Salesforce Career Seekers: Don’t stay in neutral

Neutral: Scrolling, reading and just liking content is not the gear you want to be on LinkedIn.

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You won’t go anywhere and may even start rolling backwards.

Start shifting those gears…

You never know who may be paying attention to what you’re saying, doing, contributing or engaging with/on.

Take your foot off the clutch and let the world and possible employers see that you’re moving forward.

Have no fear, an opportunity is near, just get your rear, in 1st gear.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Strengths or Weaknesses

One challenge I think we often have is, where do we focus our time and energy when it comes to our skills and inherent abilities.

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Do we work on identifying and improving our weaknesses or continue to zone in, refine and further build upon our existing strengths?

We see this being asked when it comes to what our next Salesforce certification should be or where should I go next in my career.

I don’t believe there is one perfect answer, but as long as we’re moving forward, rather than backward or staying stagnant in our current work, we’re headed in the right direction.

This thought conceived when I was doggy paddling in the gym pool yesterday attempting to swim when I’m traditionally a runner.

Keep moving forward, with or without swim floaties…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: “We Decided To Go In A Different Direction”

I hate that answer…

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Don’t you?!

I was told that yesterday.

What does that even mean? I have no idea.

But, who cares? Let’s not worry about it.

Let’s do this instead:

* Be thankful that they were impressed enough to schedule an interview (maybe my resume is actually quite good)

* Add those that I met to my LinkedIn network (for future relationship building)

* Find a better opportunity that would be more fulfilling (smaller/bigger organization, more/less structured, better hours, etc.)

* Finish that project I’ve been putting off (cleaning the garage, sorting my mismatched socks)

* Analyze the results internally and make some adjustments for next time (build my emotional muscles)

* Connect with new organizations and people (wow, I never knew they had an office here)

* Further research those topics that were discussed during the interview to expand my knowledge and potential (Apex – what the heck is that, I better check it out)

You can go in a different direction too!

Or maybe, you’re not in the mood for any of the above:

No problem…

Go for a long walk, then write a little, then sing out loud, then:

Go eat a chocolate cupcake!

Better direction awaits…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Be Quick To The Point

Or rather, be the 1st to respond.

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To have a better shot at a new opportunity.

Recruiters often stick and move all day long.

Usually, the 1st qualified applicant that responds starts the conversation and possibly the submission process.

Sure, you might get ghosted, ignored, and whatever else, you can’t control that.

Control what you can control, which is your promptness.

Maybe some Vanilla Ice lyrics will help:

“Quick to the point to the point no faking

You’re cooking those recruiters like a pound of bacon”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Cover Letters

I was asked to review a cover letter last week, which I don’t do that often, but glad I did to share some ideas:

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* Make it as specific as possible, not just one version and change out the company and job title.

* Share your knowledge on what you’ve learned about the company’s goals, accomplishments and accolades or the industries and customers they serve, and the expertise and value proposition they offer.

* Specify why you’re interested as it directly relates to them and their mission. Possibly use wording and phrases that they’ve already used in their marketing material without going overboard.

* Take the top 3 requirements of the position and speak directly to how you have met those (provide examples or links to work if you can).

* Be less “you” and more “them” to speak to how they can accomplish greater success with having you on board (again based on your previous track record).

All this with the goal of being concrete, succinct and interesting, as you have about 5 seconds of their attention.

Or to summarize it nicely, as the motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, often said: “Be a meaningful specific, rather than a wandering generality.”

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Salesforce Certifications – if you’re setting out this year to get more, below are some questions you might want to ask yourself.

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The intent is not to persuade or dissuade, rather to help ensure you’ve thought about the process (aka your time), your goals and the associated benefits.

Why am I getting it?

Am I choosing or is it being forced?

Is what I’m doing really learning? or just memorization?

Is it about curiosity and passion or just accreditation?

Will it help me, my organization, my peers, in the long run?

Could I be using my time more effectively? If so, doing what?

Does it make me more valuable?

Will it open more doors?

Does it translate well into career advancement?

Do I know others who have seen more success because of it?

Does it make me a differentiator when evaluated against my peers for a promotion or during an interview?

What is my end goal with another certification?

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Salesforce Connectivity

No, I don’t mean how to connect Marketing Cloud to Service Cloud.

Rather, the connectivity of people.

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As big as the Salesforce ecosystem may seem, I believe it’s actually quite small based on how connected it is.

People talk, connect and share ideas, experiences and stories.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

If we’re not providing qualitative feedback to those who interview and do not get hired for the position, word spreads, possibly causing company’s reputations on culture being damaged, or even the hiring authority’s credibility to be reduced.

Maybe, we can do better this year, especially to those who are looking for their 1st opportunity.

The feedback they receive, however akward or difficult it is to give, could be just the right ingredient they need.

I think Martin Luther King, Jr. said it eloquently: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be, until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality”.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The “right” connections and conversations

Are you spending your time connecting and speaking with those that can get you a little closer to your 1st opportunity or are you reaching out to everyone and anyone that has Salesforce somewhere tied to their title/LI Profile?

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A few thoughts:

1. Many companies do not use external recruiters, those that do, are looking for those they cannot find themselves, typically that’s the needle in the haystack, you know the all in one: “Admineveloperarchitectbusinessanalysttrainertesteroperationalstrategist”

2. Companies that are looking to fill entry level positions will often use their own network, alumni programs and internal connections and referrals to find someone.

3. Salesforce recruiters are everywhere (or so it seems), most do the majority of their work in their respective geographical region where they have the closest relationships with companies. The odds that a recruiter located in Chicago will have a direct opportunity in Jackson, Mississippi where you live, is pretty slim (although they might have a colleague managing that region based on size).

While you never know where one conversation will lead, please make sure that you’re using your time and outreach approach effectively in your pursuit.

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Experienced Salesforce Professionals: New Year, New Possibilities?

Almost 2 weeks into 2020 and I have been asked to review and provide my opinion on more resumes than usual.

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Maybe it’s just that time of the year…

The question is: is there anything holding you back?

If you’re unsure on what you want to do, or where you want to go, maybe dip your toe in the water, it may be ice cold, lukewarm or boiling hot, but you’ll need to take off your stilettos and penny loafers, to find out.

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable” ~Seneca (Roman Stoic Philosopher)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You Can’t Walk Your Way Off The Island

Huh?

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This statement is an adage that is embraced in Latin America for up and coming baseball players who have dreams to make it to major league baseball.

Which means, they needed to swing hard and often…taking a base on balls isn’t enough.

As Roberto Clemente (Hall of Fame Hitter) once said (paraphrased): “Outside, inside, ankle high, at the head, it doesn’t matter, we’re swinging.”

I think this is the same approach you should have as you continue your Salesforce career search.

Take every conversation, every interview, every opportunity, every pitch, to swing your way into your 1st position.

100% on-site, help-desk, part-time, data cleansing, evenings, weekends, a lower than desired wage, lack of benefits, 1 hour commute by bus, train, walking, relocating, sweeping floors 70% of the time and Salesforce related work 30%

Any and every pitch that’s thrown your way.

If you’re not swinging at them all, someone else is…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Inspiring and Motivational Quotes to Share

While some of us are internally motivated, I think many of us want or could use a little help to get us through the occasional troubling times that we’re currently facing or might experience in the future.

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Below are a list of quotes (some slightly improvised) from Jim Rohn, who’s considered America’s foremost business philosopher who wrote the book: “The Treasury Of Quotes”, where I chose the top ones that I felt might be the most helpful for you.

Movement/Activity/Labor:  🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

·      You must act, God said, “if you don’t move, I don’t move”.

·      The few who do are the envy of the many that watch.

Basics/Fundamentals: 🧮

·      Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day. Failure is simply a few errors in judgement repeated every day. 

Career/Marketplace: 💻

·      We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. It takes time to bring value, we get paid for the value, not the time.

·      Where you are currently, is not where you have to stay.

·      The worst days of those who enjoy what they do are better than the best days of those who don’t.

·      You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.

Communication: 💬

·      Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% in how you feel about what you know.

·      Communication is the ability to affect other people with words.

Desire/Motivation: 🙌

·      Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate them, now you have a motivated idiot.

Education/Learning: 📚

·      Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.

Sharing Your Work:  ✌️

·      Nothing teaches character better than generosity

Goal Setting: 🥅

·      The value obtaining a goal makes out of you will always outweigh the goal itself.

Happiness: 😊

·      Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.

·      Happiness is the art of learning how to get joy from your substance.

Health: 🧑‍⚕️

·      Make sure the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you.

·      Take good care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.

Influence/Association:  🤼

·      You must constantly ask yourself: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking Most importantly: What do they have me becoming and is that okay?

·      Some people you can afford to spend a few minutes with, but not a few hours.

Journals: 📒

·      Don’t use your mind for a filing cabinet. Use your mind to work out problems and find answers; file away those good ideas in a journal.

Leadership/Management: 👑

·      Be strong, not rude; Be kind, but not weak; Be bold, but not a bully; Be thoughtful, but not lazy; Be humble, but not timid; Be proud, but not arrogant; Be humorous, but not insulting

·      Start with where people are before you try to take them where you want them to go.

·      Lead the way by personal example.

·      Managers help people to see themselves as they are. Leaders help people to see themselves better than they are.

Personal Development: 📖

·      How long should you try? Until.

·      What you become directly influences what you get.

·      The most important question to ask on the job is not: “What am I getting?”, rather “What am I becoming?”

·      It’s not what happens that determines the major part of your future. What happens, happens to us all. It is what you do about what happens that counts.

·      Your paycheck is your responsibility not your employers. Your employer has no control over your value, but you do.

·      You should do more than what you get paid for, as that’s where the fortune lives.

Problem Solving: ➕➗➖

·      To solve any problem, here are 3 questions to ask yourself: What could I try? What could I read? Who could I ask?

·      The best place to solve a problem is on paper.

Time Management: ⌛

·      Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it, and spend it rather than invest it.

·      Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy.

Hopefully, some of these made an impact for you as you continue down your Salesforce career journey.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Please check out this video!

By Stephen Church, Salesforce Administrator, as this is one of the best that I’ve seen.

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In ~11 minutes, it highlights:

* His approach to landing his 1st Salesforce position

* How he stood out with creativity

* His understanding and awareness that he did not have any hands-on experience and what to do about it by creating a custom application

* How he identified what most employers are looking for in an Admin and how to build a solution that included a data model, page layouts, security, automation and other features

* The use of diagrams, videos and screenshots (using simplicity)

* Identifying future enhancements to have an agile, continuous improvement mindset

* And many other valuable lessons

While this process is not the end all, be all, I strongly believe the work he put into this, helped him lead the field and land his 1st opportunity.

YOU can definitely do the same.

Thank you to Andy Davidson, MBA, for introducing me to Stephen and the excellent job Stephen did putting this together, along with the opportunity for me to share it with others.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19JNi4I5KNYCKsM3XGryxeCmnAMYG9M3s/view

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Few Lessons from Misters Rogers’ Neighborhood

In learning a little more about the symbolism that was provided to us in the children’s television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that lasted over 30 seasons, 900 episodes, from 1968 to 2001 winning multiple Emmy’s, I believe there’s a few lessons that might apply to your Salesforce Career Journey.

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Blinking Yellow Stoplight = Slowing Down

In the beginning of every episode a stoplight is shown, blinking yellow.  As we deal with constant digital interruptions and always being on the “go” moving from one task to another, Mr. Rogers wanted to help enforce the need to slow down and take time to think for ourselves. Rather than always working on your next certification or that next Salesforce badge, slow down and think about creative ways to help you either advance your Salesforce career or to land your 1st Salesforce position. 

Maybe each morning, spending 10-15 minutes to write some creative ideas down to try, these ideas are unique to you. Rather than using specifically what a Trailhead or any other blog might suggest, trying using these as an initial guide but then come up with your own creative solution/approach.

Egg Timer = Focusing On The Task At Hand

In one episode, Mr. Rogers would cook an egg, timing it for 60 seconds in silence to show his audience how long 1 minute is, as well as how to be quiet and still during that time. This quiet time and focus helps prevent any outside distractions from interfering with what you’re currently working on. It could be an egg timer for 1 minute or a stopwatch for 30 minutes, it’s the ability to tune out emails, text messages or phone calls that will allow deeper focus on your current work.

Look For The Helpers = Mr. Rogers Would Turn To His Neighbors For Help

Whether it’s the postman, the policeman, the milkman or anyone else that was in his neighborhood, he would have them be a part of his show to teach his audience new things while carrying on an interesting and informative conversation about a specific topic.  In your Salesforce career search, are you turning to others to help you? While there’s plenty of information written already on various Salesforce topics, connecting with others and having a meaningful conversation to look for help and guidance can be a powerful process in your Salesforce career progression.

There’s many more lessons from this hit show, these were a few that seemed to have relevancy to your Salesforce career. Lastly, as he closed every episode, he told his audience:

“You’ve made this day a special day, by just you being you”.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You Control How You Show Up

In the spirit of the NFL playoffs and the controversial call (or lack thereof) between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, that some may say cost the Saints the game, the refs not making the correct call was out of the players, coaches, owners, and fans control.

