Salesforce Professionals: Salary Negotiations

If you’re working with an external recruiter, would you rather have them negotiate your salary on your behalf, or do it yourself?

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Some thoughts:

1. Chris – handle it for me, you know what I’m looking for, isn’t this what you get paid for?

2. Chris – I’ll take care of it, it will help polish my professional negotiating skills and hopefully, build further rapport with the company.

Interested to hear your take…

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Salesforce Professionals: “Couldn’t we just?”

Does hearing this question/statement make your skin crawl when someone at your company (or maybe an external consultant) chimes into a conversation, where you’re presenting a solution and says:

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“Couldn’t we just do X?”

Specifically, when their suggestion is not realistic, or adds complexity/scope, or has already been discussed without them, or something they don’t have enough knowledge on to make such as suggestion.

And then over time that individual may start to be “accidentally” removed from future discussions.

“Hey Chris, I heard you met with the stakeholders yesterday, why wasn’t I invited?”

I understand, we often feel our presence in a meeting is needed/wanted/of value so we might need to add in “Couldn’t we just…” to contribute to the conversation.

This question (or suggestion) is probably more favorable to have one on one instead of in an audience setting, as sometimes the thought provided is actually a good one.

Having awareness and removing your “Couldn’t we justs” could help keep peace amongst the group.

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Newcomers): Your ideas

Have you thought about different ways to land your first Salesforce opportunity but haven’t tried them out yet?

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Possibly due to the fear that they might not work.

Some of these ideas might be the same that others have also thought about.

And ironically, they haven’t tried them, either.

Ironically (times two), these ideas might be what actually works and sets you apart.

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Salesforce Interviews: Take it or leave it

This week we had someone smoking during the video interview.

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That’s a first for me and will be added to the recruiting handbook.

With more video meetings this year, I’m glad we’re not holding back.

Authenticity is great, although, I’m not sure where the line should be drawn.

Oh well, in this case, the employer passed on them…they could have been a coding superstar.

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What makes a junior, mid-level, or senior level title?

Someone might call themselves a junior developer although they’ve been in the industry for 2+ years clearly doing software development, whereas someone else calls themselves a senior developer after 3 years.

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Who decides? Is there really a standard?

Someone’s experience in 2 years could greatly differ from someone else’s in those same 2 years…

If the title isn’t given to you by your company, how does one decide what level they are currently, and at what point do they determine they are at the next level?

Especially during the job search, thinking: although, my previous company called me, X, clearly I was Y.

Or a colleague, mentor or friend might say, “You’re no longer junior, you past that level 6 months ago”

Or “I don’t think you’re quite at the senior level yet due to…”

Maybe there is an intimidation factor at play, and it’s best to stay under the radar from going to the next level, as the possibility of imposter syndrome is brought about regarding what one should know and actually does know.

The challenge with titles…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: An Edge

Do you feel that you have an edge that you can use to your advantage?

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You probably have one (or a few), but have you figured out how to demonstrate/communicate this so a potential employer will take notice?

Maybe it’s industry experience, a success story, hard/soft/transferable skills, your network and existing relationships, or something specific to that position or employer that might help give you a leg up.

Are there other things that you can try that you haven’t yet, to help show them your edge?

Stay away from the middle, as that’s where all the others are sitting around and hanging out.

Take pride in your edge.

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Salesforce Professionals: Job Descriptions

As we know, many of the Salesforce open positions that we see have job descriptions that read about the same.

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Some even tend to be a few different descriptions combined to make one catch-all.

Rather than discussing these problems, what are some specific things in a job description that would attract you to have interest?

Maybe more about the company, leadership team, the work environment, the team dynamics, the technologies they have in place, the type of people or backgrounds that would make a good fit, the future projects they want to pursue with your help, etc.

I think many companies could use our help to bring in talent but might not know the best way to market a position.

What would you find useful to hear about?

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Salesforce Professionals: What do you think about icons on a resume?

In having a conversation with a Salesforce newcomer this week, they had a few icons for their certs and super badges at the top of their resume.

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Personally, I would like to just see these listed as hyperlinks in the Education and Certification section at the bottom.

Any thoughts, suggestions, preferences? As I imagine many have thought about this…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Ignoring Circle…

We often get ignored after applying for a position or after an interview and not getting feedback.

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Which causes frustration to the job seeker…

But, as the circle comes around, we as candidates, often ignore reach-outs that come to us presenting a new opportunity.

Which causes equal frustration to the recipient…

“No thanks, not interested/not a good fit”, could greatly reduce the frustration of this circle.

Or is “the implied hint” going to continue to be the universal way of communicating?

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Salesforce Professionals: “Oh, that explains it.”

Out of curiosity, when you’re looking at someone’s previous Salesforce work that you’re now responsible for, do you often ask yourself:

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“what in the heck were they trying to do?”

Then maybe you decide to look them up on LinkedIn to see what their experience level was at that time?

And then tell yourself: “Oh, that explains it”.

We all had to start somewhere, but I guess inheriting someone else’s work is just part of the job.

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Salesforce Professionals: Insight

The power or act of seeing into a situation.

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Are you able to provide insight in your communications, such as on a status report, survey results, your research on a topic, your assessment to a situation, etc.

Or do you just restate what’s considered the obvious?

Can you have your audience think or say: “Wow, I didn’t see that, what you provided was very insightful, thank you”.

Not always easy to do, but if done consistently, more rapport, trust and connection can be established.

Note: providing the definition of Insight here was not very insightful, hopefully, some of the rest of this post was.

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Salesforce Professionals: Core Functional Salesforce Knowledge

What would be the top 3-5 things you feel every Salesforce professional should know as core functional CRM knowledge?

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Without all the bells and whistles…

Let’s assume it’s Sales Cloud.

Some of my initial thoughts:

– What happens during the lead conversion process.

– What’s a sales stage and how is it used.

– What’s significant about a pipeline and forecasting.

– The most important management report or dashboard, what should be on it, and why.

Please share yours that are more significant…

Occasionally, we get asked these types of questions during an interview, and think it’s important to be prepared for what’s at the heart of CRM.

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Salesforce Professionals: Intimidated to apply?

Recently, someone told me they felt intimidated to apply for a specific position they were interested in.

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They didn’t feel they were fully qualified or if they were called in for an interview, it would increase unwanted anxiety.

Understandable, when many of us really dread interviews.

Has this ever happened to you?

If so, any thoughts to get over this situation of not applying?

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Salesforce Professionals: Company Culture

If you interview someone, and you determine they don’t fit your company culture, what does that mean?

Or

If you are the candidate, and the feedback is, you don’t fit the company culture, what does that mean to you?

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Do we sometimes use “company culture” as a scapegoat reason to some other underlying problem?

Or is it just necessary to say this to prevent an uncomfortable and potentially hostile situation?

Maybe poor communication, being unprofessional, undesired appearance, inflated ego, negative attitude, or some other soft quality gets put into the company culture bucket.

As a recruiter, it’s hard to receive and even harder to give when it’s such a broad stroke.

In other words, this is not how it usually plays out when providing feedback after the 1st interview.

Recruiter: “Sorry Chris, they’re going to pass on you, as you didn’t fit their company culture”.

Chris: “Oh, OK, I know exactly what they meant”.

Can the company culture rationale get some supporting context when providing feedback or is it best to have to make assumptions on the underlying cause?

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Salesforce Professionals: You’ve become too good to move

The challenge we often fall into is wanting to make a move internally (or to another project in consulting) to get more experience
in other areas, but because you’ve become too good in your current position, management would rather you just stay where you are.

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Or they act interested, then weeks or months go by, and nothing changes.

What do you do?

  • Make threats that you’ll leave if a transition plan isn’t put in place.
  • Decide to look elsewhere, as they had their chance (possibly multiple chances), to take action.
  • Take it upon yourself to look for a replacement internally to suggest who can take over.
  • Screw up royally on purpose to force their hand (not advised).

Often a predicament, when you’ve become too good to move.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): U.S. Technical Talent

Do you think we have a shortage of technical talent (specifically developers) in the U.S. that are U.S. Citizens or Green Card Holders?

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If so, why do you think that’s the case?

Do you see this gap being closed?

Do those who graduate with a tech degree move out of the field into managerial/team lead/high level solutioning roles shortly thereafter as they’re needed more in those areas?

Do those who plan on becoming a developer have a change of heart after a few years and move into something else?

Interested to hear your opinion…

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Salesforce Professionals: The Most Important

Do you feel there are some responsibilities of your position that are much more significant than others?

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Or do you consider it all to be equally important?

Are you able to say “no” to those that are most likely going to be time wasters?

I think most of us struggle with this…

A great quote I recently read:

“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” ~John Maxwell, Leadership 101

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Are the recruiting bots running amok?

On 3 separate occasions this past week, I heard that people were being reached out to about job opportunities on LinkedIn, which they respond, and then they never hear back.

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Initially, I thought it might have been lazy recruiters.

But then a connection mentioned receiving the same outreach message 3 times in a row.

Which seemed odd, and led me to believe it might not be a human on the other end.

Have you noticed anything like this to raise suspicion?

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Salesforce Professionals: Soft Skills

Is there 1 particular soft skill that you favor the most in a colleague, or one that you feel is the most valuable to have?

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Possibly, it’s a combination that’s really needed.

In Ian Gotts’s video below, he speaks to business analysis as a skillset and not just a job title and lists the below soft skills:

-Listening

-Presenting

-Facilitating

-Questioning

-Communicating

-Navigating Company Politics

Are there any others that come to mind?

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Salesforce Professionals: Longer Than It Should Have Been

Have you previously thought back and realized that you were at a company longer than you should have been?

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Why did that happen?

Maybe you’re feeling that way now…

Often, we get so busy being “in” the company, that we don’t find the time to decide if we should be “at” the company.

Allowing months (or years…eek!) to go by…

Possibly preventing the career growth that you’re seeking to be achieved.

And then you made the move and ask, why didn’t I do this sooner?

Many of us have been there (or are currently there).

Occasionally, you might want to evaluate your present to determine if it’s leading you to a better future.

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Salesforce Professionals: Stepping Stone Positions

Thinking back on your previous jobs, has there been any that were somewhat unrelated or maybe considered a stepping stone to what you’re doing now?

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Interested to hear your real world experiences, to possibly give those who are looking, additional ideas or routes to take to ultimately get to their end goal.

Thanks for sharing.

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Salesforce Professionals: Where to focus?

According to Management Philosopher, Peter Drucker, and his book, Managing Oneself, he states our best results are produced when we continue to focus and find opportunities and environments where we can build on our inherent strengths to allow us to make the greatest contribution, moving us from good to excellent.

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Versus spending time working on our weaknesses where we have little initial skill and will probably only take us from a low competency level to mediocre.

Do you agree in this approach?

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Salesforce Admins: Your Top Few

If you had to list the top 2 or 3 areas of responsibility (or skills) that you feel make you the most valuable, what would those be?

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I could be wrong, but I have a feeling it is not anything that you’ve been asked on the Admin Certification Exam…

Thank you for sharing with others.

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Salesforce Professionals: The Feedback Channel

How would you like to receive feedback when you don’t land the position?

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I realize in today’s lack of feedback world, anything is better than nothing.

Although, it’s not a call I look forward to making to present unfortunate news, a call is personal, more can be expressed, and usually the most effective form of communication.

