Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’ve got the one and only Mike Gerholdt with us to discuss his TrailheaDX presentation on navigating your Salesforce career.
More about this Insights session: why building a career is more like collecting puzzle pieces than following a map, and the advice that Mike gave to his friend who is looking to change careers.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Mike Gerholdt and Gillian Bruce.
Connecting the dots of a career.
If you hadn’t heard, we threw a little party in San Francisco called TrailheaDX, and Mike gave a talk about forging your Salesforce career. “One thing that everybody has in common in our Ohana is how we came to Salesforce and how we are navigating the way that we find the jobs we love,” Mike says. “There’s times in your life where you listen to something, it catches you, and you’re drawn to it for the rest of your career, whether that’s a mentor or a speech or a philosophy,” and for Mike that was Steve Jobs’ commencement address in 2005: “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 the future.”
Mike started his career in retail selling hats, found his way into test assessment in the mid-aughts, and eventually ended up at an assessment company where he met a Salesforce Admin who put him on the path that landed him in his career (and on this podcast). “My path and how I got here are different,” Mike says, “you can’t look at the things people did to put the puzzle of their life together, you have to look deeper: what did they learn while they were doing it? What was their takeaway from doing a job?”
Mike’s advice if you’re just getting started.
Mike recently sat down and reconnected with a longtime friend who was looking to change careers. Now, his friend doesn’t necessarily view himself as a techie, but Mike pushed back: “Everything we do with Trailhead you can do, you have the business acumen so let’s get started.”
So Mike sat down to put together some links to get his friend started with Salesforce. The first link he included was to the YouTube video about Ohana culture because that’s really what it’s all about. The next few links were for Trailhead, a Trailmix, an explainer about what a Trailmix is, all that. But to wrap it all up, Mike included two Trailblazer stories: the amazing video about Mark Tossel, and the Salesforce Admins episode where Mike interviewed Zach Otero. The point being, if these people can do it then you can too.
Step back and learn from top to bottom.
“As you’re navigating your career, a lot of people only think about how to get to the next rung, but you forget that sometimes the rung you’re at is pretty awesome,” Mike says. Getting farther in your career will come, but you also need to enjoy where you are right now.
Instead, focusing on adding skills and really diving into where you are now. “What I tell a lot of people that I mentor is that once you have the badge, go build and replicate that,” Mike says, “oftentimes people get too caught up in checking things off of a list, but the ones who take a step back and learn things top-to-bottom are the ones who go far.” There’s nothing wrong with planning where you’re trying to go, “but if you plan it out you might be missing other things that come up,” Mike says, “and they could be wonderful opportunities that you’re missing out on because they’re not in the plan.”
- Build Your Career in the Salesforce Ecosystem Trail: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/trails/build-your-career-with-salesforce-skills
- Learn Drucker School MBA Essentials Trail: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/trails/drucker_school
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