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For you as a Salesforce Career Seeker, you not being offered the position after the interview is also out of your control.

What is in your control is how you show up and present yourself.

Were you as prepared as you could have been?

Were you on-time or even early?

Did you articulate answers to questions as thoroughly as you could and show humility on those you could not?

Were you able to present confidence and exuberance without coming across as egotistical?

Did you do more listening than talking, and not cut anyone off mid-sentence?

Did you thank them for their time even if you didn’t get the position with long-term relationship building in mind?

The Saints will try again next season and you’ll have your next interview sooner than that…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Some Good Success Verbs for Your Resume (and a few other ideas)
  • Accelerated
  • Achieved
  • Contributed
  • Delivered
  • Eliminated
  • Exceeded
  • Grew
  • Improved
  • Maximized
  • Optimized
  • Produced
  • Sold
  • Streamlined

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  • Add a numerical accomplishment if you can. $, %, Time/Money Saved, Processes Eliminated, etc.
  • As you review your resume accomplishments, craft it to persuade an employer to hire you based on the benefits you have delivered. Even read them out loud saying: “You should hire me for this position because I…”
  • Your resume doesn’t just relay what you’ve already accomplished, but rather to help an employer envision what you can do in the future.

More context on this subject can be found here:
https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/the-ceo-of-ladders-reveals-surprising secret-of-crafting-a-winning-resume-that-will-get-you-your-next-job.html

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Providing A Reason to Listen

Below is a quote that I think is relevant to your career search:

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“You cannot sell to someone who isn’t listening; word of mouth is the best medium of all; and dullness won’t sell your product/service, but neither will irrelevant brilliance.” ~Bill Bernbach (Pioneered creative advertising for Volkswagen – Think Small, Avis – We Try Harder, Life Cereal – Mikey Likes It)

Questions to think about from this quote:

1. How are you getting a hiring manager or HR to listen? It probably won’t be by yelling or pestering the same message: “Pick me” more or louder.

2. How are you using and amplifying the medium of word of mouth to get you a little closer to an interview? Can you be referred in, are you building relevant relationships through networking?

3. How are you helping to ensure your message is not “dull”? Dull may also mean the same message as everyone else.

4. How is your brilliance relevant to where you’re applying or who you’re interviewing with? You have brilliance, but having a one size fits all resume as your only credential is not it.

Hope these ideas help as you strategize your career search this year.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Why Write?

Over the last few years, I’ve become a strong advocate of writing and I encourage you to try it as well.

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I believe writing allows you to decompress, as well as the opportunity to help others.

To summarize a stoic philosophical conversation:

A philosopher was asked:

“What was the objective of all the trouble over a piece of craftsmanship when it would never reach more than a few people?”

The philosopher answered: “A few is enough for me, so is one, so is none. I am writing this not for the many, rather for myself, or for you alone, for each of us is an audience for the other”.

This year, you might want to incorporate writing into your daily or weekly routine or at least when something is troubling you, to see if it helps gets you over whatever hurdle you’re facing.

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Experiencing Cold, Gloomy Winters In Your Salesforce Career Search?

In the U.S., we just hit the official season of winter, and for many of us, that brings the colder weather, gloomier days, along with the potential for a little less motivation to do the things we want/need to do in our Salesforce career search journey.

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If we relate the winter months to your career search and maybe you’re hitting some cold, windy, icy, overcast days without much sun (new opportunities) in the forecast, causing you to feel a little down and unmotivated. Especially, when you’re not getting a call back after the interview or receiving any responses after submitting your resume for a position that seems to be the perfect match for you.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~Anne Bradstreet (1st Puritan English Poet)

If this is the case for you and you’re hitting the winter season, remember that for the last 6000 years of recorded history, spring follows winter, which means brighter, warmer, sunnier days lie ahead.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” ~Hal Borland (American Author, Journalist and Naturalist)

It’s during these winter months where our tolerance is tested and patience to persevere matters the most and this is the time to double down on your career search efforts when others may not “be in the mood” to do so, leaving you at a distinct advantage.

“Winter forms our character and brings out our best.” ~ Tom Allen (American Politician and Author)

If we decide to neglect today’s undesirable climate and corresponding gloomy mood for a better, more appealing tomorrow, once the warmer weather is finally here, we might not be as prepared as we should/could have been. Therefore, the act of planning, executing and having the confidence now, so when spring arrives, the possibilities of new career opportunities can be made available to you.

“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” ~Pietro Aretino (Italian Playwright, Poet, Author)

The Winter Season In Your Salesforce Career Search

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Salesforce Career Seekers: For 2020…

If you’re looking for an idea (or New Years Resolution) for 2020, how about:

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Allowing yourself to get slightly more uncomfortable with your career search.

Being uncomfortable means something different to each of us, but whatever you did for 2019, can you add another step to the process to see if better results can be obtained?

Some suggestions:

* Write that/those article(s) that you’ve been thinking about but haven’t executed on.

* Build and display those apps that will show your creative side.

* Reach out (leave voicemails) to hiring managers/internal recruiters after applying for a position.

* Follow up on a position until you hear the final decision.

* Ask a local Salesforce professional out for coffee or lunch to build a new relationship.

* Collaborate with others on your job search asking for engagement and opinions.

* Ask another Salesforce career seeker to team up on a project together to hold each other accountable.

* Find an opportunity where you can bring out your inner leadership capabilities.

The list goes on…

“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do…” ~Seth Godin (American author, blogger, marketer)

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Creating Momentum: Amelia Earhart Style

Salesforce Career Seekers – are you creating momentum and continuously moving forward as you work towards launching your Salesforce career?

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Or are you waiting for that perfect position to be thrown your way that allows you to work from home, make or exceed what the inflated salary surveys suggest, and jump right into a role that utilizes the certifications that you’ve spent hours and days studying to help show employers you have the necessary Salesforce skills to make an impact?

Maybe this story will help put things in perspective:

Amelia Earhart wanted to be a great aviator, but it was the 1920’s where women were often still considered frail, weak and women suffrage was just beginning, but she had one goal in mind: to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

She knew she couldn’t make a living as a pilot on day 1, so she took a job as a social worker.

Then one day she received a call… 

We have someone willing to fund the first female transatlantic flight, our first choice backed out, you won’t really be flying, rather just riding as two men will be flying and they will be getting paid and you will not. Oh, and you might die.

Guess what? She said “Yes!”.

After the flight she was interviewed and said:

“I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes. Maybe, someday I’ll try it alone…”

Amelia knew she needed to get started somehow, someway, somewhere and she didn’t care if the conditions were perfect or ideal, she felt deep down that the momentum would continue and this trip was needed in order to move forward with her dream.

5 years later, she accomplished her goal and was the first woman to complete a nonstop transatlantic flight as a pilot, solo. 

As a Salesforce career seeker, are you taking every opportunity to move forward or are you waiting for a better situation to come along?

Could you be doing more to get some better traction in your journey?

Could you reach out and connect to more decision makers, could you go to more Salesforce networking events and consistently show up, could you build more apps to illustrate that you know how to figure things out by solving problems, are you thinking of creative ways to be a differentiator in the competitive Salesforce job market? 

Or are you just waiting for that 100% remote, Salesforce Admin Day 1 position, offering $80K with 4 weeks PTO and a company Tesla?

If you want momentum, it’s up to you to create it.

Those who attack challenges with the most energy, initiative and creativity, win.

Amelia understood this as well as many other successful high-achievers.

Keep moving forward.

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” ~Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart – Los Angeles – 1926

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Write It Down

You’re never going into an interview empty handed, right?! but are you also leaving the interview without anything new written down?

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Suggestion: before the interview, make a mental note to write a few keywords that are being asked/discussed during the interview, hopefully without interrupting the flow.

I believe this shows that you are engaged in the conversation, you stand out, as well as showing your studious side.

After the interview is over, reflect and expand on those keywords, while writing a few sentences about the topic, maybe what questions were asked and if you recall how you answered and how you felt while discussing them.

I think you’ll find a pattern in some of the questions that get asked, as well as some self-reflection, and it will also help you prepare for your next interview.

Bonus: write a post-interview summary article on LinkedIn to share with your connections to bring forth additional insights and conversations.

“Journaling helps you to become a better version of yourself” ~Asad Meah (Blogger of AwakenTheGreatnessWithin)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?

Salesforce Career Seekers – as you continue your journey to land your Salesforce position, what’s your story?

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Do you have one? If so, is it compelling, not compelling to you, but to those that are interviewing you?

There are many Salesforce professionals looking to tell their story, but it’s not yours. Think about yours and how it might be relatable and appreciated, because it’s all yours.

Does it allow the Hiring Manager, HR, other personnel (whoever you’re speaking with) tell their boss that they want to move forward with you in the hiring process?

Is there any fear or tension created that if they don’t hire you, they might be missing out on something special?

Not with arrogance layered within it, rather with confidence that you’re the right individual to get the job done and make their lives easier based on your story telling.

What would you like them to tell their boss behind closed doors? That’s the message you want to convey, that’s the story you want to perfect and have them understand clearly.

Many times, that interaction, that story, that dialogue, is what they’ll remember, not so much just what’s on your resume, your certifications, badges, etc.

If telling your story didn’t come across as you thought, planned, or rehearsed. That’s OK, there will be more opportunities to tell it again. Fortunately, you can hear it and perfect it over and over to yourself.

Remember, your story is your unique story, it may not be appreciated by all, heck, it may not even be appreciated by many, but it will be appreciated by some (or a few, or just 1), and your goal in your Salesforce career journey is to find those that need you and your story to be a part of their organization.

Perfect, rehearse and refine your story…Morning Glory.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Did you miss the career fair at Dreamforce this year?

Don’t worry, be happy…

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Below is the Quip doc of all the employers that were there (over 60 of them) and what open roles they’re hiring for: https://lnkd.in/ekrk5BE

Over the holidays, you might want to review this list and make a connection (or follow) the hiring managers, other employees and internal recruiters to keep on eye on their LI postings for further engagement for the new year.

Tip: if you cannot determine who to connect to, review their profiles to see how active they already are on LI and focus your time on those individuals.

2020 is your year for a rewarding Salesforce career.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Not Hearing Back After The Interview?

If you’ve interviewed yesterday, here’s probably what’s happened since then:

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The hiring manager’s heart beat ~104,000 times, their blood travelled ~168,000 miles, their lungs inhaled ~23,000 times, they’ve used ~7,000,000 of their ~9,000,000,000 brain cells, and spoken ~4,800 words (~20 may have been about you).

This doesn’t include the ~65 emails they received, ~10 phone calls or text messages, ~3 new fires they have to now put out at home or in the office.

Among all of this, you, as a career seeker want to find out where things stand.

It may not be an immediate priority at the moment.

Please be patient, give the hiring manager a little room, they have a lot going on, and there’s a good chance you may need to ask more than once.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Do You Have A Strategy In Mind To Land Your 1st Position?

As Neil Armstrong once stated: “You only need to solve 2 problems when going to the moon.  First, how to get there, second, how to get back. The key is don’t leave until you know how to get back”.

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In our case, you’re also working on solving 2 problems:

1. Getting to the moon: how to get educated and re-skilled on the Salesforce platform

2. Getting back to earth: how to land your 1st Salesforce position

As you put the time and energy into #1, in parallel, please also start putting a strategy in place to accomplish #2.

Inevitably, #2 will most likely be longer, harder, and more frustrating than #1, but Neil and Buzz accomplished both, why can’t you?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interview Questions That Involved Prior Research

I’m curious to know if you were recently asked a question during an interview that you could have known (or actually did know) ahead of time based on your research.

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What were those questions?

I’m not referring to experience, technical, behavioral or circumstantial, but more along the lines of:

“What do you know about us?”

“Do you know what we do?”

“Why did you decide to apply here?”

“How did you hear about our company?”

“Do you know how we use Salesforce?”

etc.

The intent is to hopefully prepare those who are actively interviewing to take note and have written responses to these.

Thank you.

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” ~Margaret Fuller (19th Century Women’s Rights Activist)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Credibility

As we go into the holiday season, one area you may want to continue to put some additional thought around is, how to increase your credibility in your Salesforce career journey into 2020.

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While there’s many facets that go into a successful interview (personality, attitude, background, experience, communication, etc.), and some you cannot change as they’re in the past, credibility can continue to be built by demonstrating (showing your work), speaking to (providing examples/stories) and being referred in (building connections).

Credibility leads to trust which leads to less risk in a hiring manager making a decision.

Suggestion: come up with a game plan on how to increase your credibility for 2020.

Then execute.

Day by day, week by week, month by month.

As you chip away, your confidence will build and so will your credibility.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Post-Interview Follow-Up Cadence

If you’ve had an interview, how are you following up?

While I don’t believe there’s one approach that trumps them all, here’s 1 suggestion:

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1. Within 24 hours of the interview, thanking them for their time.

2. Within 1 week to ask if any decisions have been made and if there are any additional questions or misunderstandings you could address.

3. Within 2 weeks if #2 above was not addressed.

<If you did not get the position, there may still be some potential, don’t give up…>

4. After hearing they decided on another candidate, follow up within 2 weeks of hearing that message, as that candidate may have fell through.