But I don’t know if the recipient feels the same way.

If you send an email or text asking for feedback, would you rather just have a response back with an email/text?

Deep thoughts when I’m staring at my ceiling at midnight…

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Salesforce Professionals: Current Employment Status

If someone is currently unemployed, but their LinkedIn profile and resume shows still working at the last company, does that cause any credibility to be lost?

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I think we often feel (and unfortunately probably true to an extent) that a gap in employment could cause our chances of being hired to be reduced. As we initially want to be presented in the best light.

The thought came up as I was speaking to a candidate about their current position based on their resume and LI profile, which led to: “Chris, my employment there ended back in May”. They were still qualified and we proceeded.

What’s your take?

1. Show the real situation.

2. Show employed until it’s brought up in a conversation.

3. Chris, quit being a baby, if they’re qualified, leave it at that.

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Salesforce Professionals: Your hiring history

Out of curiosity, I (and maybe others) would like to hear about your history of Salesforce positions that you have ever landed (or just your most recent).

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Options such as:

1. Referred in/relationship based

2. Applied online (LinkedIn)

3. Applied online (company website)

4. External recruiter reached out to me

5. Internal recruiter reached out to me

6. Career fair/tech conference

7. Some other route

My guess is the higher percentage would fit into option 1.

For me (not all Salesforce, Oracle initially).

1st position – #1

2nd position – #3

3rd position – #3

4th – 9th positions (as a contractor) – #1

10th position (Recruiting) – #1

11th position (Salesforce consulting) – #1

The above shows 80%+ referred in/relationship based and fit into the 80/20 rule that most positions are landed that way.

Please share your experience.

Thank you for contributing.

Hopefully, this will help those looking for their next position to think about the best ways to spend their time.

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Newcomers): Going for the Jugular

In your job search, are you only going right for the Salesforce Admin jugular?

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Meaning limiting your search to only specific titles that are Admin related?

You might want to try coming in as a Support Analyst, Data Analyst, Data Steward, heck even Data Entry Clerk, as these could be good secondary veins for you to ride in on, that might eventually get you a little closer to the jugular that you’re looking for.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Resume Black Hole

Occasionally, the question is asked on how to avoid submitting your resume to the same place where there’s hundreds of others resumes being submitted and losing it to the black hole.

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My suggestion was try to reach the hiring manager directly.

But, rightfully so, many hiring manager’s would not appreciate that approach as:

1. You’re not following the protocol in applying, causing perceived negligence to following directions.

2. Hiring managers are busy, and you’ll probably not get a response or the response will be, “apply online” or “speak with HR”.

While I think this can be circumstantial depending on who the hiring manager is, a few other thoughts:

1. Can you find another common thread in your reach out, rather than just sending your resume?

2. Do you share a mutual connection that may be able to open the conversation up for you?

3. Rather than going to the hiring manager, maybe a better approach is someone at a lower level within the organization that you can ask for guidance on how best to approach and express interest.

“When one door is closed, don’t you know, another is open” ~Bob Marley

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Salesforce Developers: IDE’s

I was requested by a developer, to ask about your IDE of choice.

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Please provide your recommendation of what you currently use and possibly why, and/or any drawbacks that you’ve encountered with that IDE or others you’ve used.

Thank you for sharing.

“Technology and tools are useful and powerful when they are your servant and not your master” ~Stephen Covey (American Author/Educator)

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Salesforce Developers: 10,000x

Maybe you’ve heard the quote:

“The top software developers are more productive than average software developers not by a factor of 10x or 100x or even 1000x but by 10,000x.”

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This is by Nathan Myhrvold, former Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft.

While 10,000x is a stretch IMO, and has a lot of variables regarding the complexity of the software being built, a few suggestions on getting 2, 5, 10x better based on a few articles I’ve read that reference this quote:

– Better planning, focus and foresight

– Do not jump write into coding, trying one fix after another, which causes stress and mistakes, rather analyze the issue at hand 

– Do not skimp on analysis and design up front

– Using existing versus writing from scratch

– Consistently hitting your “groove” without distractions

– Leveraging what you know, who you know, and where to find what you don’t know

Any others?

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Entry Level Salaries

Has the rise in Salesforce entry level salaries caused an adverse reaction to employers wanting to hire?

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Conceptually, if the market salary for an entry level Salesforce position is $60-65K and if the market salary for someone with 2 years experience is $75-$80K, would it be in the employers best interest to just pay the difference and recruit in the experienced?

BUT, if the market salary for an entry level Salesforce position was $40-$45K, the delta would be much more significant between the inexperienced and the experienced, allowing for entry level to be taken into heavier consideration.

Yes, they risk losing that individual after a few years experience, but they would at least be able to get their career started.

Please Note: I received my first D in Advanced Economics in college, so the above theory could be completely wack.

Speaking of wack, how about some Kris Kross (Jump, 1992)…

“And everything is to the back with a little slack

‘Cause inside out, it’s wiggida wiggida wiggida wack

I come stompin’ with somethin’ pumpin’ to keep you jumpin’

R&B rap is bullcrap is what I’m dumpin’

Ain’t nuthin’ soft about Kris Kross, we all that

So when they ask, “Do they rock?,” say, “Believe that!”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Catch Your Breath

Sometimes in yoga, the instructor may mention to catch your breath.

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Or while intense exercising, you may get winded and need to pause, to catch your breath.

But how about during your interview?

Do you make a conscious effort to catch your breath?

Occasionally, I get feedback from the interviewer that they were not able to get a word in during the conversation, which causes frustration and lost interest.

I think it’s natural for us to often ramble to tell the receiving party everything we can, to fully answer a question, maybe even repeating ourselves and not really notice it while it’s happening.

Suggestion: put a post-it on your desk, wall, computer screen, phone, in your interview notebook, etc. in bold to: Catch Your Breath

Or whatever phrase works best to slow down, pause, and to try to reflect on your conversation as it’s happening.

It could make the difference to a better free-flowing interview.

And now, how about a little Sting/Police (1983):

“Every breath you take

Every move you make

Every bond you break

Every step you take

I’ll be watching you”

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Salesforce Career Seekers (newcomers): LinkedIn Job Postings

I decided to do a little analysis on Entry Level Salesforce related job postings.

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The outcome was not very promising and probably what many of you already know.

469 were categorized as entry level Salesforce positions posted for the U.S. over the last week.

I did a sampling of 50.

Of those: 

– 4 required 1-2 years experience 

– 26 required 2-4 years experience 

– 19 required 4+ years experience

I found 1 that was really entry level (BA position out of Austin).

Guess how many applicants?

476

Damn, Gina! (for my Martin Lawrence fans)

Maybe my sample set was bunk, and there’s a multitude of REAL entry level positions in the other 419?

I don’t think that’s the case…

Some thoughts: 

1. Don’t spend too much energy on the LI job board

2. Spend more time connecting, networking and showcasing your work and knowledge

3. Competition continues to be fierce, think of ways to be strategic in your search; being chosen 1 out of 476 are lousy odds

4. Many of the statistics that we see around the number of new Salesforce positions do not identify entry level

5. Are there alternative career paths to evaluate with a lower barrier of entry if time is a critical element for you

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Post-Interview

After your interview, what do you do the next day?

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A. Nothing.

B. Send a general thank you email.

C. Send a specific email listing the top 3 things you heard were the biggest challenges the company is experiencing and how you would tackle them.

The majority are going to choose A or B.

Can you choose C?

The answers don’t have to be 100% accurate, the hiring manager knows you had little information to go on, it’s more about taking what was discussed, giving it your best shot and you using it to your advantage to differentiate yourself.

This past week, 3 candidates I presented interviewed for a position.

Guess who received the offer?

Sure, they might have gotten the offer without doing C, but it definitely didn’t hurt.

“It’s the small things that will make you successful” ~The Great Khali (Indian Born, American Professional Wrestler, 7’1″, 347 LBS)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Search Results and Opportunity

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of searching for answers on how to do very specific things in Salesforce.

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Between outdated articles or just not being able to find anything relatable, it can get pretty exhausting.

Maybe you’ve been there too…

Posting to the community could get us a little closer.

But, overall, I think this means there is ample opportunity for you to stand out, as there are many voids that could use your help.

Maybe it’s time for you to start that blog, putting solutions to problems that you’re experiencing and not finding existing answers to.

It shows that you’re analytical, a problem solver, a good communicator, and a giver.

All great qualities a potential employer would be looking for.

This is exactly what Evelyn Grizzle did with anothersalesforceblog which has led to additional advancement in her career.

The same opportunity is there, waiting, begging, calling for you to help.

What are you waiting for?

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Salesforce Professionals: Our resumes

I was reminded this week by a friend who is currently interviewing Salesforce candidates for his company.

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“Chris, what’s up with all grammatical errors, poor formatting, randomness, and overall low quality of the resumes I’m reviewing?”

Unfortunately, I’ve become partially numb to this after so many years.

Are we in a time, where the demand for our skills and experience are so strong that we can let the “little” things of a professional, well thought out, and grammatical free resume be a low priority?

While I don’t think resumes tell the complete story of someone, it is a critical element in the evaluation process.

The good news is: if you have a good resume put together, you’re miles ahead of your competition.

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Salesforce Business Analysts – The Glue

To those that are either a BA or often play the role of a BA.

You, my friends, I think are often the glue that holds it all together.

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I’ve been on a few discovery calls lately, and customers often don’t know what all Salesforce is capable of and how it can help.

Allowing your role to be so vital in successful outcomes.

By listening attentively, and continue to ask the good questions/statements:

“Have you thought about…”

“Would this be a good idea…”

“What if we did…”

“Did you know Salesforce could do…”

“What would it mean if…”

or “Can you run that by me again, I didn’t quite grasp it”

or even, “Let us take that one back and see what’s possible”

Isn’t it a great feeling, when your user says: “I’m not sure, what do you think?”

It’s often the “small” stuff during those conversations that means so much to the end users/stakeholders.

Continue to be courageous, exploratory, transparent, inquisitive, emphatic, allowing you to be viewed as the “go-to” that “just gets it”.

The shiny, new objects that are being developed are usually not possible without your contribution.

A few Salesforce BA book references below.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Salesforce Salaries (a rant)

Become a Salesforce Admin and you can make X.

Become a Salesforce Developer and you can make Y.

Become a Salesforce Architect and you can make Z.

Become a CTA and you can make ZZ.

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Is there any chance we can cool it with the Salesforce salary hype that continuously surrounds us?

I understand the marketing tied to it (attracting new talent to become a Salesforce professional). 

But does this in turn lead to false expectations, especially for our up and comers, when salaries are over-inflated, generalized, subjective and don’t tell a complete story?

I could be wrong, I’m a small fish in the overall Salesforce recruiting pond and don’t have a huge sample size, but very few positions I’ve been involved with have hit the mark of what I constantly see as the so called average salary for a given position.

Maybe we can come up with a more fulfilling (and realistic) narrative…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Over 100 emails

Hiring managers receive over 100 emails a day.

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Close to half get deleted without reading.

How can you stand out and help make sure yours gets the attention it deserves?

How about with an embedded video or audio 45-90 seconds long introducing yourself and why you’re interested and qualified for the position.

It’s unique, creative and personalized and you’ll get a much higher response rate.

There’s plenty of tools available (many are free or have a free trial).

cloudHQ

Vidyard

BombBomb

Covideo

Don’t know the hiring manager’s email address? Check out Hunter.io to find out.

