Shannon Tran talks about pursuing the right salesforce career

Pursuing the Right Salesforce Career with Shannon Tran

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Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Shannon Tran, Principal Architect Director at Salesforce. Join us as we chat about career changes, career progression, and chasing a vision.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Shannon Tran.

The admin skill set is broad

Shannon is just over a month into her new role as a Principal Architect Director at Salesforce, so I thought it would be the perfect time to have her on the pod to talk about careers and how admins can branch out.

It’s easy to get caught up in a particular career path and chase the next title up the ladder, but that’s not the only way to grow your career. “The admin skill set is so broad,” Shannon says, “it can open so many doors for you.” She points to things we practice every day, like active listening or explaining technical processes, as examples of skills that can help you in a wide variety of roles.

Get a swim buddy

We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and it can feel like that creates walls for what we can and can’t do with our careers. As Shannon explains, we can invest a lot of time and energy into climbing over those walls, or we can look around and see if someone might be willing to offer us a ladder.

In the Navy SEAL training program, every recruit is paired with a “swim buddy,” whose responsibility is to “support them unfailingly through the trials and tribulations of their rigorous training program.” Shannon recommends finding a swim buddy for your career, someone in the same place as you who can share the load as you both work towards your goals.

Fake it till you make it

When you’re looking at that next job, it’s easy to get caught up in what qualifications you don’t have. But Shannon reminds us to think about it from the job poster’s perspective. They don’t want to hire someone who can already do everything because they’ll pretty quickly get bored and move on. “Growing isn’t just growing your title, growing is growing in your role,” she says.

The most important thing you do for your career is to believe in yourself and what you can accomplish. We talk a lot in this episode about the idea of “fake it till you make it” and how that’s been misunderstood. If you want to be a consultant, you don’t go around telling everyone you’re a consultant, you start acting like one. How would a consultant approach this problem? How would they document this process?

Shannon has a lot of great stories and advice for how to take control of your Salesforce career, so be sure to listen to the full episode for more great tips and a free pep talk.

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Full show transcript

Mike:
This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we are talking with Shannon Tran, Principal Architect Director at Salesforce about building careers, changing careers, career progression, and chasing a vision. Now, before we get into this episode, I want you to be sure that you are following the Salesforce Admins podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. That way when amazing new episodes like this one drop on Thursdays, they go right to your phone. So let’s get to that conversation with Shannon. So Shannon, welcome to the podcast.

Shannon:
Thanks, Mike.

Mike:
It’s been a while since you’ve been on, but you had a different career back then and you have a different career now, so I think it kind of only makes sense, let’s talk about careers in tech and in Salesforce while you’re on.

Shannon:
Awesome.

Mike:
Great. Let’s start with what do you do at Salesforce?

Shannon:
All right, cool. So full disclosure, I am going to read a description of my new role. I’ve been in my new role for about a month and 10 days now. So as a principal architect, I am a trusted technologist with extensive architecture in Salesforce platform experience, and I engage early on in the sales cycle to provide thought leadership, serve as a source for industry, specific knowledge and architectural practices, solving our customer’s business challenges.

Mike:
That’s good. There’ll be a quiz at the end.

Shannon:
What that really translates to is I’m an architect. I’m engaged early on when we’re just beginning to dream up what a customer wants to do, and I help customers really take the art of the possible and translate it to actual working technology.

Mike:
Well, that’s amazing. I feel like you do, also, a lot of consulting, therapeutic technology consulting as an architect.

Shannon:
Yes, definitely. That’s 100% therapeutic. We need to work that into the description, like yesterday.

Mike:
Wait for your promotion, work that in. When you get to senior director, I do therapeutic consultation. So what you said in that very eloquently written job description is that in the world of technology, which a lot of admins and developers and architects and consultants are a part of, there’s a lot of different avenues and ways you can go based on what your career goals are and your skills because you didn’t start out as an architect, right?

Shannon:
No, I did not.

Mike:
What did you start out as?