5. If the position was confirmed to be filled, follow up 30-45 days after hearing that message as there are times when things didn’t work out as intended.

6. 90-120 days after #5, stay connected as there could have been other changes internally, another position opening up, etc.

7. Semi-annually to continue to build the relationship, regardless of what your current situation is (landed something else, etc.), you’ve made that connection, stay in touch.

With following up, the intent is to build, maintain, nurture and stay top of mind, while also differentiating yourself from others.

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Adverse Impact To Credential Inflation In The Salesforce Job Market

Credential inflation refers to the devaluation of educational or academic credentials over time and a corresponding decrease in the expected advantage given a degree holder in the job market. Credential inflation is thus similar to price inflation, and describes the declining value of earned certificates and degrees. ~Wikipedia

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While I’m far from an economist, this past week I learned more about credential inflation and the negative downstream impacts this might be having on the Salesforce job market. Credential inflation can lead to NOT what’s considered a candidate job market (where the candidate has the upper hand in being able to pick and choose what organization to work for) but rather the opposite where it’s leaning heavily in favor to an employer’s job market (allowing the employer to have the final say in how they want to recruit talent in), specifically when it comes to the inexperienced Salesforce talent pool.

When obtaining a Salesforce credential can be achieved from passing an exam causing a mass influx of certification holders, employers in return need to raise the entry gate for an applicant to be considered, with the hopes to reduce the number of applicants that apply. Therefore, resulting in most job descriptions requiring 2+ years of experience rather than entry-level. The cause and effect phenomenon.

Another potential indication of the devaluation of certifications is the gap (i.e. hardship) between what was needed for a newcomer 3+ years ago and the time and resources they had to spend searching, interviewing, etc. before landing a Salesforce position compared to those who are looking to get in now. Additionally, the “Accidental Admins” may not be as prevalent as they once were, as companies are able to find and hire experienced Salesforce Admins if desired, where as prior years the supply may not have been so readily available.

Of the millions of jobs that are expected to be made available with the Salesforce (cloud) economy, how many of those will ever be made available to the inexperienced talent pool raising the question: is the over-abundance in credentialing leading to a devaluation of said Salesforce certifications causing companies to take an adverse response?

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Being A Successful Contractor

If you’re thinking about becoming a contractor (not out of necessity but because that’s the path you’re choosing) please keep these thoughts in mind:

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You’re more expensive (or you should be compared to being a FTE), you’re probably not getting paid PTO, etc. and should be making up for the difference in your hourly rate.

Therefore, you’re also dispensable, under more scrutiny and have a constant target on your back.

Suggestions to help be successful:

1. Do not rock the boat, play into company politics or think what’s being said will be kept confidential (land mines exist)

2. Do not become complacent or feel “privileged”

3. Work more than you report (meaning, be professional but don’t nickel and dime, especially if it’s something you should already know)

4. ALWAYS stay engaged and find something valuable to do

5. Do NOT be an administrative P.I.T.A. (and I’m not referring to what’s served with Greek salad)

You can be terminated at any point and it may hit you broadsided along with not knowing the full reason why, but it’s typically due to one of the above.

Contracting can be a lucrative and rewarding career option, but thick skin, humility, and understanding where you stand in the internal hierarchy (the bottom) should be taken into consideration at all times.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Cyber Monday And You

As you go about your day browsing for those spectacular online deals, how often do you go into this process looking for one specific item, then potentially buy something that you had not planned for because you realized you could not pass it up?

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Think about this and how it relates to you, your career search and what a specific job description states.

Many times, a company and/or hiring manager are shopping around evaluating candidates and have a specific “type” in mind.

Skills, experience, salary expectations, professionalism, attitude, personality, etc.

But, they are also not sure what additional possibilities might be available.

That’s where you can show up in their “not planned for, but can’t pass up” shopping cart. Be that unplanned exception…

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Interview Setback? How Edison Dealt With Adversity

On December 10, 1914, Thomas Edison’s plant was engulfed in flames causing him to lose years of priceless records, work and prototypes.

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Thomas was at home and was alerted to hurry and get to his plant. He and his son quickly arrived to see everything he had worked for, disintegrate.

How did Edison respond?

He told his son:

“Go get your mother and all her friends, they’ll never see a fire like this before”.

What?!

When his son, Charles, objected, Edison said: 

“It’s alright, we’ve now gotten rid of a lot of rubbish”

While many thought Edison had lost his mind, with the right perspective and understanding that what happened was out of his control, he rebuilt his plant in 3 weeks and end up producing more products and revenue than he had ever done before.

I think this is a very relevant story on how we deal with adversity and setbacks, specifically when interviewing and not being offered the position.

Were you able to think about all the benefits that came from that interview?

  1. You learned how to prepare effectively and creatively by researching the company and coming up with thought provoking questions (maybe learning a new technique you can use for your next interview).
  2. You made new connections that you would have never met otherwise that you can keep in touch with and possibly have paths and opportunities cross again.
  3. You may have heard new interview questions that you had not heard before that you can review and rehearse for future interviews.
  4. Maybe you have someone in mind that would be a better fit, which will strengthen the relationship for all those involved.
  5. You acquired new information during the interview, telling you what you’re not looking (or don’t care) for in a position, management style, industry, type of company, etc.
  6. The commute was longer or more strenuous than you had intended which tells you that’s not a part of town that you’d be interested in working in.
  7. The interview process was a new one for you that you had not experienced before (panel, over video, 3 hours long versus 1, etc.) and you’ve learned how to present better.
  8. You received qualitative feedback that can be analyzed and possibly used to your advantage to improve your skills on.
  9. You’re becoming more comfortable speaking in front of others and being introduced to various personalities.
  10. You learned about a new technology or feature that you would have not otherwise been introduced to.

How are you finding and reflecting on the benefits of an unexpected outcome versus spending your time dwelling only on the negatives?

To do great things, as Edison has, we can learn from setbacks while also finding joy and a sense of accomplishment, if we’re able to approach them with the right perspective.

Edison and the fire that destroyed everything!

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Break Into Your Salesforce Career With Dreamforce

Salesforce Career Seekers – I was fortunate to catch another session today at Dreamforce offering a program for those looking to break into their Salesforce career.

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“CareerCircle was founded in the spirit of finding solutions to address the pending skills gap versus falling victim to it. With so many capable people wanting to find employment and employers needing partners to achieve their goals, CareerCircle is here to provide a bridge.”

Below is the slide I captured, a link to their site, along with my copyrighted rap (my royalty check is lost in the mail somewhere):

If you’re in a drought.
You’re not out.
You’ll never pout.
Without a doubt.
You’re gonna sprout.
Persist throughout.
Go show em your clout.
What you’re all about.
Here’s another route.
Check, check, check it out.

https://www.careercircle.com/

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Interview Setback? How Edison Dealt With Adversity

On December 10, 1914, Thomas Edison’s plant was engulfed in flames causing him to lose years of priceless records, work and prototypes.

Thomas was at home and was alerted to hurry and get to his plant. He and his son quickly arrived to see everything he had worked for, disintegrate.

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How did Edison respond?

He told his son:

“Go get your mother and all her friends, they’ll never see a fire like this before”.

What?!

When his son, Charles, objected, Edison said: 

“It’s alright, we’ve now gotten rid of a lot of rubbish”

While many thought Edison had lost his mind, with the right perspective and understanding that what happened was out of his control, he rebuilt his plant in 3 weeks and end up producing more products and revenue than he had ever done before.

I think this is a very relevant story on how we deal with adversity and setbacks, specifically when interviewing and not being offered the position.

Were you able to think about all the benefits that came from that interview?

  1. You learned how to prepare effectively and creatively by researching the company and coming up with thought provoking questions (maybe learning a new technique you can use for your next interview).
  2. You made new connections that you would have never met otherwise that you can keep in touch with and possibly have paths and opportunities cross again.
  3. You may have heard new interview questions that you had not heard before that you can review and rehearse for future interviews.
  4. Maybe you have someone in mind that would be a better fit, which will strengthen the relationship for all those involved.
  5. You acquired new information during the interview, telling you what you’re not looking (or don’t care) for in a position, management style, industry, type of company, etc.
  6. The commute was longer or more strenuous than you had intended which tells you that’s not a part of town that you’d be interested in working in.
  7. The interview process was a new one for you that you had not experienced before (panel, over video, 3 hours long versus 1, etc.) and you’ve learned how to present better.
  8. You received qualitative feedback that can be analyzed and possibly used to your advantage to improve your skills on.
  9. You’re becoming more comfortable speaking in front of others and being introduced to various personalities.
  10. You learned about a new technology or feature that you would have not otherwise been introduced to.

How are you finding and reflecting on the benefits of an unexpected outcome versus spending your time dwelling only on the negatives?

To do great things, as Edison has, we can learn from setbacks while also finding joy and a sense of accomplishment, if we’re able to approach them with the right perspective.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Striking Out

In the spirit of the Major League Baseball “World” Series.

When Babe Ruth, one of the best baseball players in history (714 home-runs) would strike out, he would smile on his way back to dugout.

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His teammates would ask, “Babe, why are you smiling, you just struck out”.

Babe’s reply: “Stick around, I’m just that much closer to hitting my next home-run”.

A great outlook to have, if you end up striking out on your interview.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Going Independent

Are you talented?

Do you have at least 3+ years of either prior Salesforce consulting experience with a SI or have worked on multiple complex transformations in the industry?

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Have you thought about going the independent route?  I think most have.

What’s holding you back?

Asked another way: Have you worked with independents that didn’t meet your expectations?

If yes, that tells you people less talented than you are having success.

But it doesn’t have to be just “their” success.

It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, but if you haven’t taken the plunge, and have debated it over and over, I don’t think there’s a better time.

Maybe 2020 is your year.

You can always go back if it doesn’t work out.

I went independent at a much worse time (2008), it was a very rough start, but made it out the other side.

You can too…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: I Wanted To Share A Success Story That Was Brought To My Attention.

The intent is to hopefully pick up a piece or two of wisdom to store in your back pocket as you continue your search.

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This individual specifically pointed out that it was not their current skill set but rather their potential that Accenture Federal Services saw.  Also, they expressed how flexible they needed to be with what was being offered just to get started, as well as how they branded themselves on social.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Dust Mites Love Resumes

If you’re adding your resume to the stack of 50 that’s already on a hiring manager’s desk collecting dust mites, that’s probably not where you want it to be.

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Another idea: allowing your work to speak for itself. 

It’s up to you to show why your work (projects, articles, dev org prototypes, problem/solutions you’ve thought of, etc.) can be relevant to them and their organization.

Also, don’t assume, just because your work is interesting to you, it’s interesting to them, as it might not be.

But, your creativity, your ability to be different, the small risks you take, and the extra things that you do, will continue to help you differentiate yourself.

Dust mites love resumes, but don’t allow them to sleep, relax and get fat on yours.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Airplane Runways

How long will it take to launch your Salesforce career?

Airport planners have to consider a number of factors to determine the length of a runway: airport elevation, temperature, wind velocity and direction, airplane operating weights, runway surface and thickness, as well as the ability to restrain cracking and buckling.

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Some runways are 804 feet long to handle small aircraft and others are up to 39,098 feet long to handle a space shuttle.

Like a runway, your length may vary for your Salesforce career to launch.

Your background, experiences, connections, projects, interview repetitions may come into consideration to determine how long your runway will need to be.

Give yourself enough runway to get airborne.

#1 Best Comedy Plane Movie of All Time: Airplane! (1980):

“Can you fly this plane and land it?” – Dr. Rumack

“Surely, you can’t be serious” – Ted Striker

“I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley” – Dr. Rumack

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Hitting Radio Silence? Reset Your Station.

Radio Silence: In the field of communications, radio silence refers to a period or condition when radios are not transmitting.  In the military, this may happen due to fear that a signal might be intercepted by an enemy.

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As a career seeker (and as a recruiter), we often hit radio silence after an interaction with a company (HR, internal recruiter, hiring manager, or another point of contact).

While there may be many reasons for this, I think the best way to think about this is:

“At this current moment, it’s not a high enough priority for them to solve or to get back to you (me), and it’s not a reflection on you (me).”

You, nor I, can usually change that prioritization, but what we can do is reset our station and tune into working towards other opportunities.

Reset your station.  Better melodies await you…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Unity Over Self (An Unconventional Thought)

Did you interview and not get offered the position?

How can you take that situation and make the most of it by demonstrating leadership, character, authenticity and unity over self?

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And I bet dollars to donuts will help make you feel better…

How about: Post about it, share it and let others know about the position to see if they or someone they know can have a shot at it.

“I just interviewed at Company X, and although I didn’t receive the position, here is what I learned (what they’re looking for): X, Y and Z.

If you or anyone you know may have these qualifications, have them reach out to me, we can go through it in more detail, and I can connect you with the decision makers.”

Think differently, be humble, other decisions makers will see that quality, and new opportunities may open up for you.

I think this will also give you the extra momentum internally to keep your journey going.

You’re not in this alone.

Unity Over Self…

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Illustrating Transferable Skills In Your Resume

Salesforce Career Seekers – a topic that I’ve seen brought up recently was transferable skills and how to accurately illustrate those in a resume.