“No one remembers you for standing in the crowd. But they do remember you for standing out of it.” ~Eddie Harris (American Jazz Musician)

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Salesforce Career Seekers (newcomers): Your 3 Biggest Challenges To Overcome

1. Strangers (Hiring Managers)

2. Trust (Theirs not yours)

3. Education (Theirs not yours)

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1. Stranger: A person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar.

Question: Does the hiring manager know who you are?

2. Trust: A firm belief in the character, strength, or truth of someone or something.

Question: Does a hiring manager trust you can do the job?

3. Education: A body of knowledge acquired. 

Question: How does the hiring manager know you can do the job?

The more time and effort you can spend educating (aka showing, telling, guiding, expressing) to strangers what you’re capable of, the more trust is built. 

Question (maybe a little cold-hearted): If you think certifications alone builds trust, why aren’t you being considered?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Maybe, somebody on LI is waiting for you to show up.

Maybe, it’s someone you don’t even know.

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Maybe, it’s someone who would like to see what you can do.

Maybe, it’s someone who wants to talk to you about a project or position they have or that they know about.

Maybe, it’s the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for.

Or maybe, they’ll just find someone else because you decided not to suit up and perform.

On more than 1 occasion, a Salesforce Career Seeker says: “Chris, I had someone reach out to me about discussing a potential position based on something I wrote about or a project I shared on LI and I didn’t know they were even noticing what I did”.

This happens and it’s the primary reason why I continue to suggest to post your work, your thoughts, etc. on LI for others to see what you have to offer.

And no, it usually won’t happen with one or two or three measly posts, as they may not catch it.

So you have to continue to be creative and share.

You have it within you…

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Imposter Syndrome

Thank you Terence Coffy for the suggestion for me to post on the topic of: Imposter Syndrome

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Rather than writing about it, I created a video (albeit a little dry, as I probably should have at least danced or juggled).

Short version of what I discuss:

  • Is I.S. a new phenomenon? I had not hear about it before a few years ago.
  • Who are you competing against? Yourself or others?
  • Can you quiet the noise from social media and certifications gone wild?
  • The importance of patience and trial by fire.
  • Using your past success as a guide.
  • Being positioned for success.

I also make reference to Amy Oplinger Singh’ Dreamforce presentation on this topic.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Being lonely…

Especially with COVID, is the lack of meaningful conversations causing your internal motivation to lag?

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Rather than just setting a goal of applying to X number of positions in a week, maybe an additional goal should be having X number of conversations with people in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Ideally, a phone call (or better yet, video), as a lot more can be accomplished, plus the human element comes into play in someone’s voice/tone/emotion, versus a written LOL.

Don’t think of it as a way of landing a position, but rather the opportunity to hear things you haven’t heard, or ideas for you to think about, or new questions for you to ask.

And you may even hear, “You know what, you should talk to so and so, they would be a good contact for you and I heard they had an open position”.

Making connections and having good conversations can help keep us going another day.

Sure, people are busy, but some might be experiencing the same loneliness as you and are looking for that conversation to be had.

It could help make your day (and theirs) a little more enjoyable.

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The Consultant’s Dilemma: Utilization Percentages

Target Annual Utilization = 85%

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On the bench 3 months, utilization is 0%.

On a project 9 months, working 60 hours but can only bill 40 (under-estimated, over-allocated), recorded utilization can only be 100%.

Year ends…

Actual utilization for the year = +115% -> blew utilization target out of the water

“Great, Utilization Bonus Time!”

Or

Recorded utilization for the year = ~77% -> didn’t meet target

“What the…, Low to No Utilization Bonus?”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Really?

Synonyms: Absolutely, Actually, Certainly, Surely, Unquestionably

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When we receive interview feedback such as: “We really liked you, but we want to interview others”.

Do you really mean really then?

No one enjoys being 2nd when it comes to interviews…really.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Feedback Loop

We, as recruiters, often have a hard time telling our fellow job seekers the exact feedback we get from clients, particularly when the communication is vague and/or not very constructive.

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Clients may also tell us something that’s a little harsher than we feel is right, and they don’t necessarily want us to just repeat what was said back to the candidate.

They understand it’s our job (and not an easy one) to be able to figure out how to hold the relationship intact on both sides, while also trying to be polite, sincere and helpful.

If you feel you received some “fluff” from a recruiter when you didn’t land the next interview or position, it might be because we struggled on how to communicate the feedback effectively or we just didn’t get enough information to form a logical conclusion.

Talking through it together may help fill in the gaps or asking the recruiter if they can get some more information to help you understand what happened are both options to think about during the feedback loop.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Soft Skills

We often correlate soft skills to verbal and written communications.

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But within that, the question is, how well do we speak or write about what specifically?

The below topics may not easily stand out in a job description (especially technical positions), but are often evaluated during an interview when considering our soft skills.

The ability to:

– Recognize patterns

– Act from intuition

– Understand and analyze options

– Spot opportunities

– Utilize instincts

– Be flexible based on the situation

– Sense a problem before it occurs

– React in a sensible manner

– Be curious and experimental 

– Improvise as needed

– Demonstrate leadership

If you’re looking for some additional skills to add to your resume, or stories to discuss your soft skills during an interview, some of the above might be helpful.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Value

The importance, worth, usefulness of something

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Or the difference in cost and perceived return.

Do you know how you can add value to an employer?

Many of us probably have some ideas but can’t articulate it well, or maybe haven’t thought about it much.

Employers are often evaluating the value that you brought to previous employers AND the potential value you can bring for them if you get hired.

Asking: 

“Will they be able to help us?” 

“How will they be able to help us?” 

“How much time will it take to get them up to speed?”,

“Are they resourceful, if so how do I know this?” 

“Will they fit in well with how we operate?”  

“What have they accomplished before to help prove their case?”

“What shows me that I’m making the right decision?”

The better you’re able to demonstrate this in a resume, in your work examples, in how others in your network perceive you, in your interviews, etc. I think the more opportunities you will have presented.

Don’t underestimate your value, but know what it is and how to communicate it effectively.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Amateurs vs Professionals

Maybe you find some of this relatable to your job search or your career in general.

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* Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is just the beginning.

* Amateurs think they are good at everything. Professionals understand their circles of competence.

* Amateurs see feedback and coaching as someone criticizing them as a person. Professionals know they have weak spots and seek out thoughtful criticism.

* Amateurs give up at the first sign of trouble and assume they’re failures. Professionals see failure as part of the path to growth and mastery.

* Amateurs don’t have any idea what improves the odds of achieving good outcomes. Professionals do.

* Amateurs focus on identifying their weaknesses and improving them. Professionals focus on their strengths and on finding people who are strong where they are weak.

* Amateurs focus on tearing other people down. Professionals focus on making everyone better.

* Amateurs think disagreements are threats. Professionals see them as an opportunity to learn.

Link to the full list of 25 below. The above were my favorites.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Resume Suggestion

I’m currently working on a position and the client put together a good job description.

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Which I think we can reverse and possibly make your resume more attractive using a similar approach.

They had 3 sections:

You’ll help us by:

You’ll be a great fit if you have:

You’ll be a good fit if you have:

How about changing those to be a small section of your resume with a few bullet points or phrases around:

I can help company X (specific to the company you’re applying to) by:

I’d be a great fit for position X (specific to the position you’re applying to) because I have:

I’d be a good fit for position X because I have:

You know what what you’re great and what you’re good at, unless of course you’re great at EVERYTHING.

Even better if you can take a job description and this approach to align your resume as close to the JD as possible.

No interview guarantees, but a way to differentiate yourself.

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Newcomers): Are you building?

Many of us have touched on the importance of building your own Salesforce applications to demonstrate your ability to solve problems.

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“Bbbbuuuutttt, Chris, I don’t know what to build!”

Boo hoo.

Well, did you try anything?

If not, Mike Wheeler, has 10 examples with details to get you started on his latest podcast Urelevant (link below).

Hopefully, you can take a break from scripted Trailheads and listen to his ideas.

Below is a summary.

  1. Salesforce Certification App
  2. HOA (Home Owners Association) App
  3. Little League App
  4. Appointment Scheduling
  5. Mileage Tracker
  6. Expense Tracker
  7. Contact Tracing
  8. Time tracking/approval process
  9. Fantasy Sports
  10. Grocery shopping/home inventory

Get creative. Stand out.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.” — Maya Angelou, American Author & Civil Rights Activist

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Our internal debate…

Have you thought about looking for a new position and then decided to hold off?

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Maybe you’re going through this internal debate now.

Especially, when someone or something really ticks you off.

“I’ve had it, I’m updating my resume tonight, it’s time to go.”

Then tonight comes, you forget or have a change of heart, your emotions settle down.

Thinking, “was it really that bad, maybe I’m just over reacting? I’ll get over it, looking for a new position can be such a hassle, anyway.”

You know, updating your resume, the potential anxiety of interviewing, trying to come across as confident but not cocky, worrying about speaking too much or too little, always having to put your best foot forward.

Then getting offered a new position, and the internal debate happens again whether you should just stay in your current position.

The fear of the unknown.

The internal debate.

You’re not alone…

Let intuition prevail.

“Intuition is always right in at least two important ways: It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart.” ~Gavin De Becker, Author

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Model, The Path, The Template

While many, including myself, are often suggesting specific steps to take, to either help launch or to continue your Salesforce career.

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Please keep in mind, there is no one right way.

Certifications, Badges, User Groups, etc. are not THE answer.

I think if you ask 5 different people how they’ve been successful (or landed their 1st position), you’ll probably get 5 different answers.

And I doubt one will be, I got Salesforce certified, and the flood gates of opportunity opened. 

At least without some additional context.

There will likely be a few key patterns that are the same, but the rest will probably fall into:

– Situational/Circumstance

– Self-awareness/Intuition

– Consistency

– Relationships

– Luck

Trying to conform to what so and so did to find success, might lead to a dampening of your spirit.

Continue to focus on the path that feels right for you, while having the inner confidence that your time will eventually come.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Fog of War

This military term if often cited when there is confusion of direction, location, and perspective on a battlefield, causing a perceptual “fog”.

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Often as a career seeker, you may feel you’re in a bit of fog trying to decipher between signals and noise, what information is relevant, the next steps to take, or which direction is best for you.

Rather than sitting and waiting for the fog to subside, understand that uncertainty will exist, therefore, take action, move, pivot, remembering you don’t need to wait for someone else to tell you what to do.

In the movie, Saving Private Ryan, while the troops are under intense gunfire at Omaha Beach:

Soldier: “Sir, what’s the rallying point?”

Tom Hanks: “Anywhere but here!!!”

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Newcomers): Starting with no laughs

Famous stand-up comedians have said, they often started their careers with no laughs from an audience.

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Then on occassion, they would get a chuckle from one of the waitresses.

That told them, they were starting to get somewhere in their careers.

Then after some more attempts, a few of the audience members would start to find them funny.

Then as they continue to modify, revise and get in front of more people, more and more were laughing.

You might be starting out with no interviews, no offers, no attention, but like comedians, that’s all a part of the process.

“My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.” ~Rodney Dangerfield

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interfacing with Bots

How do you feel about chatting with a bot during the initial interview process?

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Going through topics of unemployment gaps, salary expectations, your qualifications/skill-set, and availability to interview.