Shannon:
So I started in this ecosystem, not even as an admin. I started on the sidelines being a fan girl.

Mike:
Oh.

Shannon:
Yeah, so we had a conversation back in 2016 and I talked a little bit more about my journey to admin, because I started actually on the phones in a call center and a lot of Excel workbook work, learning how to do formulas in Excel, and then learning a little bit of Visual Basic, translating those skills into maybe learning a little bit about databases. And then I became a SharePoint administrator. So it was a journey even into becoming an admin, which was really cool. And then from an admin, I became a business systems analyst, and I grew into a senior business systems analyst and a developer, and then I took those skills and moved into consulting.

Mike:
So boy, SharePoint, good job for that. That was a brave move. What was it that you saw… By the way, I think I would call you a super user back then. If you were in my org and you were being very awesome about Salesforce, I’d call you a super user. I had some super users. I had little fans and pendants made up for them. What was it in tech that got you? Because I feel like people sometimes get into a tech career and then they fall out. You get into any career and you fall out. I sold cars for a day. I realized it wasn’t for me. What was it that hooked you?

Shannon:
Yeah, that’s a great question, by the way. So I think that in the journey to tech and in the journey to IT, I had a couple of stops and really cool divisions. So I worked in a service center and I worked in their BizOps team. I worked in sales and I worked in the sales ops team, and then I worked in IT. And I think that the journey along the way, I got deeper and deeper into technical spaces and the people, I think, are the big thing. The farther away I got from just the regular business problems, and the closer I got to technical or platform related, things became more, I don’t know, interesting, a little bit more challenging in some ways. And the people were just super cool. I don’t know, I always had a little bit of, I think, a bias. I always thought the people that could code were really cool and really smart, and I wanted to be around them because I was hoping some of that shine would rub off on me.

But it’s really cool because they also, I think… I was lucky enough to work in technical teams where they were very much sharing the space, and they would welcome newbies in, and if you said, “Hey, I’m really interested in engineering,” they’d be like, “Oh, what? Let me show you this thing that I built.” And I feel like I was really lucky, but also it’s just a really cool place. I don’t know. We work on really cool things and there’s just a lot of really cool people, and I don’t know, it’s just a special mix. Does that make sense?

Mike:
Yeah. Well, it doesn’t have to make sense. It’s your answer. I also have been known to go to Dreamforce. This was 100 ago when Dreamforce used to hand books out, and I would put the developer Apex code book on my head just hoping as I walked around, maybe some of that sunk in.

Shannon:
Yeah, we give our plants Miracle Grow. It’s like Miracle Grow. It’s like, “Maybe it’ll work.”

Mike:
Maybe, maybe. It didn’t, by the way, so not Miracle Grow, even though I do Miracle Grow. So as you were kind of giving that description, the Steve Jobs quote came to me that’s a favorite quote of mine. He said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Obviously, looking back as you described how you got to where you are now and then how you started as a call center agent, it makes sense. You can connect those dots. But obviously as you were progressing through your career, it probably was less obvious. As you were looking for different jobs or different career changes, was it a challenge of the technology that drove you? Was it titles? Because I know for myself, I went through a period of a decade where I felt like I was chasing a title because all of my friends had titles. Or was it something else?

Shannon:
I think we all go through that phase when you’re chasing a title. Yeah, when I graduated from college, I joined a call center, and at least I joined as the lowest rung on the ladder. And you’re looking up and you’re like, “How am I ever going to grow?” And I think that’s great. It’s good to have ambition, but sometimes it’s like, “Okay, but do you want to grow up this specific ladder? Or maybe is there a set of stairs that you’d like to take instead? Or maybe you have a hoverboard or an elevator or who knows? Maybe you figure out how to teleport to the next location.” But I wasn’t that curious in the beginning of my career. I was very much like, “Okay, how do I get to the next step?” And some of what I did was directly tied to what I thought would get me to the immediate next step at whatever role it was.