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While sometimes those are easier to portray than others, you may want to outline it in a table in your resume for a potential employer to see, if you think that might help.

I reviewed an up and coming Admin’s resume on the flight to Dreamforce and came up with the below.  Their’s was easier since they came from a sales background, but I think the same concept and thought process can still apply to you, allowing you to show a little ingenuity.

That is why an employer is hiring you, isn’t it?  Creativity, solving interesting problems, being analytical, taking a little bit of information and being able to extract relevancy out of it.

If they wanted a rote task taker, they can go to Craigslist. 

You’re far better than Craigslist, unless you’re selling your lawnmower.

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Keeping Up (Or Getting Left Behind)

SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Keeping up or getting left behind…

I often wonder if that’s really true.

With the rate of innovation, Salesforce acquisitions, hundreds of enhancements coming out in it’s seasonal releases, hearing about competitors doing X, Y and Z, so we HAVE to do it too.

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Do customers get stretched too thin to make good, informed decisions just to keep up?

Do we hire sub-par talent as we need someone “immediately” and end up with our eyeballs full of technical debt?

Do we bring in a relatively new SI since they were referred to us?

Do we build/buy something (new products) that we didn’t really need or know what to do with and then we’re left figuring out what to do next since that didn’t work?

Have we lost the core fundamentals of CRM and getting that working first with the hopes to instead be the innovative leader in X, Y and Z?

Maybe keeping up or getting left behind isn’t the only options.

How about neutral (CRM) + 1, rather than neutral (CRM) -1 or neutral (CRM) + 1,000?

Maybe slow and steady is the answer in this 4th (or is it 5th now?) industrial revolution.

With love,

The opinionated CRM recruiter

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Democratization

This is a strong and powerful word.
Definition: The action of making something accessible to everyone.
The greatness about this: accessible to everyone
The challenge with this: accessible to everyone
As you continue down your Salesforce career journey, please think about this.

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The biggest differentiator: Your individual work that’s not democratized which will separate yourself and have a potential employer say:

“Yes, that’s good”

“I like what you’ve done”

“This is valuable”

“This is very insightful”

“You’ve really put some time, thought and energy into this”

“Tell/Show me more”

“We could use you (this)”

“Why did you do it that way”

“How did you come up with that idea”

“Work like this is what we need”

And eventually:

“We’d like to offer you the position”

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Be Picked To Present (Dreamforce – Next Year)

If you didn’t make the cut to be a Dreamforce presenter this year, I would like to share a few (actually 4) ideas that may be helpful for you in the future, based on some of my own experiences over the past few years.

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While there’s plenty of existing articles around this subject on how Salesforce chooses who gets selected and how to have better odds going forward, I thought using my experience might make it more realistic.

Below are the statistics for 2019 :

  • Developer – 825 submitted, 200 selected (~24%)
  • Administrator – 1,435 submitted, 149 selected (~10%)
  • Architect – 350 submitted, 80 selected (~23%)

To begin, do you have a subject on Salesforce that you’re passionate about and feel sharing what you know will really be beneficial to others? If not, I suggest to spend some time making a list. It doesn’t have to be created all at once, but rather one that you can keep handy and refine over time. Eventually, the top 2 or 3 should bubble to the top as the “best”.

Idea #1 – start to speak at Salesforce user groups. Whether that’s local to your home city or remote via video conference. You’ll need to get your reps in and what better way to do this than with a small audience? This will allow you to refine your presentation over time, answer questions that come up and bring new thoughts for consideration. Most Salesforce User Group leaders post when their local sessions will occur on LinkedIn or the Salesforce Community site, and are always looking for presenters to share their knowledge. They may not be able to get you in immediately, but they will get you on the agenda for a future meetup.

We’ve had presenters at the Houston user group present some fabulous material that really resonated with the audience, which told the presenter they were on to something that needs to be heard elsewhere. They started locally.

Idea #2 – speak at regional events. Similar to the Salesforce user groups, the regional events are also looking for content and presenters. When you get to the regional event level, the audience is bigger and since it’s a paid event, the attendees are going to want to get their moneys worth. Here, you’ll need to make sure your content has been tweaked and refined to make a thoughtful impact. 

In my personal situation this year, we had some key attendees from Salesforce at NorCal Dreamin who saw us speak on Salesforce careers. After the presentation, they approached us and asked if we’d be interested to speak at Dreamforce.

You never know who’s attending these regional events, and it could be someone from Salesforce that may reach out to you and request you to speak at Dreamforce.

Idea #3 – write, write, and write. Start to publish more content. Whether that’s blogs, YouTube videos, or LinkedIn posts, you need to get your name and your content out into the Salesforce community. It can be short snippets of what your presentation would be about to give your network a glimpse of what’s on your mind or it can be a totally unrelated subject all together. The point is, you’re becoming known and over time the right eyes will see your efforts. 

In my case, I had written article after article, LI post after LI post around Salesforce careers, and eventually some Salesforce MVP’s saw my material and asked if I would be a part of a topic where they could use a Salesforce recruiter’s point of view on.

Idea #4 – piggyback off existing presenters. If you’re making it to Dreamforce and attending a session that interests you and you believe that your area of expertise could bring additional positive impact to the presentation, introduce yourself to the presenter and ask to meet up with them afterwards to see if they’d be open to a conversation on the subject which may open up the opportunity to co-present for next year. 

Even if you’re not making it to Dreamforce, you can still go the Dreamforce website and search by topic and look for presenters to connect with via LinkedIn. From there, you can take the same approach and start building a relationship with them collaborating on ideas. Obviously, they may have a little resistance until you can prove to them that you know what you’re talking about and they see value in another dynamic you bring to the topic.

Hopefully, these 4 ideas are helpful to get you a little closer to making it to the big dance. You have around 8-9 months between now and the deadline for the 2020 Dreamforce event, so plenty of time to devise a game plan to execute on.

Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need is one small idea that can open the door of opportunity for you.

References:

https://developer.salesforce.com/blogs/2019/09/the-dreamforce-developer-track-2019-how-we-select-sessions.html

https://admin.salesforce.com/blog/2019/how-we-picked-the-admin-track-for-dreamforce-2019

https://developer.salesforce.com/blogs/2019/09/behind-the-scenes-of-the-architect-track-at-dreamforce-19.html

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Digging Your Well (A Short Guide For College Grads Thinking About A Career In Salesforce)

Dig your well, before you’re thirsty…

No matter how smart you are, no matter how talented, you can’t do it alone.

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Recently, I had a soon to be college graduate, ask me about the best way to land a position as a Salesforce technologist before he finishes school. I thought this was a great question given he has 4 months of runway between now and the time he graduates, barring he does not get expelled for ordering a pizza in the middle of class between now and then.

The suggestion I had was an easy one to make: “start building your network of connections in the Salesforce ecosystem immediately”.

As the world changes, one thing will remain constant: the relationships you develop over a lifetime.

I think many of us wait until we are very close to graduating to make networking a priority, but to give yourself a competitive advantage against your other graduating classmates, start building the necessary bridges (aka connections) to help in forming meaningful relationships with those in the Salesforce community.

If you’re in an area that has Salesforce community meetups, please start attending and expressing your interest. I’ve been going to these for years, and very rarely do we have college students attend and I live in Houston where we have over 40 colleges and universities with over 300,000 students. You would stand out among your peers and have the opportunity to network with those already working in Salesforce. 

You can register for the various community groups here: https://success.salesforce.com/

Additionally, many universities have their own dedicated Salesforce Community Groups that are dedicated just to students. And if you don’t have one available, you could always start one.

If an in-person option is not possible, start showing up to the Salesforce virtual sessions such as the MVP Office Hours where the Salesforce community collaborates and aids those that are needing help and looking for real time feedback. Although, you might not be actively participating or don’t have questions, you should be listening and understanding the challenges existing Salesforce professionals are having, and then even start to build your network with those that are part of the group, by having conversations outside of this group setting.

Another great option is utilizing your alumni network. Search for alumni on LinkedIn that have a Salesforce title and connect with them to start conversations about their career, how they landed their 1st position and any suggestions that they might have if they were in your shoes. More importantly, KEEP IN TOUCH after making that initial outreach.  Most alumni are always open to helping a fellow student from their Alma Mater and if you’re genuine in asking for help and have humility in your conversations with them, I think most will oblige.

There’s a good acronym when it comes to networking and since we’re talking about school, what better way to tie this subject together:

R.I.S.K. 

Reciprocity – understanding that it’s a two-way street when building a network; you give, you get, you no give, you no get

Interdependency – our success does not come in isolation; we need to rely on each other for help

Sharing – hopefully we’ve all learned that sharing is caring; this is especially true in building your network

Keeping at it – sure, you may get the occasional brush off and that’s OK; if a door is closed, that just means another one somewhere else is waiting to be opened

The networking mistakes people make in their lives come from the risks they never take. 

Article was inspired by the book: Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty (The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need) By: Harvey Mackay, 1997

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Salesforce Jobs: Numbers That Matter (A Rant)

Salesforce Economic Impact – 4.2 Million New Jobs 2019-2024

For every positive message about the economic boom that Salesforce is creating, there should probably be at least one naysayer or at least someone to challenge the positivity.

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I’ll be the first to step up, based on this latest report.

Salesforce sponsoring this report for what purpose?

Are we creating or filling jobs?

I think anyone who’s been following Salesforce for any period of time knows the growth curve continues to go up exponentially.

Salesforce has done the necessary marketing to speak to it’s revenue targets, large acquisitions, increased customer market share and positive, inspirational initiatives it has taken on.

But, within this report, I don’t think we’re targeting what needs to be addressed. Sure, numbers like the below shows there’s opportunity to be had for future career seekers, but that only tells one side of the story.

From 2019 to 2024:

  • 4.2 Million new jobs worldwide
  • 1.2 Trillion of new business revenue to their local economies
  • For ever $1 Salesforce will make, the ecosystem will make up to $5.80

For Trailhead:

  • 17.5 million badges earned since 2014 on Trailhead

Benioff signing the Pledge to America’s Workers to train 500,000 workers, and then making a real-time decision to increase it to 1,000,000 to make it a nice, round number.

Does it matter if it’s 500,000 or 1,000,000 or 10,000,000?

New job creation and training is one thing, job fulfillment I think is what should really matter and be reported on.

Here’s the numbers I would like to see and questions to have answered from any future report:

  • Exactly, what are those 4.2 million new jobs by type? What are the specific required skills and experience needed to fill them? How many are entry level?
  • Of those 4.2 million new jobs, how many are actually getting filled? Per year?
  • What is the experience level, backgrounds and demographics of those that are getting filled? Broken down by programs like: PepUp Tech, Pathfinder, Vetforce, Merivis Foundation, JVS, etc.
  • What percentage of those that have no prior hands-on experience but are certified or have badges are getting employed? And how long is it taking? And by what employers and industries?

Yes, we see the occasional Trailblazer story of those that “made it” that gives encouragement to others, but wouldn’t real numbers that back that up demonstrate a much better story?

If we can make a prediction of what’s to come with Salesforce job creation and revenue growth, couldn’t we use a similar analysis of what’s already occurred and use that to help encourage (or discourage) those in making a determination if this path is worth their time, energy and resources?

Speaking to only the positives can create a false sense of what’s really happening in the Salesforce job economy.

Hopefully, you’ll agree that numbers matter, but the right questions need to be asked to produce the numbers necessary to make an informed decision for our future Salesforce career seekers.

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Being Defeated Is OK (A Different Perspective For Aspiring Salesforce Career Seekers)

In speaking with aspiring Salesforce career seekers that have yet to get their break in landing their 1st PAID Salesforce position after months or even over a year of disappointment, I often think, maybe there’s a better path forward for them which has nothing to do with Salesforce.

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Daily, we are getting hit upside the head with the future of Salesforce opportunities, thousands of jobs to be had, the projected growth of the platform, the ease of training oneself on Trailhead, the vast support system that’s available, the big money to be made, the local and national events, the list goes on and on, BUT…

This career path may NOT be the right one for you.

Sure, obstacles, challenges and the ability to push through the anguish to land that 1st Salesforce position might be what you have your heart and mind set out to do, but maybe another way to think about it, is: 

A Salesforce career or something better than where I am today

With this mindset, it gives you the opportunity to explore other career options that exist that can also give you the sense of accomplishment and career satisfaction, and only you can decide what better might be by being open to hear, explore, think and try those options.

Better for you is FOR YOU, not what anyone else necessarily encourages you to do. Your own personal perspective weighs heavily into what “better” might be, and having context around what you enjoy, and excites and motivates you to move forward.

Therefore, if you feel extreme anxiety, or the burden upon you every day as you chase this Salesforce career path, re-evaluating your situation with a deeper perspective should be the next, best course of action.

Giving up is also a sign of maturity and internal wisdom to realize something is not working and a change needs to be made.

Additionally, we often don’t speak to or highlight the challenges that a Salesforce professional experiences as part of their day to day activities, but they should be accounted for.