Some Q&A seems pretty straightforward (I’m looking for a salary between X and Y and I’m available Monday-Wednesday from 9-11 AM), others probably warrant a more direct one on one conversation.

Have you experienced this interaction yet?  

Would you lose interest if the company started the interviewing process this way? 

Are they being innovative?

Or maybe just impersonal?

As automation and technology continues to evolve, will we lose what we often feel is needed most when it comes to our career search?

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Salesforce Career Seekers (particularly newcomers): A raw article to help

I’ve written a handful of articles and Q&A documents that I often send to others about showcasing their work, networking/attending events, making outreaches to hiring managers, my perspective on the job market, etc.

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But, are there additional questions that you could use answers to, that you would find useful in a comprehensive document that I should put together?

It can’t be on Trailheads, Certifications, or other topics that I’ll call, Superfluous (thanks Merriam-Webster).

Maybe something more raw and unfiltered.

Like Eddie Murphy’s purple jumpsuit in his 1987 stand-up: Raw (preview in the comments).

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi4121804313

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Salesforce Professionals: Competition

Do you feel competition brings out the best or maybe the worse in you?

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Or are you able to ignore it all together and just worry about what you can control?

Some examples that come to mind:

Does it annoy you if you find out someone is making more  than you, but has less responsibilities?

Do you question why someone else was picked for the project, or to lead the team, or invited to that special event?

How about when a new org chart is put together and you’re not where you thought you should be?

Maybe the brown-noser in the office, who you can’t figure out what the boss actually sees in them. 

Or when going into your annual review, you were confident that you were going to be ranked higher than your peers, then to realize that management didn’t agree.

I think for most of us, at some point in our careers, have had similar feelings.

As we grow professionally, maybe we’re able to learn to look past these things.

A smart quote:

“Winning isn’t getting ahead of others, it is getting ahead of yourself.” ~Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, 1969-1979

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Salesforce Career Seekers: New Opportunities

Maybe it’s gut feel, but I’ve noticed many more new positions coming across my LinkedIn feed as of the last week or so.

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I try to “like” all that I come across.

A few ideas for you:

1. If you’re not catching these or are only occasionally on LinkedIn, you can go to my profile, click on the “All Activity”  and see those that I’ve come across. There will also be some other posts not job related mingled in, but I just did a quick check and 9 of the 10 “likes” were open positions.

2. If these open positions are not a good match, go to the company website (or company LinkedIn job page) and see what else they have open, there could be your golden ticket somewhere within.

3. And if you’re still not seeing much, then reach out to a few folks in the company, express overall interest, there may be something peculating behind the scenes that hasn’t been posted yet.  

Something like: “Hi Chris, I see that you’re actively hiring for X, and while I’m not the best match for that position, if you hear of a position that is more aligned to Y, please let me know”. 

And then keep in touch. 

Yes, you’ll get ignored by some, so what?

Ignorance is bliss.

Stick and move.

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Salesforce Career Seekers (particularly newcomers): Tough Love

Are you getting enough tough love from those that you’re seeking encouragement from?

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While it is often hard to give and probably even harder to hear, I think it’s helpful in your career search to understand the negative side which helps gather additional perspective.

Ask those tougher questions that you might not want to hear the answers to.

– What is the reality?

– What do you hate?

– Truthfully, if you could do it all over, would you?

– Will this be a struggle?

– Do I suck?

– Why am I not seeing results?

– Is this all that it’s cracked up to be?

– How much is hype and marketing spin?

– Why wouldn’t you hire me? If you would, who can you refer me to?

The intent is not to take the wind out of your sails, but it is to help set realistic expectations and possibly help you focus on getting better along your journey by understanding the broader picture.

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Salesforce Professionals: Your ideal position

We often see job postings that say almost the same thing.

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Rather than hearing what companies are looking for, how about you?

What would your ideal job description look like if you could dream it up?

I’m not referring to: do little to none, but still make a ton.

It could be around a specific industry, type of culture, technologies you’re working on, what the work consists of, who it’s for, salary range, remote/in-office, travel/no travel, who you’re working with, how you’re working, meetings/no meetings, management style you’re under, autonomy, etc.

Or to ask another way, if your current situation is ideal, why? If not, what would make it better? Or if you’re not working, what would you request from the Salesforce job fairy?

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Both sides of the interview table.

Synopsis:

Both candidates and employers often dread interviews.

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Candidates often feel like they’re being checked out as if they’re a racehorse at an auction having a spotlight shone on their weaknesses.

Employers often challenged with posers, prima-donnas, and arrogant candidates to determine if they can overlook the personalities to handle the tasks they need help with.

2 errors an employer looks to avoid:

  1. Hiring the wrong candidate to later find out later they cannot do the job.
  2. Not hiring the right candidate, and instead have them go to a competitor.

2 important questions an employer is looking to have answered:

  1. Can they do the job?
  2. Can they get a long well with the other employees?

2 important areas a candidate is looking for:

  1. Can they accumulate additional offers before making a commitment?
  2. Can they use those to help in the negotiation?

The impasse:

  1. Employer to send out as few offers as possible
  2. Candidate to get as many offers as possible

Full article on this subject below

https://pjammer.livejournal.com/2978.html

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Salesforce Professionals: Are you on the right career track?

Do you often get so wrapped up in the work that you’re doing that you forget to:

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  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Sleep
  • Go pee
  • Bathe
  • Change clothes
  • Brush your teeth
  • “Do” your hair
  • Pay attention to who’s around you
  • Check phone and email alerts
  • Browse social media
  • Look at the time
  • Turn the lights on and work in the dark
  • Do something else you were “supposed” to do

I guess it’s the anticipated flow state.

Hopefully, you’re in it once in awhile.

If not, you might want to look for another track to hop on.

Work consumes too much of our lives to stay on a track of misery.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): The Talent Merry Go Round

Salesforce customers lose talent to Salesforce.

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Salesforce loses talent to their customers.

Salesforce consulting partners lose talent to Salesforce.

Salesforce loses talent to their consulting partners.

Salesforce consulting partners lose talent to their own Salesforce clients.

Salesforce customers lose talent to their Salesforce consulting partners.

Salesforce consulting partners lose talent to other Salesforce consulting partners.

Salesforce customers lose talent to other Salesforce customers.

Animosity and friction often created, then eventually forgotten about.

Manager’s egos may take a hit, then they quickly adjust and move forward.

Position opens, position back-filled.

The loss is another’s gain.

Or maybe the loss is the gain for who’s next.

Individual career progression ensues.

Companies understand, wipe it off, and move on.

The Talent Merry Go Round.

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The Paradox of Choice

In psychologist Barry Schwartz’s book – The Paradox of Choice, having an abundance of choices often leads to feelings of anxiety, being overwhelmed, a lower sense of accomplishment or unrealistic expectations, usually causing us not to make any decision at all.

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Do you occasionally feel that way with your Salesforce career?

Examples:

Do I stay functional, or become more technical?

Do I stay an individual contributor or look to be a team lead/manager?

Should I look into working on different clouds or become an expert where I am currently?

Do I look for better opportunities or continue to prove myself here?

Do I need to acquire more certifications for my career to excel or let my experience do the talking?

Do I stay in a particular industry, if so, which industry is best over the long term? 

Do I try consulting? Do I leave consulting?

Should I be a full time employee, or try contracting?

While all these feelings are real and probably experienced within most of us, is there a “right” answer?

Rather than debating if the decision is right or wrong, if the thought continues to rise to the top of your mind, follow your instinct, make a decision, then check your course along the way and make adjustments.

The decision doesn’t have to be permanent.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: LinkedIn Recruiter

In this video, I walk through how I use LinkedIn Recruiter when searching for Salesforce Professionals.

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I thought it might be useful for you as a career seeker to see how a recruiter might find you.

Additionally, I provide an example of a good LinkedIn profile that will help increase your chances of being found.

Thank you to Chris Pearson, for sharing this idea and allowing me to use his profile as an example.

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Salesforce Career Seeker: Salaries and Timing

If you feel employers have the leverage right now due to economic and unemployment conditions with more Salesforce professionals being available, that could result in offers being made that are less than market or equivalent/less than what you currently make.

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Long term, that might have an unintended negative impact for you.

In Daniel Pink’s book, WHEN: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, he mentions that often when landing a 1st or subsequent position in an economic/employment downturn, it can be difficult to crawl back to being made “whole” again.

Therefore, if you do take a position that is less than where you feel the salary should be, you might want to ask about an incremental evaluation if/when things start to turn around.

In summary, make a conscious effort over time to not let the current conditions have a cascading effect to your salary progression.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Poker Face

Have you ever encountered the poker face while you’re interviewing?

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You know, trying to get a feel for how things are going?

And it’s probably worse when you thought you had a tact for “reading people”.

Do they like me, do they hate me, what are they thinking, do they even want to be here?

Maybe you told a few light humor jokes, to not even get a fake chuckle.

Maybe you expressed your enthusiasm in the opportunity, they didn’t care.

Maybe you complemented them on their designer shirt, and their response “thanks, next question…”.

Maybe you even cried (I don’t recommend), hoping to at least get a reaction, they walked out to never return.

But possibly, the interviewer is just having a bad day and has other things on their mind.

Rather than beating yourself up, just drop them a line afterwards thanking them and relaying back what you enjoyed hearing about.

It will probably help you (and maybe even them) feel better.

It could be just what was needed to move you forward in the process.

Don’t let the poker face bluff you, just keep holding your royal flush.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Confidence

Do you have it? If not, how can you get more of it?

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I think hiring managers (and recruiters) can pick up on your confidence pretty quickly during an interview.

Even if you’re not completely qualified, your exuberance and energy can go a long way, especially if you can articulate how you would solve a problem that you haven’t experienced before.

By continuing to practice solving various problems and learning the process to do so, your confidence will build.

Since we’re in the NBA playoffs in the U.S., a little blurb on confidence.

NBA legend Larry Bird shot 500 free throws every morning before school, and then during his NBA career, he made ~90% of those, and a stunning 93% in the 1989-1990 season.

When the game was on the line, Larry Legend, was often called upon.

Practice builds confidence…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Uncomfortable Situations

Earlier this week, I went for a run, the temperature was 72F and about 80% humidity, I thought to myself this is a pretty easy run.

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Most likely because most of my runs this summer have been around 82F and 90%+ humidity and are miserable.

So I thought, how can this situation relate to your career search?

And are you able to put yourself in more uncomfortable situations to help prepare you better for what’s to come?

Especially, if you’re feeling additional stress or anxiety when it comes to interviewing, or a lack of motivation or self-worth when people aren’t getting back to you.

Are there short-term endeavors that you could be doing now (although you might not care to), that could help eliminate/lower those unwanted feelings, or to at least get your mind off them?

Some Ideas: speaking at a Salesforce user group session, creating instructional videos, making some cold calls to prospective hiring managers, building a few apps to showcase your work, writing an article or two, studying/testing for a new certification, hosting a Zoom call with others that are experiencing similar challenges, volunteering your time.

Whatever it is that makes you hesitant or even sweat a little, that’s probably the right path forward.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How do you pose?

You know, your cat, cobra, camel, downward dog, cow face, pigeon, and tortoise poses.

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All real names of various stretches, by the way…

Like your job search, are you being flexible in hearing about new opportunities, although it may not be exactly what you’re looking for?