But I think in the last five years or so, I’ve changed my mind about how I look at my career. I think it can be limiting when you have your blinders on and you’re looking for the next level at whatever your immediate career is, whatever your immediate job title is. So if I stop right now and I only want to grow up the ladder right now, I’m limiting myself to just consulting. And maybe that’s not what I want to do, maybe it is, but there’s other roles in IT centers, and maybe I want to go back to sales ops, who knows, take a spin in HR. But if I’m looking to just grow my title, then I’m very limited because I would just be in consulting. I’d want to continue growing maybe to senior director or VP, continue to grow my leadership skills. But I don’t know, do I really want to limit myself to that or just be open to being flexible?

Mike:
Yeah, I feel like a lot of events that I go to and even content that I see sometimes out of the community is, so I’ve been a Salesforce admin, or I’ve been a developer for three or four years and now what do I do? I guess I become a consultant and they almost equate that as the next step. But what I’m hearing from you is there’s not necessarily that seismic job shift that you have to make. You can also look within IT at other careers, right?

Shannon:
Yeah, absolutely. I think the admin skillset is so amazing. So the things that you learn to do as an admin, you learn how to actively listen, you learn how to translate complex problems into really easy to understand, very relatable, maybe metaphors or situational conversational stuff. You take something you’re trying to explain why something won’t work or why we should stick to a standard page layout versus a custom page layout. And you have to explain it to a business end user. That skill translates to so many other roles outside of the admin role.

But maybe you also want to go technical. Maybe you want to learn how to code. Maybe you want to learn how to be even better at declarative development or transition into a proper developer, I’m doing this in air quotes, but a developer role, and that’s cool too. But the admin skillset, it’s so broad and depending on where you work, it opens so many doors for you. So if you’re just looking to become a senior admin or then a manager of admin, that is still really cool, but that’s not the only career trajectory. Just like consulting isn’t the only exit. If you’re interested in making a big change, consulting is not the only big change that you could make from there.

Mike:
What would be an example of another big change?

Shannon:
So you could start your own company. You learn so much about different businesses that now you know what the innards look like depending on your role, maybe you know what finance needs to make something work. Maybe you know what it’s like to sell something because I learned all about sales when I was in sales ops as a Salesforce I admin. Not saying that I’m great at it, but I know what a proper sales cycle should look like. Proper, I’m going to throw that term out because there’s no such thing as a proper anything, but run-of-the-mill, a sales cycle, there should be buying indicators and the person you’re speaking with should have some kind of authority. They should have some kind of a need, et cetera.

So you learn these things about generic processes that apply to anything in business that can lend itself to any idea or dream that you have. So I don’t know, that’s really powerful stuff if you’re living in the admin space. I say this to customers all the time, if you can dream it, we can do it. But I truly believe your career is the same way. If you have a dream, it’s really just figuring out what it’s going to take to get you to whatever that dream is.

Mike:
Very inspirational. And I will just do a hard pivot with this next question because I happen to think of it while you were telling me. I won’t ask you if you can code or what you can and can’t do instead, because I feel like we often talk about the art of the possible, and literally what you just said, but at some point you’re going to bump into walls and it can be a limit of, for me, trying to learn code was just incredibly hard, just the way that I learned. I’m a very visual learner and I never really got math. And not that you need to know math to understand code, but boy does it help, just the way that it’s laid out. What were some of the things that as you progressed through your career that you hit a wall and was like, “Maybe I’m trying this, but I’m not good at it and I should just focus on what I’m good?”

Shannon:
That is another really excellent question. So I’m just good at everything.

Mike:
I forgot.

Shannon:
No, so in the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to coach and mentor people in a formal way. So I’ve led teams and I’ve led managers, and I’ve noticed that sometimes I have to reach out to my manager or to my mentor because sometimes I’ll be trying to coach somebody on something or give somebody feedback about something. And honestly, the people are the hardest part and they’ve always been the hardest part for me, it’s like, “How do I make this easy to understand and palatable for somebody to take action on?” And I’m still learning how to influence and how to lead by example and how to coach instead of… We talk about the carrot and the stick. So I’m a big fan of the stick and I’m trying to unlearn. I’m like, “There should be consequences.”

