Amit Arya's blog post "Awesome Admin Success: Find Your First Role."

Awesome Admin Success: Find Your First Role in the Salesforce Ecosystem

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Twenty months ago, I had never heard of Salesforce. I didn’t know roles such as Salesforce Administrator even existed. I had no idea that people from a non-technical background could build a career in the Salesforce ecosystem. But here I am today working as a Salesforce Admin—and absolutely loving the new direction my career has taken.

My Salesforce journey started during the pandemic when I was laid off. It was at this time that I made the decision to diversify my experience and learn Salesforce. Coming from a non-technical background, and from India where more than 80% of jobs in Salesforce are for developers, it was a really tough task to break into the Salesforce ecosystem. When applying for Salesforce Admin positions, I was competing with people who had highly-technical backgrounds. I faced a lot of rejections in interviews but I kept trying and doing everything I could to find job opportunities. I joined Facebook groups for Salesforce, participated in local Trailblazer Community meetings, and volunteered at non-profits. Proactively doing all of these things helped me stay positive in the belief that, one day, I would have a job breakthrough.

Learning is key to your success

I truly believe that in order to be successful in any career, you need to continually learn and develop new skills to better yourself. Before the pandemic, I worked in sales. During the lockdowns, I was laid off, and it became very challenging to find another sales job. That’s when I decided to make a change and learn some new skills. Rather than sitting at home feeling miserable about my situation, I decided to put energy into learning something new instead. Today, when I look back at this period of time, I feel happy that I took this step.

While deciding what to learn, I was lucky that a friend introduced me to Salesforce through the learning platform, Trailhead. At first, since I had no prior experience in Salesforce, I thought it was only for technical people. Despite this, I decided to give it a go, and as I started to explore Trailhead, I began to see a future for myself in the Salesforce ecosystem. I came to see that a non-technical person, like myself, could build a career in it. Not only that, but I could also leverage my prior sales experience.

After gaining a number of badges on Trailhead, I decided it was time to get certified as a Salesforce Administrator. To prepare for my certification, I earned as many Trailhead badges as possible, found exam guides online, and took practice exams. These all helped me gain more confidence and better understand the concepts needed to become certified. My advice to others preparing for their certification exam is to not only focus on the exam itself but also take the time to grasp the concepts—because in the real world, if you don’t understand the concepts, you won’t be a successful Salesforce professional.

Hands-on experience is a must

As with many other jobs, companies looking for Salesforce Admins often favor candidates who have experience—so gaining hands-on experience is a must. After getting certified, my next challenge was to find an entry into the “real world” Salesforce ecosystem. As most of the entry-level jobs require some experience in Salesforce, which I didn’t have, I had to be creative. To get this hands-on experience, I did two things. First, I completed superbadges on Trailhead. Second, I found a volunteer job at an actual organization where I got to solve real-world problems.

I was fortunate enough to volunteer as a Salesforce Admin at DBM Group, a non-profit organization. There, I worked and performed duties that an actual admin would do in the job. This valuable experience helped me tremendously throughout the job application and interview process.

Connect with others

The next important step that I suggest anyone venturing into the Salesforce ecosystem to take is to make connections and network. There are many ways you can do this. I recommend joining a local Trailblazer Community Group as well as the larger Trailblazer Community. You can also network through Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and the Trailhead Mentorship Program.

I initially started to network by joining a Facebook group called Salesforce for Everyone, which consists of people from all backgrounds and at all levels of Salesforce knowledge, from beginner to experienced. I can’t put into words how this group has helped me throughout my journey. Whenever I faced any problems or wanted to get some suggestions, I turned to this group and they were always there to help. It was through this group that I also came to know about other community platforms to network, such as LinkedIn, the Trailblazer Community, and its mentorship program.

The Trailblazer Community is also a place where you can post questions and find answers—and also contribute your own insight to help fellow Trailblazers! There are many free videos and sessions led by the top people in the Salesforce ecosystem who share their knowledge on specific Salesforce topics. Another invaluable resource is the Trailhead Mentorship Program. In this program, they will assign you a mentor with whom you can connect one-on-one and find guidance on how to move forward in your Salesforce journey. Through this program, I came into contact with a wonderful mentor, Michelle Hansen. She has also mentored many other people like me and has added subsequent value in their lives. Almost all of her mentees have landed a successful position in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Last but not least, when you feel you have a good working knowledge of Salesforce, get certified and venture out to look for a job. LinkedIn is a great place to build your brand, make connections, and network. It was also where I got my first big break. I used the platform to post my completion of important Trailhead modules and superbadges, as well as share information I thought would help the Trailblazer Community. A recruiter saw one of my posts and contacted me for a job interview, and I landed my first Salesforce Admin job! That is the power of connection and networking on LinkedIn and other platforms—a single good post can land you a job.

You can do it, too!

If you take away one thing from this blog, I hope it’s this: It doesn’t matter what background you come from, technical or non-technical. If you’re willing to put in the hard work and give your best effort, the Salesforce ecosystem—and the amazing #AwesomeAdmin community—is always ready to embrace you and help you along the way.

I’m very grateful to all the people around the world whom I met during this wonderful Trailblazer journey, who have helped me gain invaluable insights and experiences to continue with my career in Salesforce.

In the end, I just want to say that if you are serious about building a great career for yourself, learn Salesforce. Because here, your background, age, and career gap does not matter. If you’re ready to give 100%, you will surely succeed. If I, coming from a jobless and totally non-technical background, can become an #AwesomeAdmin, I’m sure you can do it, too!

So sign up for a Trailhead account today and start learning Salesforce for free. If you face any problems, you can always reach out to the Trailblazer Community for help. We are always here to help and guide you to success.

Looking for more inspirational career content? Check out the Career Development page.

Resources

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