This past week, a success story was shared, where the Salesforce professional was looking for a full time position, but instead was presented an opportunity that was contract to hire.

Rather than saying, no thanks, he went through the interview process.

He did so well, the company decided not to risk losing him by bringing him as a contractor, and hire him full time on day 1 instead.

Sometimes a position stated as a contract to hire may turn into a straight hire, or a conversion within a short period of time.

You may want to ask about this at the 1st stage of the interview and to find out more about why it’s set up as a contract to hire.

It could turn into a much more promising situation than originally planned.

I suggest to stay flexible to hear it out.

OK, I’m off to practice my firefly…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Golf, obstacles and your career search

On a golf course, a golfer has many obstacles to take into consideration before he/she hits a shot.

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The wind, bunkers, water, trees, sloped greens, doglegged fairways, bad bounces, unintended rolls, background noises, etc. 

The golfer also understands before heading to the course, this is part of the game, and they’re up for the challenge.

In your career search, you may face: adversity, biases, annoyances, being ignored or embarrassed, and other unfavorable situations.

And like a golfer, that’s not going to stop you from playing.

Continue to step up to the tee-box…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Standing out…

In this video, I created an approach that I think will definitely help set you apart from the competition.

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It consists of:

1. Locating a position on LI

2. Finding some of the contacts that are associated to the company that posted the position

3. Identifying the phone numbers and email addresses of those contacts

4. Using an app from the AppExchange called BombBomb (free for 14 days) to create a personal intro video

5. Setting up this app in a Salesforce Dev org, along with the account, contacts and opportunity

It’s 7 minutes long, but I tried to take you step by step through the entire process.

Hopefully, this brings some additional ideas to mind to help you stay creative in your career search.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Staying Buoyant

If you’re continuing to get knocked around, displaced and dunked occasionally, in the turbulent sea of your career search.

I think the definition of buoyancy is a great analogy to help keep you afloat.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Potluck Dinners

I never really understood that term: Potluck

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Everyone bring a pot of something and maybe your fellow diners are lucky enough to enjoy it?

And if they don’t, what do we call it?

Well, what’s the pot that you’re bringing?

Green bean Casserole, Deviled Eggs, 7 Layer Dip, Guacamole and Chips, Iced Tea

And then to the interview table?

Badges, Certifications, and a Resume

Unfortunately, the table is already filled with those items.

Maybe, you can bring something a little different, something you created, something that wasn’t built with a general recipe, something that you were a little intimidated to design, develop, and share.

Something that will have the hiring manager say: “I like what you’ve brought here, let’s have seconds”. 

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Thank you Janet Elliott and David Noe and all of those that attended the Sacramento Salesforce Saturday this week.

We had some great conversations, below are a few of the many topics.

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1. Recruiters that say “competitive” or “market” when a Salesforce professional asks about salary, doesn’t help.

2. Glassdoor now makes you register and upload your resume before you can see average salaries by title/location…that’s bunk.

3. A technical assessment can be beneficial to the job seeker if the assessment is designed to show a little more about what the company is working on. Generic tests are of little help.

4. How degrees often don’t hold as much weight as experience and if there is an advantage/disadvantage with an associate, bachelor, masters or a degree in a non-technical field.

5. The importance of keeping in touch with employers even if they don’t offer you the position, another position (or the position you interviewed for) may open up in the future.

6. The importance of networking, the Salesforce community is usually connected within a degree or two from someone else who could be a decision maker.

And many others…

I’d recommend catching a Salesforce Saturday occasionally, you’ll learn something new.

Wearing pajamas and having a mimosa in hand is acceptable…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: There’s still space…

Among the continuous growing number of newly accredited Salesforce career seekers, there’s still space for you.

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But, the space available for you, isn’t the same space that’s available to Sally, Enrique, Johnny, Mohammed, Elaine, or Alexander.

They’ve already found and claimed their respective, unique space.

Now it’s your turn to find yours.

It’s out there, somewhere.

Hint: wherever it is, should be (needs to be) more than just Salesforce certifications and Trailheads.

Too many are already standing in that space…waiting.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Résumés

I always wanted to write that word with the é in it.

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BTW, the French “é” is the first of the two vowel sounds that make up the English “ay” diphthong.

I also had to look up what the heck a diphthong is.

Diphthong: a sound formed by the combination of two vowels in a single syllable.

OK, enough on the grammar lesson, what really matters is having a good resume put together. In this video, I share an example of one.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): COVID, an opportunity in disguise for newcomers

As the pandemic continues, I think it’s allowing for some to re-evaluate their careers, not by choice, but rather by necessity.

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As Salesforce newcomers reach out to me, I look at their work history of where they’re coming from, and can clearly see how this situation has impacted them.

Retail, hospitality, entertainment, travel, oil/gas, to name a few.

I’m sure many have thought about making a career change in the past, but the timing wasn’t right, or they were too caught up in their current day to day schedules.

Now, could be just what is needed to make that new career decision.

It’s a long road ahead, the competition is extremely fierce for Salesforce newcomers, but the opportunity for a better long term career is within reach, along with a support structure in place to help you.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Feeling Overwhelmed?

Do you often feel there is just too much to grasp and learn to land your first/next Salesforce opportunity?

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How about trying to: Reduce it to the Ridiculous

Meaning to focus on the few areas that are the most impactful versus all the minutiae. 

I think you’ll find a majority of the job descriptions have the same 3-5 requirements.

Know those areas inside and out.

Use them to guide your resume, your projects, your conversations, etc.

Sure, you might get a curve ball thrown your way in an interview.

You can’t expect to know everything about everything.

But the big ticket items, that have the most value to an organization, are what’s being sought after.

Remove the doubt, build your confidence, reduce it to the ridiculous.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Isn’t it obvious?

Do you think that thing you’ve been debating about doing or sharing might have others say: “No kidding, isn’t that obvious?”

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Why? Because YOU think it’s obvious, so everyone else will also think it’s obvious?

In the end, it’s not for you to decide.

What’s obvious to you (and maybe a few others), could be exactly what someone else was looking for.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Problems

Do you just solve problems when they’re handed to you?

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And in your resume you have a key attribute identifying yourself as being a Problem Solver.

Would it be more meaningful that you’re also someone who finds problems and then solves them?

To have a greater impact to your reader, you might want to change your resume to:

Problem Seeker/Solver

or

Problem Finder/Fixer

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Intrinsic Motivators

Is a high paying position the primary motivator for you?

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According to behavioral science, 3 intrinsic motivators help increase overall job satisfaction:

1. Autonomy – the desire to direct our own work

2. Mastery – the urge to get better and better at something that matters

3. Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

As you continue to have conversations with companies or recruiters, you might want to have these as topics/questions of discussion.

Or just ask these to yourself when evaluating an opportunity.

Will this position provide some level of: 1, 2, and 3?

A fat paycheck along with utilization bonuses may not be enough to keep you motivated/happy/satisfied long-term, especially if you have to work 70 hours a week and are miserable along the way.

Above reference on motivators are from the book: Drive by Daniel H. Pink

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Funnel

As you continue your career search, are you keeping your funnel full at the top?

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Regardless of where you are in the interviewing process, I’d suggest to continue to apply for other positions in parallel.

Since you cannot control the final outcome of landing the position that you think you might be a perfect fit for, you can help reduce the risk of being one and done and having to start all over, by continuing to have more “leads” in your funnel.

Funnel, Pipeline, Leads, Process – you’d think we’re referring to a CRM or something…

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Loading Test Data

Salesforce Career Seekers: if you’re looking to get some additional test data into your Dev org for showcasing your work. This video might be helpful.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Recession Proof Positions

Based on what we’ve experienced these past 5 months, do you feel there have been specific Salesforce positions, skills sets, and industries that have experienced less of a layoff impact than others?

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And do you feel these can apply to most economic downturns?

Some of our Salesforce Community up and comers might be thinking about how to build a career strategy for the future  and I thought this input might help.

From my small slice of the overall big pie: most technical (Devs, Technical Architects, etc.) and specialist positions (CPQ, SFMC/Pardot, Commerce Cloud, etc.)  seemed to have been more stable where as the functional/less technical: BA’s, QA’s, PM’s, Generalists, and Admins have taken the bigger layoff hit.

If you have an opinion, we’d (I’d) love to hear it.

Thank you.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How about now?

While many companies might not be hiring right now, I think it’s an ideal time to start your relationship building and drip campaign with those companies and contacts that you’re most interested in.

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Once this mess we’re in blows over, and things start to normalize, how great would it be that once a position opens up at a company that you’ve kept in touch with, you were the one that was in constant communication, when everyone else chose not to.

Heck, you might hear about a position before everyone else.

I occasionally hear: “Chris, we’re starting budget discussions for a position of X”.

That’s what you’re looking for…

Every week or two, send something of interest, it could be info about their company, about their industry, about their competitors, about Salesforce. Maybe you asking a quality question or two or for their opinion on a topic.

Don’t look for a response back every time, you’ll be disappointed, that’s not what it’s about.

It’s about standing out, showing interest, and making the most out of the current situation.

Yes, I realize this approach doesn’t pay the bills you have today, but it should help give you a solid foundation for tomorrow.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Where are you?

Are you sitting in the stands, watching the fight?

or 

Are you in the boxing ring taking the jabs, crosses, uppercuts, and hooks?

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You didn’t train, suit up, and prance to the ring to sit and watch, did you? 

Receiving the bruises, bumps, scratches, and occasional ear bites, is how you know you’re in the fight.

If these set-backs aren’t happening in your career search, you might be enjoying the popcorn from afar, a little too much.

Stay in the ring, punches will be thrown, stick and move, wear ear muffs, and keep fighting.

“I got one eye and he not impaired, he’s got ears, if he takes one I’ve got another one I’m ready to fight.” ~Mike Tyson post interview on biting Evander Holyfield’s ear (1997)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Toilet Paper and Your Resume

Is your resume smooth or rough to read?

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The majority would prefer to review a resume that’s more like Charmin Ultra Soft and less like Scott 1000.

Help ensure yours is: subtle, gentle, pleasant, tender, delightful, yet still effective.

You don’t want it to get flushed as soon as it’s opened.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Justification

If your resume alone isn’t working, are there other ways to help justify why you’re qualified?

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Maybe a recommendation or referral, maybe a portfolio of your project work, maybe a video series teaching others what you know.

The decision maker may have to justify (to their boss), why you’re the right person for the job.

Can you help them provide that justification?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: …and “it” might not work.

You know “it”, you’ve been thinking of doing “it”, but haven’t done “it” yet.

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You know “it” might get you one step closer to your next opportunity.

Well, in fact, “it” might not work.

But, how would you know? How would I know? How would anyone know?

Maybe you want to give “it” a shot today to find out.

If “it” doesn’t work, analyze “it” briefly, then scrap “it”.

I would imagine you learned something from doing “it”.

Even if what you learned is: 

“it” didn’t work.

Fortunately, you have the opportunity to start a new “it” tomorrow and try again.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your salary offer…

If the salary you were offered is lower than you’re expecting, does that kill the opportunity for you?

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Research has shown the external factors (salary, benefits, bonuses, etc.) can only get us so far.

Non-monetary factors such as the opportunity to work autonomously (while still being held accountable), to be creative, to make an impact, and to be recognized and respected has a higher degree of job satisfaction.