Yeah, now I’ve just scared everybody away from ever working with me, but it’s a skill to finesse and to inspire and to lead that way. And I’ve had some really great leaders who I’ve tried to just steal ideas from, and I talk to them about, I have this one really challenging team member, I have this one really challenging escalation or whatever, and here’s the situation and how do I go about making sure that the team feels valued, respected, but also that they really want to take on this extra big, nasty, disgusting thing that we all just have to do without me having to say, “Okay, and the consequence of not doing it is blah, blah, blah.” So I think that’s one of the biggest things. And I think looking to other people who have been there and done that is a great way.

But in your example, let’s say that I didn’t enjoy code, or if I didn’t feel like I could get through it, or a big one, when you get to a place where you’re hitting a wall, is it a wall you need to scale or is it a wall that somebody else might have a ladder for you to get over? Because those are two different approaches. If you can get the help that you need to go over that wall, then why would you need to scale it? You don’t need to hit the gym to run at the wall or figure out a different way to accomplish that mission by yourself. So you can always call for backup. So if you don’t want to code and that’s not a skill you want to learn, then there should be other people that can help you. And that’s not the only way to grow your career.

And in fact, I think it’s more powerful for you to learn how to build strong networks and find the people professionally relevant for whatever challenge you’re trying to tackle. But the other way is grit your teeth and figure it out. If you feel like the skill is going to help you with your end game, then you got to put in the work. And you can also get a swim buddy. So I don’t know if you know the concept of swim buddies. I think we talked about it.

Mike:
No, but you’re going to explain it to me.

Shannon:
Okay. I don’t remember who’s credited, but there’s a talk a while ago with a guy, I think he was in the Navy, but if you Google it’ll come up.

Mike:
Googling right now.

Shannon:
Yeah.

Mike:
Oh, Navy SEALs.

Shannon:
Navy SEALs. Okay, great. Awesome. But basically you find somebody who when you’re swimming out in the ocean and you’re going through training exercises it sounds like or you’re just swimming, you need a buddy to make sure you don’t drown. So that’s your swim buddy. They’ve been there, they know what you’re doing, they know what your goal is and what you’re trying to achieve, and they can support you. And then vice versa. So ideally, you can be their swim buddy as well. So maybe they’re not at the level above, maybe they’re at your level, but you have somebody that you’re vibing with. You’re out in the ocean, you’re not drowning. You’re both doing cool stuff, swimming, but that’s your swim buddy. So finding one of those in your career is also super helpful. When you hit the wall, talk to your swim buddy and figure out if it’s really something you want to tackle or if it’s something that you get help and you get through it some other way.

Mike:
Yeah, no, there’s a really great description of the swim buddy approach is a core part of Navy SEAL training where every recruit is assigned someone responsible for supporting them unfailingly, good term, through the trials and tribulations of their rigorous training program.

Shannon:
Yeah. Can I shout out my swim buddy?

Mike:
I know.

Shannon:
Hi, Vanessa.

Mike:
So thinking of swim buddies, a lot of career change… Swim buddies sound great if I am nestled in a company and I’m working on a new business process that requires a super hard flow, and I’m okay at flows. But thankfully, I have somebody like Jennifer Lee who can look at my flow and within two seconds be like, “Did you check that box?” “No.” “Check the box. And then it’ll work.” I’d be like, “Cool, thank you. Not going to drown the ocean.” It can be even harder, I think, when you’re applying for jobs, because when you’re looking at job descriptions, it’s very easy to read everything and say, “I can do that. I can do that. I can do that. I don’t know, I don’t have that skill. That’s super hard. Maybe I shouldn’t apply.” How did you get past that?

Shannon:
Man, I don’t know if I have if we’re being completely honest.

Mike:
Please.