Some examples:

  1. Additional stress of managing unrealistic expectations by company stakeholders
  2. Dealing with end users who really don’t care about using the platform
  3. Working with other members of the team that end up breaking what you’ve built
  4. Spending hours during your personal time on the weekends or evenings to meet specific deadlines
  5. Carrying dead weight of other members of the team that make you miserable working with
  6. Layoffs will/do happen even for a Salesforce professional

I think if you have a candid conversation with most Salesforce professionals, they will tell you that their Salesforce career has its associated challenges.

For some, Salesforce fell into their laps, for others, the challenge to break in wasn’t extremely difficult, for others it was, but in summary:

It’s OK if you determine that this path is not meant for you, it doesn’t have to be, as there are endless possibilities to finding a career that brings you joy, satisfaction and success, and it’s up to you to find it.

As you continue your pursuit, rather than having the mindset of: 

Salesforce only

Think about:

Salesforce or something better than where I am today

Hopefully you would agree, that’s what really matters in your career…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Buying A Book VS Interviewing You (An Analogy)

Why does someone buy a book when they don’t really know exactly what’s inside?

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It could be a little risky, right?

But risk is reduced because:

– It was recommended to them from someone else (your referrals)

– They read the front or back covers and it intrigued them (your resume or LI profile)

– They recognized the author from past bodies of work (your content, your blogs, the apps you’ve built and demonstrated)

– The buyer showed up at the same event as the author and they had similar interests (Salesforce networking events)

Book buyers tell themselves stories about why to buy a book which helps reduce their purchase risk. 

Hiring managers tell themselves stories about why to interview you which helps reduce their hiring risk. 

Have your book chosen…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interviewing Nervousness…

Do you have: nerves of steel, or nerves of play-doh?

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I’m in my 40’s now, have been through my fair share of nerve-racking experiences and I still get a little nervous when speaking to C-Level Execs.

Some of the things I tell myself that might be helpful for others when interviewing:

– They were once where you are today.

– Be yourself (which hopefully includes): likable, relatable, enthusiastic and personable.

– Talk less and listen more.

– Show genuine interest.

– Think: How can I help?

– Be nice.

– They need someone, that someone could (and should) be you.

We all have our respective issues, worries, feelings, egos, lifestyles, ideas, experiences, thoughts and desires and at the core, I would venture to guess they’re not that far apart from one another.

“Success has a simple formula: do your best and people may like it” ~Sam Ewing (Former American Baseball Player)

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Bamboozle, Bluff, Deceive, Dupe, Embellish, Hoodwink, Mislead, Misinform, Trick

In having a heart to heart with a hiring manager yesterday, the #1 challenge she has is the amount of false information she finds on a resume.

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The resume shows that the candidate appears to be a water-walker, which then entices her to interview, but as soon as a few questions are raised on their actual experience based on what’s documented, the conversation quickly dissipates.

Why?

Her words (paraphrased): “Chris, we support a billion dollar business, if I can’t trust what a candidate has on a resume, how can I trust them with anything else?”

At this point, it’s not even about the experience (or lack thereof), it’s about the deceit the hiring manager feels.

Most interviewers will probably not call this out to you during the interview or might not even tell me why you were disqualified.

I realize many are trying to get that next position, but I wanted to share the above in case you’re not seeing the success you would like and why you might not be getting a call back.

Please ensure you can speak in depth to anything that you have in your resume, as hopefully it will lead to more meaningful interviews and outcomes.

Thank you.  

With love, peace and chicken grease.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Importance Of Being Social On Social

I’m not saying to live on LinkedIn all day, every day, by scrolling, liking and consuming content, as that probably will not get you much closer to landing a position.

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What I am saying is to engage, post and well, “be social”.

If you’re consistent, it helps build awareness and occasionally it might catch the right person at the right time to what marketers deem: CTA, Call To Action (not Certified Technical Architect).

Last weekend, I caught EJ Bantz‘s post that he was looking to hire a Salesforce newcomer in Wisconsin.

No one immediately came to mind, then Tuesday John Schroeder ☁️ a newly certified Admin posted some content and I recalled John being from the Midwest (I couldn’t remember exactly where).

Low and behold, it was Wisconsin.

Ding, ding, ding.

I made the connection between EJ and John and they’re now in discussions.

LinkedIn is a great way of connecting ideas, awareness and opportunities with others, but you’ll need to produce more than consume to get noticed.

“Showing up is not all of life, but it counts for a lot” ~Hillary Clinton

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Why Are You Being Ignored (AKA Ghosted)?

I don’t know THE reason

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But I know A possible reason (or two or many):

– You’re not what they need 

– They went another direction

– They’re way too “busy”

– They hired internally

– Their budget was cut

– They don’t care to make a decision 

– Management changed 

– You are (this is) not a priority

– They just didn’t like you (for their own reasons)

– You were forgotten about 

– They fell into an alligator swamp

– Your perceived value is not their actual value 

– The relationship isn’t what you thought it was

– They don’t know how to break the bad news, so it’s easier to ignore you 

If none of those work, maybe this will help you feel better: 

– their loss, it’s better this way

Remember: you can’t force “them” to respond

Your goal is to find those few that have interest and try not to let the others get you down.

Post inspired by a friend recently asking why I thought he was being ignored by a potential customer when he felt he did everything right. 

Which falls hand in hand when job candidates ask why they’re being ghosted.

“A man said unto the universe, “Sir, I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “that fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”  ~Stephen Crane (American Poet)

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Throwback Tuesday: Interview Flops

Stage: 1999, last semester of college, Hewlett-Packard was hosting a career day in Atlanta

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Me: New suit and shoes, resumes printed (on resume paper, mind you), black portfolio in hand; So Fresh, So Clean (for you OutKast fans)

Short intro with the interviewer (a techie), he didn’t care about my resume (why would he? I’m 21 after all)…

1st Question: 

Interviewer: What is the purpose of using a ping command?

Me: A what?

Interviewer: A ping command 

Me: I’m not sure (yes, I did have a networking class in college, but probably day dreaming about being a rapper during that day’s lesson)

Interviewer: Thanks for coming by…NEXT CANDIDATE!

End to end, maybe a 55 second interview.

I’d like to think I have had a reasonably successful career in tech after that embarrassing mishap. 

Don’t let 1 poor turnout define your career. 

Or better said:

“Make a business for yourself, set some goals. Make a fat diamond out of dusty coals” ~OutKast

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Flow

Not Salesforce Flow. Rather: Interview flow.

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Or said more politely: shut-up some

One of the more difficult pieces of feedback that I receive from a hiring manager is:

“Chris, Fire-Mouth Fred didn’t let me get a word in during the interview”

Yes, I realize that you have a limited amount of time during an interview and you have a wealth of knowledge that you want to share. 

But, not allowing the interviewer to speak and ask questions can kill the interview.

I used to do this on sales calls. 

Prospect picks up the phone:

“Hi, this is Chris (then a massive up-chuck about why I’m so great and can solve all your recruiting challenges)”.

Click…

“Hello, hello”

In your next interview, don’t be a Fire-Mouth Fred or an Up-Chuck Chris, please be more of a Free-Flowing Frances. 

Your friendly recruiter and hiring manager thanks you in advance.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Show Me The Money!!!

Salesforce Agents.

I’ve often wondered if there’s a market for this.

Professional Athletes have Sports Agents, why not Professional “Salesforcer’s” have Salesforce Agents?

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I think many of us have anxiety when it comes to negotiating a salary, raise or a promotion and frankly don’t want to deal with it…especially if we’re new to it.

For new hires, yes, that is the recruiter’s job, but how about for existing positions?

Does it make sense to hire this process out?

It was fitting today, as 2 things happened: 

1. I had to get in front of an Appraisal Review Board to protest my property taxes (there’s 3rd parties that do this too).

2. I spoke to a Salesforce Admin who needs to get her salary up to market conditions and we were strategizing on how to go about it.

Jerry Maguire: Show you the money.

Rod Tidwell: No, no. You can do better than that! I want you to say it brother with meaning! Hey, I got Bob Sugar on the other line I bet you he can say it!

Jerry Maguire: Yeah, yeah, no, no, no. Show you the money.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Salary Surveys

This past week, I was asked about salary surveys in our Houston Admin User Group.

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In my opinion, unless a reasonable amount of specific details showing the data points are also included, the salaries stated should be taken with some caution. 

Stating every Developer should make at least X and every Admin should make at least Y, makes little sense.

There’s many variables at play that making blanket statements causes more questions to be asked. 

Now, if the results had details that stated: Admin Group A included those living in greater New York City, working for Fortune 500 Financial Services companies being in the office daily for 2+ years with 4 years prior experience supporting an Enterprise level Sales org with 600+ users along with 2 other admins classified by org complexity made between X and Y as a base salary, that could help put some more context to compare against.

I realize the above example is a stretch and even then, there may be some variance. 

My point is, every situation, employer, role and responsibility is unique. Please keep this in mind when viewing salary surveys with emphasis on the term “average”.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): The Continued Rise Of SI’s

One of the more strategic discussions that I’m often a part of is small SI’s (consulting partners) that are already established and are looking to build a practice in a new city/region.

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I think if you’re currently consulting with a major SI, and have thought about entrepreneurship and breaking out on your own, but don’t want the weight of starting a practice with little know-how (back office, marketing, sales, recruiting, etc.), a favorable alternative is to join a small player that doesn’t have a presence where you’re located and help them plant their flag there.

In this scenario, you’ll have (should have) the financial backing to get you started, the mentorship/leadership to guide you, the ability to determine strategically how things should run (creativity and entrepreneurial), and the joy (and pain) of getting your name/company name in a place where it’s not known, and ideally some financial upside/equity based on the results. 

This role is not for the light hearted, relies on pre-existing relationships, your ability to sell/deliver, and has a long cycle (years not months) to get established, but might be a good middle ground for you based on your career aspirations.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interview Prep

This week was a great week doing interviewing prep with candidates.

In doing so, I thought of the below questions that you might want to ask either an external or internal recruiter before it’s your time to shine in front of the hiring manager.

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Your success should go both ways, you asking, and recruiters answering.

Yes, I know you might not get all the answers, but anything you do get, should be valuable.

The more direct questions you ask, the better.

Start with these to get the conversation flowing:

– Do you know what the hiring manager is looking for, in addition, to the job description?

– Do you know why this position hasn’t been filled yet?

– Have you received any feedback from previous interviews that can be used to my advantage?

– Are there any other areas of focus that you can recommend that I should highlight during my conversation?

Please keep in mind, some company’s treat external recruiters as strictly transactional, meaning:

“Here’s a job description, go find me someone”

Which causes a struggle to get you answers to the above, but you should ask and hopefully they can find out for you.

“Interview Prep, It Adds Some Pep, To Your Step,

For More Success? The Answer Is, Yes!

Don’t Stress or Digress, Just Impress”

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Salesforce Career NON-Seekers: Keeping Your Connections Tied…

When speaking to those who have lost their job and are now actively looking, often they mention that they should have kept up with their existing connections along the way.

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Yes, I get it, when you have a position, you’re easily occupied and focused on the job at hand, but if you can make it a point to keep in touch with your previous connections routinely, hopefully the transition, if you were to lose your job, would be smoother.

Or maybe, you don’t think this conversation is awkward:

“Hey Chris, it’s been 15 years, how have you been?  Oh, by they way, can you help me find my next position?”

Since I’m a recruiter, I take these reach-outs with open arms, but statistics show most opportunities are landed through personal connections, not some recruiter giving advice on personal connections.

Keep your connections tied…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Being Ignored Sucks

Over the weekend, I received a message regarding some of the suggestions that I provide aren’t effective and are not working for them and they’re often being ignored by hiring managers.

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They suggested maybe it’s their culture, their part of the world, etc.

I don’t think that’s the case.

We all get ignored and it doesn’t feel good.

It damages our ego and demotivates us in our job search.

I used to get ignored ALL THE TIME when prospecting.

For example:

Cold, generic emails returned = 0% (1 exception – someone telling me to stop emailing them) 

Cold, generic Inmails via LinkedIn returned = very low and usually after one correspondence, stops

Cold, generic calls returned = another 0% (another exception, someone calling me back thinking it was someone they knew)

Then I determined some better ways:

– Being referred in

– Providing something of value and not asking for anything in return

– Creating a message that interests them (hint: it’s probably not about me/you)

– Being creative and personable

Do I still do things wrong? For sure.

Am I still being ignored?  Without a doubt.

What needs to continue to change & evolve?  ME and the ability to BE BETTER.

If you’re consistently being ignored, maybe some of the above will help.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Giv Em Da Bizness!

Da bizness. 

Da bizness.

The interviewer that is. 

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Give them the business. 

Maybe said a better way: provide them examples of business value that you’ve previously created.

Not just all the cool things that Salesforce as a technology can do, but rather what was done to improve the business (sales, service, marketing) operations.

I’m pretty certain that’s what they care about most.

How about :

Increased sales, reduced manual steps, identified and corrected delays or hindrances, improved customer satisfaction, allowed collaboration amongst silos, streamlined workflows, provided effective marketing messaging, reduced turnover/waste, improved ROI and user adoption. 

The list goes on…

Giv em da bizness for a more impactful interview result.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How About Some Wednesday “WOW”?!