That’s not to say to be taken advantage of with a low-ball offer, but it is suggesting to understand if the above can help make up the difference for you. 

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): The Law of Unintended Consequences

In Social Science, these are outcomes of a purposeful action that are not intended or foreseen.

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As more Salesforce newcomers come into the job market, does this cause more employers to raise the qualification requirements?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Canned response in your application?

In your hunt for landing your first (or next) Salesforce position, you take the time to complete your application, upload your resume, craft your personal message and may have even wrote a well thought out cover letter.

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Then you’re either ignored entirely or receiving a canned response from an applicant tracking system. 

Rather than letting this lack of reciprocation get you down, you might want to reach back out to those who did treat you like a human, provided real interaction and a friendly response (although it might not have been the answer you were looking for), and thank them for doing so.

In our world of job applicant automation, I think finding those little pockets of humanity and expressing your appreciation when it does happen will help keep you going and also keep the recipient motivated to provide the same level of service to others.

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Salesforce Professionals: Annual Reports and Paint

Some may rather watch paint dry than read an annual report.

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Based on the 2020 Salesforce Annual Report, below is the percent increase in subscription and support revenue from 2019 to 2020.

Sales Cloud = +14%

Service Cloud = +23%

Platform and Other* = +57%

Marketing and Commerce Cloud = +32%

*Integration and Analytics were included in Platform and Other

Not sure if the below stats influence where to focus your skills and training for the future, but thought it was worth sharing.

Annual Report URL:

http://www.annualreports.com/HostedData/AnnualReports/PDF/NYSE_CRM_2020.pdf

Painter’s Tip: Humidity causes paint to take longer to dry. Turn fans on or lower the A/C temperature for quicker dry time.

Or just read an annual report while you’re waiting…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You’re safe…

Are you worried about stepping out of your comfort zone to do something different and unique in your career search?

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Please don’t be.

All the saber-tooth tigers are extinct and have been for millions of years.

You won’t be attacked, eaten alive, or hurt physically.

Having resistance might be telling you that you’re on the right path.

If you want to step out of your cave, you can, you don’t need a spear.

There’s only small, friendly, purring kitties on the outside.

Meow…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: All this noise…

4,570,000,000 + people use the internet

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3,500,000,000 + Google searches each minute

700,000,000 + LinkedIn users

150,000 + customers use Salesforce

In a world that gets more connected and noisy each day.

How can you possibly cut through it all?

I think it’s by finding the right person (or people), at the right time, who need or want to hear your relevant messaging.

Keep cutting…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Eat that frog…

You may have heard this expression before.

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It’s suggesting to first tackle the task that you’re dreading the most (or the one that will produce the most results), which should help set the tone and positive momentum you need for the rest of the day.

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Quote originally “toad” by Mark Twain.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Perfection Is Not Needed Here

Is the need for perfection hindering you from moving forward?

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Preventing you from:
saying what you want to say
writing what you want to write
sharing ideas you want to share
showing the world what you want to show.

Maybe because you’re obsessed with tweaking this, editing that, starting all over, again and again, until it’s just perfect.

And then, heaven forbid, shelving it all together.

Unless you’re conducting brain surgery, landing a 747, or standing up that last domino, being perfect delays your progress.

We’ll take your imperfections…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: 26 letters

That’s all the letters we have in the English alphabet.

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“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” – uses them all.

Of the 26,

171,476 words are available.

A select few are more impactful than others.

Those are the ones that help create feelings, understanding, insight, curiosity, and emotion.

Do you have those types in your resume?

Maybe you can swap a few out that aren’t as meaningful for something better.

Some examples: Accelerated, Capitalized, Amplified, Influenced, Revitalized, Enabled, United, Persuaded, Coached, Exceeded

https://www.themuse.com/advice/185-powerful-verbs-that-will-make-your-resume-awesome

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Awareness and Trust

If you ask a professional marketer what are their primary objectives, these 2 nouns will be at, or near the top.

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Marketing is offering someone something to solve a problem and the 1st steps in that journey is building awareness of who you (or your company) are, what’s being offered, how that offering is going to help them.

Isn’t that your goal in your career search as well?

1. To have a hiring manager be made aware of who you are (referrals are best).

2. To have them understand what you can bring to the table (often your work, not just your resume).

3. To be able to make an informed decision that you are going to get the job done (trusts you).

These objectives take time.

You, my friend, are a marketer…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: When to interview…

In Daniel Pink’s book: “When”, he discusses at what point during the day most of us are happiest and more warm to others.

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Based on his research, the mid mornings are when the “feel good” mood peaks and again right after lunch, troughs in the afternoon, then picks up again in the evening (assuming the work day is over).

If this has any indication on scheduling an interview and you have a choice, you might want to shoot for 9 AM, 10 AM or 1 PM.

Or again at 8 PM.

Keep the advantage on your side, when possible.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Speaking to others, specifically outbound sales reps.

If you’re feeling down and out, are you talking to others?

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Have you thought about reaching out to outbound Business Development Reps (BDRs)/Sales Development Reps (SDRs).

Their job is hard. They face rejection everyday. They strategize on better ways to communicate and ask relevant questions. They determine who the right prospect is by proper research. They organize their day the day before. They’re very knowledgeable on their product or service.

Most importantly, they push through being uncomfortable daily.

I realize you’re not necessarily looking to get into being an outbound sales rep.

But there’s a lot of similarities between their role and your pursuit in landing your 1st (next) position.

If you reach out to a handful of SDRs/BDRs, most will probably get back to you to discuss what keeps them going.

Or just find some that stay active posting about their day on LinkedIn and follow them.

I think you’ll learn something new.

It could be the extra motivation that you were looking for.

Below link describing the SDR position in more detail; many pointers can also apply to your job search.

https://www.activecampaign.com/blog/sales-development-representative

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Thought on Trailhead

Are you focused on:

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Being Done

or 

Being Proficient?

And I don’t mean being proficient at “doing Trailheads”.

Unless, you’re applying for a position with a title of “Professional Trailhead(er)”.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Geometry

Short story.

Back in high school, when I had to walk 2 miles in 3 feet of snow, uphill (both ways).

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We had 2 options for Geometry class:

Proof and Non-proof

Guess which one was harder?

Guess which one was considered more valuable to get into college?

Guess which one most students didn’t really care to take?

In proof, we had to determine why the answer was the answer.

That’s annoying isn’t it? Having to prove something…

Are you a proof or a non-proof Salesforce career seeker?

Proof builds credibility and will give you an upper hand.

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Salesforce Career Seekers (particularly newcomers): Hofstadter’s Law

“It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.” ~Douglas Hofstadter (American scholar and author of cognitive science, physics, and comparative literature)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Cold Outreach

If you’re OK with a cold outreach approach in your job search and don’t know who to turn to within the organization.

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One suggestion: Start with someone in Sales (Director of Sales, Sales Enablement, Sales Operations, etc.)

If they’ve come from a Sales background, they understand prospecting and cold outreaches as either they’ve had to do it in prior years or they have a sales team currently doing it.

Therefore, typically (not always) there is a little more understanding, when they receive a cold call or email as they’ve been on the sending end before.

And while they’re probably not the decision maker, there’s a good chance they know who is.

Please be personable, relatable, friendly, and even a little unique, in your messaging.

Speaking of cold, if you’re older than say 35, maybe you’ve heard of the band, Foreigner (80 million albums sold).

Song: Cold as Ice

You’re as cold as ice

You’re willing to sacrifice our love

You never take advice

Someday you’ll pay the price, I know

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Taking A Bob The Builder Approach

How do you prepare and motivate yourself to help get your positive juices flowing?

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If you give yourself positive affirmations, research has shown there’s a better way.

Rather than stating how well you’re going to do, how good you are, or other self-praises, instead ask yourself questions (along with positive and truthful answers).

For example:

How can I perform my best during a good interview?

How will I step out of my comfort zone in my job search?

What can I do differently today to get better results?

How can I differentiate myself from others?

Etc.

In the children’s cartoon series, Bob The Builder, Bob and his construction crew often find themselves in challenging situations and he uses this questioning approach to help motivate them to get the job done. 

“Can we fix it?”

“Yes, we can!”

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Alright Party People (that’s you, Salesforce Career Seekers)

I just did a search on VolunteerMatch.com for open positions in the U.S.A. with the keyword: Salesforce

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Guess how many hits came back?

717 -> that’s right, not 7, not 17, not 71, but 717

Are they full time Salesforce Developer positions paying $150K a year (or whatever the dumb salary surveys say)?

Nope.

But, they are roles with Salesforce being one of the skills being needed.

Link to the site are in the comments.

Shout out to @jordannelson for mentioning this site in his blog, which you also need to check out (Link also in the comments).

Alright then.

Love, Peace, Chicken Grease…

https://www.volunteermatch.org/ https://jordannelson3.wixsite.com/portfolio/post/episode-1-how-to-get-started-with-salesforce

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Practicing Empathy

When it comes to interviewing, do you think about practicing empathy?

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In other words, understanding their perspective, getting inside their head, what are their goals and interests, seeing the world through their eyes, what challenges they’re up against.

And then trying to adjust your messaging to better align with their point of view.

While we often speak to what we can do, how great we are, why we’re the right person for the position, try taking a small step back to see things from the other side of the table, as this could help in your approach and conversation.

And I know you’re looking for a new position and not a date, I think Notorious B.I.G. was onto something by his approach and practicing some level of empathy by asking about interests:

“Who they attractin’ with that line, “What’s your name, what’s your sign?”

Soon as he buy that wine I just creep up from behind

And ask what your interests are, who you be with

Things to make you smile, what numbers to dial

You gon’ be here for a while, I’m gon’ go call my crew

You go call your crew

We can rendezvous at the bar around two”

Big Poppa ~1994

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Salesforce Career Seekers: It’s often the thought that counts.

I’m sure you’ve heard this expression before.

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Can you apply this philosophy to your job search?

Specifically prior to your interview.

How about sending out a few pre-interview questions on things you’d like to know.

It could be a great way to keep the conversation moving during the interview.

As you know, an interview is not just the company interviewing you, but also you gaining a more in-depth understanding of what they have going on and where you can make the biggest impact.

Will the questions always get answered beforehand?

Not likely.

Will it be a thought that counts for something and sets you apart?

Yes.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: What some hiring managers value…

In Ray Dalio’s book Principles, he discussed how he hired for his investment firm, Bridgewater Associates.

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While he didn’t undermine experience entirely, he thought experience didn’t hold as much weight as character, creativity, and common sense.

He also believed that the ability to figure something out was more important than having specific knowledge on how to do something.

Please keep this in mind and have examples prepared when discussing how to overcome lack of experience in your career search.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Resume Ideas

In reviewing a Salesforce Professional’s resume this week, they came up with some creative ideas for their headers, which helps tell a story.

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Maybe these or some variation could help your resume stand out.

WHY I’M LOOKING:

WHY I WANT TO BE HERE:

HOW I CAN ADD VALUE:

WHERE I’VE BEEN:

WHAT I’VE LEARNED:

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You have a stage

To:

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Perform, Give, Cultivate, Illustrate, Demonstrate, Validate, Deliver, Enlighten, Distinguish, Show, Prove, Educate, Entertain, Provide, Verify, Convince, Explain

Are you using it?

It’s free.

Sure, many potential employers may walk by and pay you no attention.