Shannon:
So I have some friends that I’ve chatted with. So I recently went through an application process and I had several people encouraging me to apply for this role. And even though I check most of the boxes, I had this reservation, I’ll call it, I was just not for sure about it. I was like, “I don’t know. I’m really comfortable in my current role. I can do this.” And it’s changed, number one. But two, there were certain things that were on this job description that I didn’t have experience with, certain industries, certain types of customers, certain business processes that I would have to learn, and I just didn’t fit the description because those were gaps.

So I had one friend tell me, “If you were posting for a job tomorrow, you needed to hire somebody, would you post everything under the sun related to that job or would you post just 80%?” And I was like, “Do I have a character limit?” And she was like, “No.” She was like, “You can post 100% of what would make that job…” Obviously don’t go overboard, but what’s 100% look like? And I was like, “Then I’m going to put 100%.” And she was like, “That’s what they did. They’re not expecting to get somebody that’s 100%, and you have other skills that make up for the pieces that are missing.” And I’m like, “Okay, I hear you. I’m still really nervous about applying for this.”

But I think that’s something that, especially women, we need to be better about applying for things. Maybe we only fit 80% of the job requirements or the job description that’s posted. You have to go in with, “Okay, if I were posting for a similar role tomorrow, would I post all of the things that would make a 100% candidate in the job description, or would I post a limited subset?” And I think all of us would probably post everything because we don’t know what kind of mix we’re going to get from the applicant pool. You have no idea. So you have to look at it from the person who’s hiring, not from the people who are applying. You have to look at it through their lens, and they probably hopefully don’t expect to get an entire pool of applicants that are all 100%.

Mike:
No, that’s a great answer and a great viewpoint and I’m sure you’ve been part of teams that are hiring or even done direct hiring. I think one of the things when I’ve done it in the past, the biggest quality you’re looking for in the person isn’t that they check all the boxes. To be honest with you, if they did, I’d worry that they’d get bored in the job because they can just show up and it’s like, “Hit a home run every day. This isn’t hard. Why did I join?” And then they go on and do something else. I think it’s more of what is their thought process on the stuff that they know they don’t know how to do, but are willing to tackle it anyway.

Shannon:
Yeah, I would much rather have somebody join the team and not be completely confident in every scenario and know that they’re going to need to learn in certain scenarios, then have somebody who’s bored out of their mind. They’re looking at every day like, okay-

Mike:
Because the job’s too easy.

Shannon:
Yeah, you don’t want them to be checked out. You want them to be engaged and challenged, and you want them to feel supported, but you want them to grow too. Growing isn’t just growing your title. Growing is growing in role.

Mike:
Oh yes. So speaking of growing in role, how did you know when you wanted to move on from a role?

Shannon:
So I became that person who was looking at the calendar like, “Okay, when am I having fun this week? When am I going to be able to sink my teeth into something that’s a little bit more challenging?” And I think at different points in my career, I’ve hit that, I’ll say that’s kind of a wall, but you look at the variables that are within your control versus the job that you’re in. And so if you look at the job description and you feel really comfortable with knowing most of the job description and knowing that a good chunk of it are things that you’d like to leave in the past, then I think it’s time to look at what else you might be able to find that fits whatever you’re seeking. But that’s a really tricky one too, because sometimes you really love the team that you’re on, or you really love the customers that you’re supporting or the processes that you’re building cool stuff for, and you have to do some soul-searching.

I had a really wise mentor tell me that you should be always running towards something and never running away from something. So when I look at my career changes, there were definitely times in the past where I was running away. I was like, “You know what? This is terrible. I hate everything that I’m doing. I need to make a shift.” And I just took the first thing that came up, and if you look at my resume, you can guess which ones those were because I didn’t last very long in the role that I took. Whereas when I was running towards an opportunity, I usually lasted a lot longer and I had a lot more fun, and I felt like I was learning a lot more.