In doing a debrief with a Salesforce Admin/BA after her in person interview, we talked about the conversation and the types of questions that were asked on both sides. 

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My 2 favorite “wow” questions that she asked (paraphrased):

1. Why does this position exist? 

This question alone should give you a greater understanding about what’s happening within the organization, is it new, is it a replacement role, what’s the history behind it, etc. (CH Wow Rating: 4 out of 5).

2. What do you feel is the biggest challenge I will have in this position? 

This question is fantastic! Let the interviewer(s) provide their opinion, which opens them up and gives you insight into what you might be up against if you were to join. (CH Wow Rating: 5 out of 5).

How Now Brown Cow? 

Wow, That’s How!

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): How To Help The Inexperienced Salesforce Career Seekers

Would it make sense for Salesforce as a company to financially incentivize their customers to hire the inexperienced?

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In other words, Salesforce would offer a license discount (or premier support or some other SKU) to customers if the customer chose to hire an inexperienced Salesforce Professional who met specific requirements that Salesforce would stamp their name to (certifications, badges, mentorship program, graduating from an affiliated training class, etc.).

Would companies feel that the savings is worth considering this option?

I don’t have the math ironed out where it’s fair for everyone, but my gut tells me the imbalance of available positions requiring X years of experience and the candidate pool available that has that experience isn’t closing any time soon and I’m not sure if any compelling events are/have taken place to address this.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Please Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down

This scenario, unfortunately, happens quite often when I receive interview feedback. 

The career seeker decides to add a few technology buzzwords or responsibilities, that they weren’t directly a part of, to their resume. 

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During the interview, the interviewer decides to drill into those areas as part of their questioning.

There’s about a 90% chance the interviewer knows about those areas or wouldn’t be asking.

Uh, oh. Your pants start slipping, you’ve lost your buttons, your belt, and your suspenders. 

You might have one more shot, the interviewer changes direction and asks another question. 

Ka-plop, your pants are completely down and you’re embarrassed (or should be embarrassed). 

Interview over, credibility lost, and you need new pants.

Please make sure your resume is buttoned up to avoid getting caught with your pants down during your interview.

On behalf of Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, and Salesforce interviewers across the globe, we thank you.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Bring Your Work…ADRIAN!!!

The importance of bringing your work to an interview.

In learning a little more about Sylvester Stallone’s story of how he was able to get his “lucky” break in show business, it reminded me of how you could apply the same approach in landing your first/next Salesforce position.

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Before Sylvester became a big-time name, he was actively going to casting calls to audition for parts, and during this time, he also decided to write the screen play for Rocky, which he states took 3 days to write after being inspired by a Muhammad Ali fight that he watched previously.

After writing the screenplay and as he was auditioning, he decided to tell the producers about his story, which sparked their interest.  They asked to see it and one thing led to another, the movie was made, Sylvester took the lead (after a long negotiation process), and the movie ended up being the highest grossing film of 1976, along with having 10 Oscar nominations (winning 3) and further producing a series of Rocky films grossing over $1 billion.

In the case of your Salesforce career, you’re actively auditioning/interviewing and speaking to your experience. In addition to this, you might want to also by like Sly and bring some examples of your work.

It doesn’t have to be in perfect condition, only about 10% of Sly’s original screenplay made it to production as most of it was trivial.

But it’s a start and shows that you’ve been able to produce tangible results and allows you to have a meaningful conversation that a hiring manager can connect to and ask questions about.

Occasionally, I hear, “Chris, I might not have internet access during the interview to show my Dev org”. Please don’t let that stop you as there’s plenty of ways to demonstrate your work through screen mock-ups, wireframes or a process flow using editing tools.  

Check out: https://www.justinmind.com/ or https://www.avonnicreator.com/

Another idea, if you wanted to show a real-time demo is to ask ahead of time if there is a guest internet login in the office or even using your cell phone’s personal hotspot.

I also understand the hiring manager or interviewing panel might not have time to see your work during your interview, so another option is to ask if it’s OK to send it to them before the interview or inquire if there will be time allotted to be able to do a demo or to review what you’ve previously sent.

The point in this exercise is:

To demonstrate your work which allows further conversations to be had and additional opportunities to arise.

The Rocky series may have never produced the global fame it has today, if Sylvester Stallone didn’t ask to show his screenplay.

ADRIAN!!!

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A Farmer’s Approach To Landing Your 1st Salesforce Position

If you’re currently not seeing the success you would like with your Salesforce career search, an alternative option is to think like a farmer by taking a longer-term approach to the process and build meaningful relationships with individuals at companies that you’re interested in.

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Each day a successful farmer needs to go out and nurture their land to help produce the crop that they’ve planted. If we were to take this same concept and apply it to your Salesforce career search, it may lead to a better outcome.

Warning: it takes time, and just like a farmer, their results are not immediate.

Step 1: Find the soil where you want to plant.

Define your target audience: how are you searching for your 1st Salesforce position? Can you narrow down the top 5-10 companies that most interest you based on the products or services they provide, their culture, their location, the people that work there or whatever else that might be of interest to you?  I’m not referring to if they have a current Salesforce position open immediately, but rather knowing if they run Salesforce or provide Salesforce related services is the outcome that you’re looking for.

Step 2: Start digging your trenches.

Within these companies, are you able to use LinkedIn to locate the Salesforce personnel that you feel has some level of responsibility on the platform?

Once you identify those individuals, send them each a PERSONAL LinkedIn connection request. 

Example:

“Hi <Manager Michelle, Admin Annie, Developer Debra>, I came across your LinkedIn profile and noticed that you might be working on Salesforce. As I’m just starting my Salesforce career, I would like to connect for future collaboration and knowledge sharing. Thank you, Salesforce Sally”

Keep it short and direct as it’s the 1st time engaging and you’re just looking for the invite to be accepted. This acceptance may take a day, a week or even a month depending on how often they use LinkedIn, or it could be ignored all together, therefore you want to have enough contacts in your reach-out to get some connections early on. That doesn’t mean 100’s as it’s not the quantity that you’re looking for but rather the quality as too many will cause a lot of overhead in later steps.

After acceptance: DO NOT send your resume, or a long dialogue about how great you are, all the skills you have, the Trailhead badges and certification you’ve obtained, etc. Frankly speaking, they probably don’t care and if they did, they should be able to get that information from you LI profile.

Step 3: Plant your seeds (indirectly).

After those contacts accept, not immediately, but rather a few days later, reach back out to them and thank them for accepting, while also asking generously if they would have time for a short call or meet up as you’re looking to learn from them in regards to their career success, how they were able to get started in Salesforce, some of their day to day responsibilities, and the environment and company they work in.

Example:

“Hi <Admin Andrew>, thank you for accepting the connection request. I noticed that you’ve been working as a Salesforce Admin for over 3 years now and as I’m just starting my career, I wanted to ask if you had time for a short call or meet-up to hear more about your work and career. If this isn’t a good time, maybe sometime in the future. Again, thanks for connecting.”

This is NOT about you or your job search, at least not directly. It’s about you learning, having interest and genuinely caring about the other individual and what they have to say and building a meaningful relationship.

During that discussion, take notes and ask meaningful questions about what you’ve discussed, as you’ll want to use this for the future in step 4.

Step 4: Water, sunlight, nurture.

At this point, it’s your responsibility to nurture the relationship by staying in touch and keeping the lines of communication open. Therefore, every 2 or 3 weeks, provide something of meaning and value. This could be anything from an article that you just read about in their industry, their company, a Salesforce blog you stumbled upon, a local Salesforce event, something about the release notes that they might be interested in, or even asking their opinion on something that you’ve come across. 

The key is, it needs to be relevant.

Example:

“Hey <Debbie Developer>, I remember that you mentioned you were using Service Cloud, I came across this recent article and thought you might find it relevant. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.”

Sure, they may not respond, or they might not find the time to check out the article, or just have other pressing priorities. That’s fine, we wait a few more weeks and do it again with another piece of relevant information.

We’re nurturing over time…

Step 5: Your crop will eventually sprout.

As you continue to build trust, rapport, interest, value to others, you’re also positioning yourself to be top of mind, so when an opportunity either opens up at this contact’s company where you might be a good fit or if they go somewhere else or if they hear about a potential position through their connections, they’ll think of you and the little seeds of value and relevance you have provided over time.

Lastly, keep in mind, as a farmer plants seeds, not every seed will turn into a successful harvest. You may experience droughts, floods, freezes, insects, or just other poor conditions that are out of your control. But, if you plant the right seeds and continuously nurture them, eventually your crop will sprout.

Locate, dig, plant, nurture, sprout.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How Are You “Wow-ing” Your Interviewers?

I mean other than your stunning good looks, charming personality, pearly white smile, Old Spice/White Shoulders fragrance, and fly business suit.

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How about by bringing unexpected value to the table?

Things that make the interviewer(s) say, “wow, this candidate is really something”…in a positive way.

Differentiate yourself.

Here’s some ideas:

– Ask great, powerful questions.

– Share ideas and tips that allowed you to be successful that also might be useful for the interviewers current challenges.

– Communicate news, insights or recent events that are part of their industry.

– Show that you are the most prepared based on the research that you’ve done compared to any other candidate.

Maybe, just maybe, if your experience and skills aren’t exactly where they need to be, your “wow” factor can make up the difference.

So, before the interview, ask yourself: how can I bring unexpected value to the interview and show them my:

“WOW”!

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On The Subject Of Salary

Let’s talk about a subject that’s near and dear to most: your salary (or hourly).

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My opinion:

1. No salary survey, website, recruiter, colleague, family member, psychic, etc. is going to be 100% right and the range can vary as much as 30-40%.

2. COLA (cost of living adjustments) are way out of whack. Just doing a quick calculation, the COLA for Houston to San Francisco is 113% higher.  I don’t believe you will ever be offered a position paying you over 100% more than what you’re currently making between those 2 cities. Example – I make $80K as a Salesforce Admin in Houston, I should be making $170K in San Francisco.  Sorry, not happening.

3. You, as a candidate, should have a range in mind that’s going to work for you, and I don’t really care (meaning it’s not for me to judge) if your range is too high, unless you ask or if I think you’re extremely underpaid, then I want to let you know that.

4. Every situation is unique. Some companies have a fixed dollar amount, some have a range, some don’t even know what their range should be and then ask me to “shop” the market for them.  Many, many factors come into play. Just because company X is paying Y, that doesn’t mean every company that looks, feels and smells like company X is also going to pay Y.

Hope that helps some…

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How To Work In A Country When You Don’t Live There

I’m often asked about how to work in a country such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, or Europe if you don’t currently live there. While I don’t have THE answer, I always have opinions.

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There’s 2 options that come to mind.

Option 1 – Relying on others to get “accepted”:

– Work for X, who has offices in the U.S., Europe, Canada, wherever, and maybe you’ll get lucky at some point

– Apply to get your Masters in the U.S. which then provides you eligibility

– Continue to monitor job openings where sponsorship is available (which I think is usually for those already in the hosted country) 

Option 2 – Relying on yourself to be a differentiator:

– Build a portfolio of work product that is so remarkable to possibly gain global recognition.  Remarkable to others that is, not remarkable to you. You’re not sponsoring yourself…

I’m referring to the intangibles where trust, creativity, initiative, rapport, good judgement, relationships and human connections are needed for success to happen.

Or

– Build a skill set that is so niche, is in extreme demand, and requires day to day, in-person interaction with others where your name gets sought out?  Be “that” expert.

Option #2 is the hard path, Option #1 is the lucky path. Do things that are hard, they lead to greater satisfaction.

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Just As Soon As…

I often hear: “Chris, I’ll be looking for a change in X number of months, just as soon as …”

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Just as soon as I hear about my raise. 

Just as soon as this project is over.

Just as soon as I can cross-train my replacement.

Just as soon as I get my new manager. 

Just as soon as this M&A takes place. 

I’m all for “Just as soon as” if there is a defined date set. 

Please don’t let that just as soon as roll from one to another to another and 4 years down the road you’re still unhappy. 

There is never the perfect time.

My suggestion: commit to yourself when your: “just as soon as” will become “I am now” and try not to let any new events impede that.

More career success awaits you…

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A Dinner Idea

A dinner idea to share based on a candidate conversation today:

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As ridiculous as this might sound, our job is to help you land your next opportunity and to put you in the best light possible.

Therefore, we should be providing you suggestions on your resume if we think it will be beneficial to you, based on what we know about the role and company. 

BUT, it’s up to you to decide if it makes sense to you and is applicable.

It is also OK to ask a recruiter for their opinion and to provide any suggestions.

We’re not cheap to an employer, therefore, please hold us accountable, make us earn our keep, AND it’s a free service to you as a candidate.

Opportunity, You, Recruiter –  Better than any 3 meat lasagna!

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Getting Over The Nerves

Salesforce Career Seekers – occasionally, I get feedback like I did this week that the candidate was very nervous during the interview, which I think may throw things “off” for you, unless you’re able to quickly recover. 

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I still recall my 1st public speech in college, I got severely tongue tied in the 1st 20 seconds and was never able to recover for the next 20 minutes.  It was pretty horrible and embarrassing, especially since I remember it almost 20 years later…pretty crazy how the above “20’s” all came together. 