Don’t worry about them…

Your stage is for those that eventually stop and say: “I can use your talents, please come join us”.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: What’s your hook?

Hook: catch the ear of the listener.

Or possibly for you: catch the eye of the reader.

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Do you have a hook when you make an outreach to a potential hiring manager?

If you’re not having much success, as it starts with something like: “I’m looking for a new Salesforce opportunity, can you help?”

You might want to change it up.

Rather, what else can you find out about them, their interests, their alumni, their careers, where they currently live/work, where they used to live/work, mutual connections, etc.?

Is there anything you can relate to or bring up based on what you find?

Be creative, make it personal, it can be what distinguishes you from others.

Often if they’re not the right person to contact, they may respond with who is, as you had a good hook and they were impressed.

And if you like hip-hop, here’s a good tune to dance to while you’re creating your lead-in hook:

“Wat Da Hook Gon Be” Murphy Lee & Nelly ft. Jermaine Dupri

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How’s your juggling?

As you continue to think of ways to improve your skills and marketability, have you determined how you’d like to stand out?

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Maybe a lighthearted juggling example…

You’re in a classroom of students all learning how to juggle 3 soft round balls.

After graduation, you and 20 new jugglers are now looking for your 1st juggling gig.

1 or 2 students get lucky and land a position being a part time juggler at kid’s birthday events.

Probably not the type of opportunity everyone had in mind before taking the class.

The remainder of the students aren’t having much luck.

But if outside of those normal class hours, you decided to work on juggling knives or bowling balls or sticks of fire.

Maybe, you even decided to learn how to juggle while riding a unicycle.

Well, those types of jugglers are more skilled, unique, and not quite as common.

Now, the chances of you getting a call from a national circus group to be a full time juggler are much higher.

They see that you’re very dedicated to your craft; doing more than was taught in the classroom.

No easy feat, but the patience, discipline and inner confidence to work through the learning process on skills that were challenging and not scripted, can help set you apart.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: OPW

Other People’s Worldviews…

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As much as we would like to have OPW to be the same as ours, often they’re not.

For example:

I’m working on a creative emailing campaign.

I often get completely opposing responses.

The good:

“Chris, I loved your email and wanted to acknowledge you…”

“Chris, solid prospecting…”

“Chris, I wanted to commend you on your persistence and research…”

The not so good:

“Chris, emails like this are the worst…”

“Chris, don’t email me again…”

“Chris, your approach is weak…”

We never know what type of day or point of view the recipient will have on your outgoing message.

You’ll probably get some good and you’ll probably get some not so good or no response at all.

But you have to get out there and try to have conversations with others to see what comes of it.

Along with understanding OPW is a part of the process.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: YMMV

Your Mileage May Vary…

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This term was originally created by the Environmental Protection Agency when they were estimating city and highway gas mileage estimates for new vehicles. 

This is because no test can exactly simulate all driving habits and conditions.

I think this is a great way to look at how your Salesforce career will either: 

A. start

or 

B. continue

You may hear of someone landing a new position in a day, a week, a month or a year but since there’s so many variables involved, your mileage may vary.

Just keep driving…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Door knocking…

Are you knocking on doors?

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If so, you might experience that not everyone is going to receive your knocking the same way.

Some may answer the door and not be interested, some may not be home or too busy to answer and you’ll need to come back later, and some may even invite you in for vanilla ice cream with sprinkles.

Then there’s others that may hear and decide to ignore your knock, and unfortunately, some may answer the door, and yell: “get the hell off my doorstep!”.

Fortunately, there’s lots of Salesforce doors to knock on.

No one knows how many doors it will take, nor which one is the right door, but if you’re not knocking on any, your chances of being invited in for vanilla ice cream with sprinkles will not increase.

Continue to knock…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your ideas…

Chris, I don’t have any good ideas to help showcase my Salesforce skills.

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OK, do you have any bad ideas to showcase your Salesforce skills?

If so, start there.

Bad ideas eventually evolve into good ideas.

But you gotta start somewhere.

And maybe your bad idea is a good idea to the recipient.

Who would have ever thought Pet Rocks were a good idea?

Over 5 million were sold…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You have wisdom to spare

You have wisdom to share

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Providing that wisdom to those who care

By showing connections what you can do

A new opportunity may come through

It’s going to take more than one time

For people to see you in your prime

Try something different, don’t be the same

Light that fire, spark that flame

Don’t hold back, you have nothing to lose

Find your creativity, find your muse

You have wisdom to spare

You have wisdom to share

Providing that wisdom to those who care

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Are you getting your hands dirty?

When we need to hire someone who’s a painter, construction worker, car mechanic, mason or some other occupation that includes using ones hands, we might ask ourselves:

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Are their hands dirty?

This question could help determine if they’re the ones doing the work, or instead, are they watching, supervising and managing others, possibly claiming it’s their own.

Who would you rather speak to when a specific hands-on job is needed or a detailed answer is required?

Someone with clean, soft, nicely manicured hands or dirty, grimy, calloused, hard-working hands?

So the question(s) for you:

How dirty are your hands?

Could they be dirtier?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Ideas on standing out…

5 of us were invited to contribute to a Salesforce article about how to be
a differentiator in progressing your Salesforce career.

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Hopefully, some of these help and can be valuable suggestions for you to try.

Please continue to search and learn ways to get comfortable
at being slightly uncomfortable.

Speaking of uncomfortable:

“The vague feeling that you get when sitting on a seat which is still warm
from someone else.” ~Douglas Adams (English Author, Screenwriter, Humorist)

https://medium.com/trailhead/3-insider-tips-stand-out-salesforce-ecosystem-a4a87abd4e27

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How does one get picked?

On the 1st Saturday of every month, Home Depot has a craft day where kids can come in and build a craft.

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In the parking lot, there’s a group of day laborers hanging out looking for their next assignment.

If you’re the one who could use some help, how do you decide who to pick?

Is it based on who has the fanciest hammer, maybe their personal appearance, is it based on a short conversation in real-time, is it 1st come, 1st serve, or maybe it’s just random chance?

Does anyone really stand out in this setting?

How does one reduce the risk of making the right hire?

While I don’t think you’re looking to hang out at the Home Depot waiting for your next opportunity.

The same questions and concepts apply…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Surfing

Have you tried surfing? Like most things, it’s more challenging than it looks.

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But the process reminds me of your Salesforce career search.

When you’re paddling out, looking for your perfect spot, it can be exhausting, you’re pushing through the small waves, the undertow might be taking you in directions you don’t care to go, there’s fellow swimmers that you’re navigating around, others (who aren’t that good themselves) are probably telling you what to do and how to do it.

Then you get established, and you’re waiting patiently for that 1st wave to catch. 

Within seconds of getting up, you get thrown off…face full of water.

Wow, this is hard…

What would you do next?

Call it a day, and paddle back to shore?

I hope not, it took energy and strategy to get out where you are.

So, you get re-positioned and start again.

Waiting, catching, falling, waiting, catching, falling…

Eventually, though, you find that perfect wave with your name on it, you’re in the right place at the right time, and you ride it all the way into the shore.

All the upfront work was worth the ride.

Enjoy the process, keep your balance, and your wave will eventually take you in.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Are you a Salesforce Cook

or are you a Salesforce Chef?

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Usually cooks follow a recipe word for word, they assemble pre-made dishes, they are instructed exactly what to do, and don’t deviate much.

A chef on the other hand, can work across an entire kitchen, have a greater understanding of techniques and flavors, do things from scratch, doesn’t typically have to rely on instructions and can make decisions on the fly based on feel or taste.

Cooks can be easy to replace, chefs on the other hand are special and harder to find.

Most company’s want (and presumably need) a Salesforce Chef.

Be the Wolfgang, Gordon, Emeril, Jamie, of your Salesforce career.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Worried about showing off your work?

Please don’t be…

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You don’t have to be 100% accurate in everything that you share.

It’s more about standing behind your ideas, your creativity, your ability to solve a problem.

There’s usually multiple ways to solve a requirement in Salesforce anyway.

The goal is getting comfortable with sharing what you can do, so others can see what you have to offer.

It might mean little to some, but others may find it valuable and can provide some feedback or express interest.

But you’ll never know unless you produce.

If every Salesforce professional needed to be perfect in what they delivered, nothing would get done.

William Goldman, 2X Oscar-winning screenplay writer, had a great quote for Hollywood writers:

“Nobody knows anything”

Meaning don’t let your thoughts that something isn’t good get in the way of your progress.

Many great screenplays (E.T., Home Alone, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars) were originally overlooked by the studios, as no one thought they were worth producing.

While we’re not writing box office hits, the point is that you need to keep constructing.

And, although, no one might think your work is great (at 1st), eventually it will find the right “studio”. 

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The little things…

Do the little things matter to you?

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If they do, wouldn’t you want the little things to also matter to your employer, your manager, your connections and to your relationships?

Isn’t it much easier to see eye to eye if you and the recipient noticed and appreciated the little things together?

This past week, I had the opportunity to speak about Salesforce careers to the Salesforce Pathfinder Program.

Afterwards, all the students of the program sent personal LinkedIn connection requests.

Of course, they didn’t need to.

The easy “connect” button is available to everyone.

“So what, Chris, it probably only took 30 seconds.”

Good point, I guess 30 seconds is too much for most.

Often, the time is not what matters, the gesture does.

As you continue your career progression, your little things will stack up over time, and eventually will lead you to the bigger things that you’re striving for.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: What do you know?

A little, a lot, somewhere in between?

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Asked a better way, what does a potential employer who has not met you yet, know about you?

A little, a lot, somewhere in between?

Asked maybe an even better way, how would they know?

“Duh, Chris, it’s obvious, it’s on my resume” (my 5 year old decided to resurrect the word “Duh” these last couple of weeks, so unfortunately, you have to get it too).

If you’re relying on your resume alone to show them what you know,

Duh, so is almost everyone else.

Many hiring managers and human resources want to go beyond the resume.

Showcase your work, help them find what they’re looking for…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Being a small fish

In the big Salesforce opportunity ocean, there’s lots of fish.

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The big fish, the whales, the sharks, the tuna, the highly experienced, who probably have a number of set expectations, not too much flexibility regarding what they’re looking for in a position and want to stay big.

They’ve earned that specific territory of the ocean…

Then there’s the small fish, the plankton, the shrimp, the seahorse, those who are more flexible, who have a small appetite, stay in their little coves, and don’t need all of what a big fish needs to survive.

There’s room for all kinds of fish, so if you’re losing out to the big fish, maybe you’re swimming in the wrong territory or possibly wanting to be a big fish too soon.

Stay small and keep swimming…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You’re already…

If you started yesterday,

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You’re already one day ahead of those who decide to start today.

If you start today,

you’re already one day ahead of those who decide to start tomorrow.

If you start tomorrow,

you’re already one day ahead of those who decide to start the day after tomorrow.

You get to choose when, but,

You’re already “all ready”, you just need to start, and not let too many tomorrows come and go.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Are you hungry?

What does being hungry look and sound like when it comes to being interviewed?

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Maybe expressing high enthusiasm during an interview is not in your personality. 

Should that automatically rule you out?

Internally, you are indeed excited about this opportunity.

You just don’t feel the need to go in with pom poms, and a megaphone, cheering “rah, rah”.

Are there other ways that you can express heightened interest? 

Often hiring managers are looking for something to help you stand out from the others.