Mike:
I am reminded of… So during the pandemic, there was that app that you could request. You could pay a nominal fee and a celebrity would send you a video. I’m blanking on it, Cameo. Have you ever heard of that app, Cameo?

Shannon:
I want to say yes, but I don’t know if it’s the same app, but I’m very familiar with the concept because I was looking at singing telegrams that you can order.

Mike:
Oo, fun. This is not that. I happen to be on Cameo during the pandemic and a bunch of celebrities went to it. There is a race car driver, Leah Pruett, who drives an NHRA, which is the top level of drag racing. She’s also a sponsor of Dodge. But I sent the money in because she was doing a fundraiser for an animal shelter in Arizona where she lived, and I very much support animal shelters. And I was like, “Yes, they need money, and I will get a Cameo from Leah.” The thing she sent back is reminiscent of what you just said. She reminded me that buffaloes, when a storm is coming, always face into the storm because they would rather see what’s coming at them than run away from it. And that has stuck with me similar to what you just said. You’d rather run towards the problem than away from it.

Shannon:
That is really cool. They sound really brave. It makes sense, they’re buffaloes.

Mike:
Yeah, they’re huge. I feel bad for the storm, but just that analogy has always stuck with me because it does make you think of… There’s a lot of metaphors when you’re doing career stuff and when you’re searching through and you’re looking at job descriptions and applying for jobs, which can be incredibly hard because it feels like you’re taking inventory of yourself. You’re like, “I don’t have anything that’s amazing.” I guess it can be tough, but face into what you’re trying to do as opposed to run away from it.

Shannon:
Yeah, I think with what you just said, trying to take inventory of all of your skills, I think what I’ve been doing the last couple of times that I’ve changed roles or I’ve asked for more is I don’t do that. So I created, I guess, it was in 2020, I was a part of an internal women’s leadership thing, and they made us create vision boards, and I created a vision board. And when I tell you I manifested everything on that vision board, I’m really proud. I put a house in the middle of it and we bought a house. Instead of looking at what I’m capable of today, I started writing down and really following law of attraction, here are the things that I know I can do, or here are the things that I’m going to be able to do. And then working my way into the spaces or the conversations or the skills, building those skills for tomorrow.
So they say all the time, we’ve all heard the phrase, fake it till you make it. That doesn’t mean walk-

Mike:
Yep, I’ve said it.

Shannon:
Yeah, it doesn’t mean walk around and lie to people and tell them that you’re something that you’re not. But if you just own it and you behave as if, it’s so surprising just how far you can get through or how many things will just come your way. I don’t even know if I’m making any sense right now.

Mike:
No, I’ve often thought that term has been misinterpreted into imposter syndrome, into just pretend until you are successful. You had on your vision board, a house. If you walk around life like you own the house or you own the space that you’re in, you act and think and do differently.

Shannon:
Yes.

Mike:
And that’s what it means. Doesn’t mean tell your friends, “I just bought a house.” It means, no, if you’re going to own a house, act like you own a house and the place that you rent, treat it like it’s your house. Because then when you get a house, you’re already going to know how to act. You’re already going to have that mindset. That’s what I think it means. I think it’s been misinterpreted for a long time.

Shannon:
Absolutely. Yeah, so now that we’ve just taught a masterclass on how to consult in three minutes, I think everybody needs to send you a check. But no, so it’s really funny, there really is a parallel there. I’m talking to the admins who want to get into consulting right now, so if you’re not one of them, you can stick around. But if you’re an admin and you feel nervous energy about moving into a consulting role like I did a few years ago, several years ago now, but you just pretend that you’re a consultant already. And I know I used the word pretend, but just what would a consultant do in most situations in your current role that you’re not already doing? Would they document things differently? Would they be more curious about why things are a certain way? Would they ask for, I guess, additional supplemental reasons for things to be done differently or for processes to be shifted? I think what are the skills that a consultant might bring to your every day similar to the house simile or metaphor?

Mike:
I think metaphor.