I think one of the best ways to overcome this is by getting your reps in. 

“How many reps are you lifting in that set, bro?!”

If you have a mentor or someone you trust to do a mock interview, please ask them. 

Or, if you want to do one with me, I’d be happy to with some advanced notice, NOT: “Chris, I have an interview in 30 minutes, let’s rep it out…bro”.

Get your interview reps in for greater success.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Good Question To Ask

Salesforce Career Seekers: a good question for you to ask prior to being called in for an interview, that might help save you some time and anguish, but…

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It takes guts…

Guts because it’s you being assertive and often being assertive might cause 2 parties to feel a little uncomfortable. 

That’s ok, being assertive is what employers “should” want.

However you want to wordsmith the below:

“Hiring Manager/HR/Talent Acquisition – thank you for calling me in for an interview, while I’m confident I have the ability to make a positive impact, I noticed that the job description is looking for <x, y, z, or # of years experience, or whatever else>, and I do not meet those qualifications, are you able to provide more insight regarding why I was asked to have an interview?”

In doing so, it should help you prepare better for the interview by guiding your conversation on those reasons.

My point is, I’m trying to avoid you receiving the weak ass excuse of you lacking specific experience when clearly they knew that up front but still decided to have you interview.  That is what you want to zone in on by asking why upfront.

Guts, assertiveness, possibilities, opportunities, career success, chocolate ice cream with sprinkles.  The finer things in life.

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A Thought On Communication (Beastie Boys Style)

Please don’t have Ill Communication as it could Sabotage your current interview/work situation. 

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Occasionally, I have hiring managers call me asking why someone didn’t show up at work or couldn’t be reached for a scheduled interview. 

With having our phones beside us the majority of the time, please keep decision makers informed on what’s going on to allow them to plan accordingly.  

I realize we often get caught up in other priorities, and our work is not always top of mind, but if you can occasionally send an update, I believe it can go a long way, regardless of the message being sent. 

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer (Author and no affiliation to Mike D, Ad-Rock, or MCA).

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One Of The Biggest Cardinal Sins To Interviewing: Being Late

Although, one that probably tops it: Being Smelly

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Short story:

When I was in my early 30’s, I was called in to interview with a strategy management consulting company in Atlanta.  I’m talking about big balla status, Ivy-league MBA, top tier management consulting, ~$400/HR type…way out of my league.

Maybe I had a slight chance, but then guess what?

I was late, I mean not just a few minutes, over 15…that’s an eternity when it comes to interviewing.

I didn’t account for the horrific Atlanta traffic on a Friday afternoon…how dumb, the lame traffic excuse.

Did I get offered the position…heeeeck NO! 

I’m lucky they even let me in the building to talk to me at that point.

I was stressed, I didn’t present well, I was gushing sweat out of every last pore and I didn’t have anything witty to say to dig myself out (“He must have had on some really nice pants” ~Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness).

Don’t be late, expect the unexpected.

Added bonus: don’t smell…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How Are You Cutting Through The Noise?

The noise I’m referring to is what a potential hiring manager or internal HR personnel gets hit with every day when they post a new position online.

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If you’re doing what everyone else is doing, and blindly sending out your resume, you are adding to the noise, not cutting through it.

I’m suggesting to sharpen your knife and cut, as I believe it can lead to better results.

A more effective cut includes being personable, relevant, trust-worthy and creative.

Bring out your Swiss Army knife and start making some better cuts.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Salesforce Certifications, An Impediment

This week, I had lunch with a senior level architect/consultant and he seems to occasionally get questioned about his lack of certifications prior to joining a project, which annoys him.

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For him, certifications are not his focus, but rather these concepts:

– when sh%* hits the fan, they call him to fix it and he drops what he’s doing to take action

– they ask him for his valued opinion and validation 

– he provides honesty and integrity every step along the way

– clients can throw most anything his way as they know he’ll have an idea as to what to do next

– he has passion, works from his heart and builds working relationships

– he thinks logically about the downstream impacts that a decision will have

– he counsels and assists others around him for the sake of the team success 

With this, he continuously stays employed as a high billing consultant. 

This is not to downplay those highly credentialed Salesforce professionals, but it is to up-play those senior level practitioners who have been in the trenches for years, with a track record of success and have felt friction with the certification phenomenon getting in their way.

Great job! Keep leading the field!

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Salesforce Career Seekers: USP – Unique Selling Proposition

I often try to relate Sales and Marketing to your job search and I think you should to.

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As you think about your resume, ask yourself, is this unique? 

And I’m not talking about a whacky font selection or a selfie of you with Britney Spears in the corner, I’m referring to the content.

Keywords like dependable, trustworthy, hardworking, etc. are not unique on their own and really should be expected, but rather maybe a few short sentences that imply why those are true and a reader can have an emotional connection with them.

Plus, anything else that helps show why you’re different, unique and a “good catch”.

The purpose of a USP is about positioning and connection, to attract a prospective employer and for them decide to choose to call you back versus someone else.

USP – the difference between you and me.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Let’s Play, Cliché

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” ~Wayne Gretzky (Hall of Fame, Hockey Player)

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If you decide to use LinkedIn as one of your avenues to apply for positions, please don’t let the # of applicants discourage you from also applying.

I can tell you from 1st hand experience, the majority (I would guess over 85%) of the resumes that come in aren’t even close to being qualified.

I’m talking about things like: Kids Face Painting Artists applying for Salesforce Technical Architect positions.  

I guess the applicant took the word “draw” in the below job description way too literal. 

The Salesforce Technical Architect possesses broad knowledge across multiple development platforms and “draws” on their skills…

This example is made up to prove a point, but I’ve seen some just as ridiculous. 

In summary, take a shot or two, as you’re probably closer than many others, and you never know, if a different position becomes available where you’re a better fit, you could get called in for that.

Shoot, score, win, drink champagne…

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Getting Called To The Next Round

As a recruiter, I’ll take a candidate dis-qualifier of lack of experience in a specific hard skill any day of the week, as that’s a tangible factor that’s understandable.

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But what is disheartening, is receiving the below reasons on 2 separate occasions last week, which weren’t the only reasons but definitely did not help the candidate’s overall positioning. 

“Chris, the candidate did not know anything about our company or what we do.”

And 

“Chris, the candidate was unenthusiastic and appeared as if we were wasting their time.”

I realize being unenthusiastic may be a matter of opinion or the individual could be having a bad day. 

In summary, there are many factors being evaluated during an interview, and for those that are what I consider “easier”, please allow them to be. 

It could make all the difference in being called for the next round. 

Thank you. Have a great week ahead.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Are You Tapping Into Your Past Relationships To Help You Land Your 1st/Next Position?

With the almost hard to believe statistic that states approximately 80% of positions filled are through word of mouth, please take this into consideration during your job search.

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You might want to jot down 15 or 20 people you have either previously worked with, went to school with, been a part of an association with, or somehow have known each other through past interaction and check them out on LinkedIn.

Maybe, just maybe, they can get you one step closer to the front door depending on where they’re working, the type of work they’re doing and who they might be connected with that is tied to Salesforce. 

The best time to leverage your network during your job search was yesterday, the 2nd best time is TODAY.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Annoyances Of “Too’s”

After multiple interviews, we didn’t get the offer and we’re not really sure why.

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Therefore, we usually try to rationalize all the too’s…

Were we: too short, too tall, too experienced, too inexperienced, too young, too old, too bald, too hairy, too ugly, too pretty, too intimidating, too bashful, too fat, too skinny, too fast, too slow, too much, too little, too loud, too soft-spoken, too aggressive, too passive, too late, too early, too fashionable, too old-school.

The list goes on…

And most times, we’ll never really know the real reason.

Suggestion: Reflect, but don’t dwell. Modify what you can.

Your unique too’s make up your yous.

And the right employer will come along and appreciate the too’s in you.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Do Salesforce Contractors Make More And Work Less?

This was a thought that often ran through my head when I was an employee for various SI’s and independent contractors would come in and help augment the project.

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Here I was working 60+ hours a week, in a high stress environment, with curve balls being thrown at me every which way, daily.

And many of the contractors would come in, do their job, leave on time and if called upon after hours, usually get paid for that extra time.

While this appears to be the most financially rewarding and stress-free route to take, there’s a lot more to it:

Typically:

– Contractors only get paid when they work; employees get paid regardless

– Contractors are responsible for lining up their own projects; employees don’t have to worry about this

– Contractors have to figure out things on their own; employees can often tap into their internal employee network

– Contractors have all the overhead of benefits, accounting/taxes, paid training, 401k, etc.; employees have this covered

– Contractors may hit a bill rate plateau over time; employees tend to have an upward ladder of career and salary progression

I’m sure there’s others…

Depending on your situation, the grass may not always be greener.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: BIBO (Be Intrigued By Others)

I think one of the best ways to help keep you going in your job search is speaking to others who have found success.

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Often when I’m speaking to someone and see or hear that their background had nothing to do with technology or Salesforce and now they have a successful career in Salesforce,

I’m intrigued…

So I ask them to share their story while asking questions along the way.

I suggest for you to do the same.

Why?

New ideas may arise in that conversation to help lead you a little closer to your goal.

Learn and be intrigued by others.

Success leaves clues.

BIBO!

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Suggestion, Transcribe Your Career Search Experiences

If you were to ask me 3 years ago about writing, I would have thought it was a complete waste of time.

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Now that I’ve been doing it for awhile, I find it very therapeutic due to the emotional roller coaster tied to recruiting and would suggest for you to give it a try as you go along your journey of landing your Salesforce position.

It doesn’t matter if you publish it on a blog or keep it to yourself, as you’re doing it for yourself. 

Below are some of the benefits:

– Equips us with overall communication and thinking skills

– Expresses who we are as an individual

– Allows us to explain and refine our ideas

– Allows us to analyze and understand a situation better

– Allows us to have some peace of mind moving it from thoughts to written form

– Provides lessons learned along the way to reflect on

Above all, it provides us comfort to wash away negative experiences and to start again. 

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” -Anne Frank (Author, The Diary of a Young Girl)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Understanding A Hiring Manager’s Wants Versus Needs

I think most job descriptions are primarily speaking to an employer’s (hiring manager’s) needs.

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This is the practical and objective criteria to justify an initial conversation.

What the hiring manager cares more about is how a candidate is going to address their wants (the intangibles).

Which are often subjective, maybe even personable, and things that I would consider the “unspoken truth”.

Such as:

-Reducing their overhead

-Being relatable and likable

-Fitting into company culture

-Articulate/Understandable 

-Passionate

-Professional

-Reliable

-Easy going/flexible

Addressing these “wants” help remove the risk of the hiring manager making a bad hiring decision (assuming the baseline needs are also met).

As you interview, think about stories/scenarios to help illustrate these areas and I think you’ll have a better outcome.

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Being Defeated Is OK (A Different Perspective For Aspiring Salesforce Career Seekers)

In speaking with aspiring Salesforce career seekers that have yet to get their break in landing their 1st PAID Salesforce position after months or even over a year of disappointment, I often think, maybe there’s a better path forward for them which has nothing to do with Salesforce.

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Daily, we are getting hit upside the head with the future of Salesforce opportunities, thousands of jobs to be had, the projected growth of the platform, the ease of training oneself on Trailhead, the vast support system that’s available, the big money to be made, the local and national events, the list goes on and on, BUT…

This career path may NOT be the right one for you.

Sure, obstacles, challenges and the ability to push through the anguish to land that 1st Salesforce position might be what you have your heart and mind set out to do, but maybe another way to think about it, is: 

A Salesforce career or something better than where I am today

With this mindset, it gives you the opportunity to explore other career options that exist that can also give you the sense of accomplishment and career satisfaction, and only you can decide what better might be by being open to hear, explore, think and try those options.

Better for you is FOR YOU, not what anyone else necessarily encourages you to do. Your own personal perspective weighs heavily into what “better” might be, and having context around what you enjoy, and excites and motivates you to move forward.

Therefore, if you feel extreme anxiety, or the burden upon you every day as you chase this Salesforce career path, re-evaluating your situation with a deeper perspective should be the next, best course of action.

Giving up is also a sign of maturity and internal wisdom to realize something is not working and a change needs to be made.

Additionally, we often don’t speak to or highlight the challenges that a Salesforce professional experiences as part of their day to day activities, but they should be accounted for.

Some examples:

1.      Additional stress of managing unrealistic expectations by company stakeholders

2.      Dealing with end users who really don’t care about using the platform

3.      Working with other members of the team that end up breaking what you’ve built

4.      Spending hours during your personal time on the weekends or evenings to meet specific deadlines

5.      Carrying dead weight of other members of the team that make you miserable working with

6.      Layoffs will/do happen even for a Salesforce professional

I think if you have a candid conversation with most Salesforce professionals, they will tell you that their Salesforce career has its associated challenges.

For some, Salesforce fell into their laps, for others, the challenge to break in wasn’t extremely difficult, for others it was, but in summary:

It’s OK if you determine that this path is not meant for you, it doesn’t have to be, as there are endless possibilities to finding a career that brings you joy, satisfaction and success, and it’s up to you to find it.

