to mentor others who may face similar challenges and help them find their strengths too.

My top tips for success using a beginner’s mindset

Here are my top three tips to utilize a beginner’s mindset as a new admin in the Salesforce ecosystem:

  1. Be open and honest about what you don’t know. It may feel counterintuitive, but know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t ever know absolutely everything about Salesforce! Give yourself time and grace. Know that each problem you solve is a building block to stack within your Salesforce career.
  2. Learn from your team members and listen to their viewpoints. We never learn alone, especially when we’re a fresh face at a company. Lean on fellow employees who aren’t on your Salesforce team to learn more about the business and how you can improve Salesforce for them. Ask a coworker how they learned so much in their role or what tips they may have to build confidence. My manager advised me to listen to podcasts to help build mine, which wasn’t something I’d considered previously. Now, while I lie down to sleep at night, I often listen to various podcasts about building confidence and overcoming imposter syndrome.
  3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! I cannot stress this enough. I avoided making mistakes for far too long into my journey. Once I let go of the worry, I started to let go of some of the decision paralysis that I often felt when attempting to approach Salesforce requests. I started to work on my own, and when I made mistakes, I would listen to my Lead Admin and correct them. I took notes which is ultimately how I’ve learned.

Resources

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