Shannon:
Metaphor, yeah. Similar to the house metaphor, if you’re a homeowner, you’re going to care about certain things. Are the schools good in my area? What are the property taxes like? Blah, blah, blah. You should be thinking with that mindset, the I’m a consultant mindset in your day-to-day now, practicing for tomorrow, practicing for the future. It’s the same way with leadership. Show up as a leader, even if you don’t lead anything, I barely lead my dog, but show up as a leader. What does a leader do? How are the best leaders behaving? And how are they behaving differently to you? And you don’t have to delegate things to be a leader. That’s not leadership. But you can provide insight. When somebody asks you a question, you can pause and answer thoughtfully.

Think about the strategy behind certain decisions and why certain things might be messaged a certain way or why you might want to message something a certain way. I think when you start showing up as blah, blah, blah, that’s when people will see you as blah, blah, blah, fill in the blank. But it’s such a game changer when you start to think like that. It’s almost like magic.

Mike:
It just changes your perception. You think differently and you stop and take stock in what you’re trying to do. It’s worked for me.

Shannon:
Absolutely.

Mike:
We’ve covered a million things and then not really, but some. If Shannon from seven years ago was listening to this podcast, obviously at some point you did something to change your career. For an admin that’s listening to this podcast and thinking, “Okay, I’ve been an admin for three or four years, maybe I want to move on, or I’m definitely ready to move on,” what’s the one thing they should do after they listen to this?

Shannon:
I think figure out what it is that you are most excited for in the possible future. And then try to connect the dots from where you are today to where that possible future is and fill in what are the rungs and the ladder you’re going to have to climb and the steps to get to those rungs. So if you want to become a consultant, I think the very first thing you can do is look at what it means to be a consultant. And like I said, how consultants show up differently than you might show up? Or maybe they show up the exact same way. That’s up to you.

But if you want to become an IT leader, that’s a little bit different skillset. So what are the things that an IT leader needs to know about or needs to care about? And where are the gaps there? And how do you fill those gaps? And then how can you show up as if? And I think that it’s exactly what we just talked through. It’s just figuring out what your goal is and then how can you start to grow into that space even before you take a leap. You can do things tomorrow to be closer to your goal.

Mike:
I think that’s really good advice.

Shannon:
Thank you.

Mike:
And maybe do a mood board.

Shannon:
Yeah, mood board, vision board.

Mike:
Vision board.

Shannon:
Have a swim buddy.

Mike:
Swim buddy.

Shannon:
Yeah, I think all of these things are really helpful. You know what we’re getting at, but we haven’t said it?

Mike:
Oh, please tell me.

Shannon:
I think the number one thing you can do to change your life career-wise or other, is just believe in yourself. We tell ourselves so many lies every day. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough, I’m not educated enough, I’m not experienced enough. And I think when you flip it and you start saying, “I am good enough, and here are the things that I’m going to achieve. I am smart enough and here’s what I know. Or I’m experienced enough, and here’s the things that I’ve done.” When you flip it and you start telling yourself the good things, it is a shift. It is what we’re saying without saying it is behaving as if.

Mike:
I can’t think of a better way to end the podcast. Thanks Shannon for coming on and inspiring myself and others to believe in ourselves.

Shannon:
Yeah, believe in yourself. I believe in you.

Mike:
Believe in yourself. It’s the thing we don’t tell ourselves enough. Wow. Tell me you heard that when you listened to this episode, because I got goosebumps when Shannon said that. I think it was 100% on the money and growing isn’t just growing a title, but it’s also growing in your role. I really enjoyed this episode. This was so much fun to talk with Shannon, who’s very experienced and has changed careers and been very thoughtful about her progression. So I appreciate that she came on. Now, I need you to do one thing. Please share this episode with somebody because sharing is caring. Do you have thoughts about this episode? Let us know in the Trailblazer community. You want to learn more about what you’ve heard today? Check out admin.salesforce.com. That’s it for today, but stay tuned for next week’s episode where we’re joined by Lizz Hellinga to get her take on why clean data is so important for AI.

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