As you continue your pursuit, rather than having the mindset of: 

Salesforce only

Think about:

Salesforce or something better than where I am today

Hopefully you would agree, that’s what really matters in your career…

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Digging Your Well (A Short Guide For College Grads Thinking About A Career In Salesforce)

Dig your well, before you’re thirsty…

No matter how smart you are, no matter how talented, you can’t do it alone.

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Recently, I had a soon to be college graduate, ask me about the best way to land a position as a Salesforce technologist before he finishes school. I thought this was a great question given he has 4 months of runway between now and the time he graduates, barring he does not get expelled for ordering a pizza in the middle of class between now and then.

The suggestion I had was an easy one to make: “start building your network of connections in the Salesforce ecosystem immediately”.

As the world changes, one thing will remain constant: the relationships you develop over a lifetime.

I think many of us wait until we are very close to graduating to make networking a priority, but to give yourself a competitive advantage against your other graduating classmates, start building the necessary bridges (aka connections) to help in forming meaningful relationships with those in the Salesforce community.

If you’re in an area that has Salesforce community meetups, please start attending and expressing your interest. I’ve been going to these for years, and very rarely do we have college students attend and I live in Houston where we have over 40 colleges and universities with over 300,000 students. You would stand out among your peers and have the opportunity to network with those already working in Salesforce. 

You can register for the various community groups here: https://success.salesforce.com/

Additionally, many universities have their own dedicated Salesforce Community Groups that are dedicated just to students. And if you don’t have one available, you could always start one.

If an in-person option is not possible, start showing up to the Salesforce virtual sessions such as the MVP Office Hours where the Salesforce community collaborates and aids those that are needing help and looking for real time feedback. Although, you might not be actively participating or don’t have questions, you should be listening and understanding the challenges existing Salesforce professionals are having, and then even start to build your network with those that are part of the group, by having conversations outside of this group setting.

Another great option is utilizing your alumni network. Search for alumni on LinkedIn that have a Salesforce title and connect with them to start conversations about their career, how they landed their 1st position and any suggestions that they might have if they were in your shoes. More importantly, KEEP IN TOUCH after making that initial outreach.  Most alumni are always open to helping a fellow student from their Alma Mater and if you’re genuine in asking for help and have humility in your conversations with them, I think most will oblige.

There’s a good acronym when it comes to networking and since we’re talking about school, what better way to tie this subject together:

R.I.S.K. 

Reciprocity – understanding that it’s a two-way street when building a network; you give, you get, you no give, you no get

Interdependency – our success does not come in isolation; we need to rely on each other for help

Sharing – hopefully we’ve all learned that sharing is caring; this is especially true in building your network

Keeping at it – sure, you may get the occasional brush off and that’s OK; if a door is closed, that just means another one somewhere else is waiting to be opened

The networking mistakes people make in their lives come from the risks they never take. 

Article was inspired by the book: Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty (The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need) By: Harvey Mackay, 1997

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Salesforce Career Seekers – You Are An Artist

Salesforce Career Seekers – if you’re currently not seeing the results that you would like in landing your 1st Salesforce position, I encourage you to take on an artist mindset and start to work on your craft.

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You have all the tools you need to start (Trailhead, Developer Org, Support System, User Groups, Books, Blogs, YouTube Videos, the list goes on). The next step is to start using those tools and applying your individual thoughts to build on what you’ve learned.

Any employer can turn Salesforce “on” and start using the out of the box Salesforce functionality, but your goal is to build, customize and create a series of apps that are unique to you, your personality and the ideas that you come up with that a potential employer can have interest in and potentially start a conversation with you.

This process shows and proves that you can take an idea from a concept to a tangible, working product.

Someone (an employer for example) can always buy a stock photo that was produced for the masses, but if they want something truly unique, they’ll buy individual art.

Art has personality, it has emotion behind it, and it has the labor of love that was required to build it and then the opportunity for you to show the world, “I made this, it’s for you”. The “you” in this context is the employer who has a need for what you can do. Although, it won’t be every employer and if initially you do not get any interest, then you try again, and again and again, one paint stroke at a time.

You’ll learn, you’ll revise, you’ll get feedback and you’ll become better. 

Bob Ross, American Painter, Art Instructor and Television Host has painted over 30,000 paintings in his lifetime, and 91% of those contained the same elements (clouds, mountains, lakes). He then added his own personality to each and every painting based on how he was feeling that day. Translate this to Salesforce, it can be accounts, opportunities, cases, contacts, workflow automation, data validation rules, or even custom objects which you create. After reading or thinking about a concept, figure out ways to apply that to your work in progress application and keep building upon it.

A few quotes by Bob that might help you in your journey:

“The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.”

“I think there’s an artist hidden at the bottom of every single one of us.” 

“We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.”

“Anytime you learn, you gain.”

“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.”

Now it’s your turn to be an artist and show the world what you can do.

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A Good Salesforce Success Story

A good Salesforce success story to share from a Salesforce connection who landed his 1st Admin position.

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Over the course of a year or so, he used Trailhead and Udemy to study for and pass the Administrator and App Builder certifications

He then built a custom app for his current company to try to convince them to adopt Salesforce, and let him transition to an Admin role. This didn’t go anywhere with his company, but the process of trying to find solutions to real problems helped him to connect many of the trails and projects he had been learning on Trailhead.

Applied to every position he could find.

Continued to refine his resume and asked for feedback from other Salesforce professionals.

Accepted lots of rejection.

Reached out to acquaintance/friend who’s company was looking for a developer. He encouraged him to apply, even though he knew nothing about the development.  He received an email a week later saying they just happen to also be looking for an Admin, and wanted to set up an interview. 

He was offered a job a week later. 

Having a connection somewhere can help you stand out when a hiring manager has a massive stack of resumes.

Networking can be all you need to get your foot in the door and in this story the path to success is not a straightforward one.

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Salesforce Newcomers: What Are You Doing To Become “Known”?

I strongly believe that is the #1 question to ask yourself daily.

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You should have a list of simple, realistic and easy to obtain goals to help you become more known.

Think about how a marketing drip campaign works.

Drip, drip, drip…

That’s the mindset you should have.

Building awareness, dropping value, making connections, meeting others, writing, engaging, showcasing your work.

Daily, weekly, monthly, whatever cadence you want; the more the better as long as it’s valuable and not:

Posting 1 certification and saying: “here I am, come and get it”.

My brother from another mother, Ben Duncombe, just hit me up and we’ll be working on a podcast around “branding”, but in the meantime, please start thinking through and listing some ideas and goals to help you achieve better awareness of who you are, what you can do, and why you have EARNED the right to be a contender in this ultra competitive Salesforce newcomer job market.

And if you’re hesitant, remember this:

“Be who you are and say/do what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

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Momentum

Salesforce career newcomers – as you know, landing your 1st Salesforce related position is always the hardest in your journey.

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But think about the word: momentum

Finding and applying to that 1st position, connecting to that 1st hiring manager, getting called in for that 1st interview, getting accepted to do some pro-bono work, having informative conversations with existing Salesforce professionals, passing your 1st cert, etc. 

Whatever little successes you’re seeing build upon each other, use that as positive momentum to keep going.

You might not always realize it, and some may be extremely small, but it is forward motion. 

A manual water pump doesn’t produce water on the 1st pump, a merry-go-round doesn’t spin itself without some manual up front pushing, and a locomotive takes force and energy to start going. 

Your career should be viewed the same way, as momentum builds on itself with time, effort and consistency.

Mo…Mome…Moment…Momentum!

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Two Things An Employer Is Evaluating

Salesforce Career Seekers – as you continue to put your sales hat on to help sell yourself into your 1st position, there are 2 major things that come to mind that an employer is most likely evaluating. 

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How do they:

Reduce the risk of the hiring decision. 

Trust that the individual selected is the right choice. 

And how do you go about meeting/exceeding these objectives?

It’s not just by what you say, but rather by what you can show.

There are countless ways to show and share your ideas, your work, your passion, your skills, your ability to connect and collaborate.

And this is all FREE!

It just takes time.

Doing so, builds awareness, allows connections, reduces risk and increases trust.

Help make the hiring manager’s decision an easy one.

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Keeping A Pulse On Market Conditions

Salesforce Professionals – if money (aka your salary) is your major motivational factor, are you keeping a pulse on if your salary is in line with market conditions?

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Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in the day to day we may lose sight of what I call “opportunity cost”.

The loss of potential gain when one choice is taken versus another. 

In other words, if I’m being paid $10 today and the market conditions are saying that I should be paid $12, I’m leaving $2 in lost opportunity dollars per day for someone else (your employer to keep, your colleague to have, another company who is willing to pay it, etc.).  All other things remaining equal.

Days compound to weeks, weeks compound to months, and before you know it, a years worth of opportunity cost dollars really add up.

I’m not suggesting greed, I’m suggesting fair. 

And I realize there’s much more that goes into your career than money and other ways to weigh your job satisfaction. 

In summary, it is your responsibility to reduce your opportunity cost as much as you can and to take an occasional evaluation.

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Sexism In The Sales Tech Industry

As you know, I’ve posted some bullsh*# that happens to me with the fraudulent behavior in technical recruiting, but what I experienced yesterday with the amount of sexism in the sales tech industry tops the cake, BY FAR!

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In hanging out with an attractive female consultant that is also responsible for generating new business and the types of text messages she received after the meet and greet event occurred was extremely disturbing. 

Ridiculous sh*# like:

Paraphrased – 

“You’re the most attractive female I met tonight, I’m staying at hotel XYZ, do you want to hang out for a drink tonight”

“What are you up to, can I come by to meet you later”

“How long will you be out, maybe we can get together”

No sh*#, these are the types of texts she showed me.

I honestly didn’t know what to say, except to advise her to ignore every one of these.  

I’m not in her shoes and I never will be, nor was I there in the initial introductory conversation, so my opinion can only go so far, but what she shared with me really opened my eyes to a whole other side of what an attractive sales female is up against, which correlate to statistics that state over 90% of females have witnessed sexist behavior at the office or at industry events. 

This sucks and I couldn’t provide any sound advice to help.

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In The Spirit Of College Football

Salesforce Career Seekers – in the spirit of college football kicking off in the U.S. this week, a short career success story from my network.

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An experienced Java developer recently relocated to a completely new area where she wasn’t known and in parallel decided to change career paths to Salesforce. 

As we might expect, she continued to run into roadblocks due to lack of relevant specific Salesforce experience.

Being proactive, she started to build her LI connections in the area.  One of those connections decided to pass her resume over to HR. 

Although the company wasn’t hiring, she persuaded HR to interview her anyhow for the future. 

Low and behold, eventually a position opened up and she was the 1st candidate they called and eventually landed the position. 

Key points:

1. She focused on, learned and applied scenario based problem solving skills more than strictly certs. 

2. She stayed confident in her abilities.

3. She was proactive. 

B!

B!

B PROACTIVE!

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Interview Tips

This week, I was asked to conduct a mock interview for an up and coming Salesforce professional, as part of the Salesforce mentorship program.

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Some key takeaways from that interview that I thought might be helpful:

– Have an answer regarding why you chose Salesforce as your profession (suggestion: probably best to leave $ out of the answer).

– Be sure you’re in a quiet location for the call, even subtle background noises can be a distraction (wind blowing, traffic, cows mooing).

– If you’re unsure that you answered the question being asked, ask the interviewer: “did that address your question or should I elaborate further?”

– Have a good answer to: why you chose to apply for this position and/or this company.

– Have a few answers to: how you solved a challenging problem, why it was a challenge and what you learned.

– Follow up with a brief email (again: brief), reiterating what you heard and why you think you would be a good fit; be specific.

Short tribute and relevant lyrics:

“If at first you don’t succeed (first you don’t succeed),

Dust yourself off, and try again

You can dust it off and try again, try again” 

“Try Again” ~ Aaliyah, 08/25/2001

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Hiring Managers: The Joys Of Salesforce Interviewing

This one brought a tear to my eye and I thought it was worth sharing.

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In speaking to a Salesforce hiring manager today who interviewed a Salesforce Developer who looked like an absolute all-star on paper. 

Hiring Manager: “So, where do you do most of your actual development work: Sandbox, Production, or Other?” 

Candidate: “On my computer…” 

I guess technically the candidate was right… Needless to say, the interview didn’t last too much longer. Have a great weekend!

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Being An Independent Salesforce Consultant

Over the weekend, I read a few great articles on being an independent Salesforce consultant.

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One aspect I wanted to point out, based on my experience, that you might want to take into consideration, if this is the route you aspire to take, is your bill rate.

I believe eventually you hit a ceiling, regardless of how many additional years of experience you have, additional certifications you obtain, high profile clients you’ve served, etc. 

There are exceptions to produce greater income, such as, building an actual company with employees, moonlighting and serving more than one client, or finding clients that will only pay what you want to charge and you’re willing to turn down projects until then.

My bill rate eventually flatlined based on what the market was willing to pay and I have those in my network that have seen the same. 

I also have had discussions with those who decide to go back to being a corporate employee because of this (along with the need to have a steady paycheck).

Your mileage may vary, but please keep in mind that your bill rate curve does not go to infinity as an independent consultant.

Have a great week ahead.

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