This might be considered “hunger”.

Maybe for you, subtle words is all that’s needed.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How’s your detective skills?

Prior to an interview, are you spending any time researching?

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Not just the company, but how about the hiring manager?

Hopefully, you know who you’re interviewing with, a few days prior to the interview.

What can you find out to give you an “edge”?

Can you reach out to those individuals who work for the hiring manager to find out more?

Ask, why do they think they were hired? What helped to set them apart?

Can you find out what initiatives the team might have slated for the next 6 to 12 months?

Have the hiring manager think or say: “Wow, you’ve really done your homework”.

Put on your detective hat and raincoat, light up that cigar if that helps (don’t inhale), ask some questions over LinkedIn, one clue or person can lead to another and then to another.

Formulate a story…

Become your inner Columbo.

“Just one more thing…”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Remember, you’re IN the game.

You’re not on the sidelines, in the crowd, or watching from afar.

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You’ve decided to step up and play.

Maybe it’s just defense or only passing the ball around.

Or maybe you’ve even taken a few shots and missed.

But while you’re still in the game playing, you can always figure out your next move.

Navigate to here, pivot to there, attempt this move, try that approach.

While playing you continue to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

As you’re conditioning and doing the drills, you’re figuring things out.

You have teammates that provide suggestions for getting better.

You have coaches with experience to show you the correct steps to take.

You have the game-plan to strategize and determine what to do next.

You can even take a time-out or a water break if you need it.

Wipe some of the sweat off.

But after that, get back in.

The clock hasn’t buzzed yet.

Keep playing.

The game isn’t over.

The fans (YOUR fans) are still watching.

Waiting for you to win.

Stay in…

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Salesforce Career Seekers (specifically Admins): Why Apex experience?

We often have a healthy debate on why Apex experience is listed on most Admin job descriptions.

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Aren’t we supposed to be focused on clicks not code?

I think Salesforce consultant and instructor Ryan Scalf, laid it out well in yesterday’s Admin/App builder training session.

Think about it this way:

Many customers who have had Salesforce over time probably have some level of Apex already running in their org.

The declarative tools that are available today have evolved and the functionality that was previously built used Apex to meet the requirement.

Therefore, now the customer needs someone to understand what to do with it.

Not necessarily to write more custom code, but rather determining if they can move it into a declarative offering.

Conclusion: If you’re looking to stand out to a potential employer, maybe you want to take a deeper dive and add to your tool-belt a Custom -> Declarative Cheat Sheet that you can break down and speak to during interviews.

A skillet that I think most employers will value.

Regarding Apex skills being needed for Admins for new customer orgs, that warrants another post 🙂

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Salesforce Professionals: Looking through your rear-view…

What’s the #1 skill (or quality) that might have been helpful if you would have obtained it sooner in your career?

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If you say more badges and/or certs, we’re no longer friends…

An up and comer Salesforce newcomer asked this great question yesterday.

Personally, I could have been more assertive and voluntarily stepped into more fires.

In other words, leading, showing initiative, don’t ask (or wait) for the next task at hand, find problems, attempt to solve them, offer yourself up for projects even if you’re unsure, ask others how you can help, and help others when they seem to be struggling.

“In the business world, the rear-view is always clearer than the windshield.” ~Warren Buffett

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Salesforce Guide to Excellence

Do you have a list of the top best practices that you feel every company using Salesforce should be doing?

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If not, maybe now is the time to create one.

Call it : <Your Name> Guide to Salesforce Excellence (or a better name that you come up with).

Sure, this type of documentation already exists, but it’s not your own.

Pick and choose what you like most, or use your own experiences.

Use your creativity…your “brand”.

Then, have this available while you’re going through the interview process, maybe to even share or talk through during the interview.

After your interview with the hiring manager, send them an email thanking them, but more importantly, send this guide to them.

It won’t necessarily mean that you will get hired, but it will mean that you’ve created something you can call your own and have a willingness to help a potential employer to succeed with or without you.

Be a differentiator…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How’s your Salesforce project work?

If you’re solely relying on a Trailhead multiple choice system to get points and badges, that doesn’t represent your work, that’s Salesforce’s work.

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I’m talking about your work…

The hard stuff, that’s not scripted.

Where is it?

Is it a hit, or is it a dud?

How do you know one way or the other?

Have you shown any of it off to encourage feedback and opinion?

Or keeping it all to yourself?

How else are you going to get better?

Studying alone doesn’t make better.

Doing your work, re-doing your work, and doing your work again, makes better.

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” ~Pablo Picasso

Picasso produced 147,800 pieces of work, not all made history, but he started somewhere.

You should too…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You learned something new.

Prior to the 1st interview with HR, you did the necessary high level company research and had some great questions to ask.

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You learned something new.

It was time well spent…

Prior to the 2nd interview with the hiring manager, you reviewed your resume and knew you would be able to answer almost any question thrown your way.

You learned something new.

It was time well spent…

Prior to the 3rd interview with the hiring manager’s boss, you wrote down some very strategic questions and you showed genuine interest in the company’s success.

You learned something new.

It was time well spent…

After 3 rounds of interviews, you were notified you didn’t land the position.

That wasn’t the outcome you had envisioned.

Briefly, reflect on what you learned during the entire process.

Keeping in mind, it was time well spent…

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” –Harry S Truman (33rd U.S. President)

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Will there be a point when some Salesforce certs lose their perceived value?

Is it when:

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– Memorization is forced versus actually understanding why things work the way they do?

– Exam dumps are available if someone wants to cheat bad enough?

– A X times certified job applicant cannot land a position with no project experience?

– An interview occurs, and the job applicant thinks “that question wasn’t on the exam”.

– Previously 1 cert got someone’s foot in the door, then it turned to 2, and then 3, and now…?

– A candidate reaches out to a recruiter and the first 5 words they say are: “I’m a X times certified…”

– The number of certifications being available increases each year causing dilution?

– An employer decides not to offer additional compensation or job responsibilities because someone added another cert to their tool-belt?

– A multi-million (or maybe billion) dollar industry focuses on creating and attaining more certifications?

– Someone on the job knows that Googling is how they achieve results, rather than what they answered on a previous exam?

Are we at a point to change and focus on what’s valuable in the job market (especially to newcomers)?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: One board, one nail, one day at a time…

There’s a new apartment complex going up next to my house and like clock work, 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM, I hear boards shuffling and nails being pounded.

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Routine, everyday, most of it mundane, and probably seems endless.

Board by board, nail by nail, hour by hour, 6 days a week.

And while I don’t see noticeable progress each day, I’m fairly confident they’re not just nailing random boards together and goofing off.

Eventually the apartment complex will be complete and the construction workers will be pleased with the outcome.

It reminded me of your Salesforce career journey and how you have to build at it day by day.

And you might not see much progress at the individual day level, but as each board is laid, each nail is driven, you’ll have the Salesforce foundation necessary to see your career start to take shape.

As the great Salesforce instructor, Ryan Scalf, states: “Chop Wood, Carry Water”, focus on the work that matters.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Which route are you taking?

If you’ve being impacted by the current employment downturn.

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The route many are headed down includes primarily gaining more certifications and accumulating Trailhead badges.

And while that might be one route to take to stay productive, how about you make a detour?

Steer slightly to the right to see what lies ahead.

Understand that this route will have a few more bumps, limited directions, inaccurate maps, a few bad storms, and will probably cause you to get lost and frustrated at times.

But on this route, you’re able to be creative, apply critical thinking, use and improve the skills that you’ve already obtained, and build your own unique project portfolio.

The route you decide to take now, could make all the difference when more destinations come available.

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Salesforce Professionals: Do you have someone?

To grow your career with?

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Someone who shares similar viewpoints, philosophies and ways of continuing to achieve greater success together.

I don’t think a mentor would necessarily be the right title, as they might be too far removed.

Not someone you just check in with every 3-6 months.

And this person doesn’t have to be right all the time, rather someone you can bounce ideas off of and they can do the same with you…having healthy debates.

It doesn’t have to be something you ask for, rather it typically comes naturally.

Usually, within the 1st few times of meeting someone, you can probably feel this out based on how conversations flow.

It starts very small and organically expands.

I believe this is one of your biggest multipliers for your career growth.

I recommend someone local to your area, as often these conversations and interactions are more valuable in person.

Occasionally, working together on your own respective projects in a single location.

Ideas will pop up, lessons can be shared and learned from one another.

I don’t think there’s too many other activities during your career that can beat it.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Fight Club and You

Rule #1 (and #2) of the movie/book, Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club

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Then guess what happened?

In short, 1 person decided to tell 1 other person, who then told 1 more person, and the word kept spreading.

And the Fight Club attendance took off.

People felt it was necessary to get the word out to others like them.

So, how can you have others get the word out about you?

I think one way is by indirectly publishing and showing your connections the Salesforce projects that you’ve completed.

Which are unique, unscripted and something you’re proud of.

With the intent that it’s something a potential employer sees as valuable.

And to do this over and over, until others take notice, and eventually determining that you’re the right person to reach out to potentially hire.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your work is not for them…

The work that you’ve done, the professional goals you’ve obtained, the projects that you’ve shared, the Salesforce knowledge that you’ve acquired.

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It’s for the others.

But, not for “them”…

And that’s OK.

It doesn’t have to be for just everyone and anyone, but the select few that can have an appreciation for what you can bring to the table.

The others are out there somewhere, either you’ll find them, or they’ll find you.

But you have to keep moving, creating, sharing, expressing, collaborating, connecting, and showing up.

In order to find or to be found…

Keep this stat in mind:

940 people gave J.K. Rowling a 1 star review on Amazon for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Guess what? The book wasn’t for them.

I really doubt it phased her.

She found the others and the others found her (work).

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The unfortunate reality of the Salesforce job market (and any other job market where experienced talent is lacking) .

The right side: legitimate, hard-working newcomers, fighting the good fight to get their 1st break, who wouldn’t ever think of having one iota of embellishment on their resume.

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The wrong side: fraudsters who have a completely made-up resume, filled with company’s they’ve never worked for, experiences they haven’t achieved, and skills they’ve never acquired.

There’s plenty of blame (responsibility) to go around (and it’s not just with the fraudster), and I’d like to think I understand most of the economical dynamics of why this occurs, as I’m caught in the cross-hairs.

Nonetheless, it can be pretty frustrating to deal with.

Maybe Andy Dufresne said it best:

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – The Shawshank Redemption

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Writing To Help Extend Your Reach

2 questions to ask:

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What are 5 blog topics you think others would find surprising, insightful, provocative, educational, or useful?

What are 5 blog topics you are tired of reading about?

If everyone is writing about Apples.

Write about Oranges.

Don’t worry about Impostor Syndrome.

Wing it.

We all do, but when you show up, good stuff occasionally follows.

You have ideas to share.

People to teach.

Connections to be made.

Open positions exist that need to be filled by your creativity, experience, intelligence, and generosity.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Hunches and Caveats.

Hunch: an impression that something might be the case; a feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts.

Caveat: a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.

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We all have hunches, as we don’t always have everything we need to provide an answer with 100% certainty. Typically,  our hunches are followed with a caveat, to keep us off the hook.

Referrals or recommendations are often provided using a hunch/caveat combination.

“I have heard, but…”

“I have seen, although…”

“She/he might work, however…”

As you search for your next position, think about how to help influence your network’s hunch about you, while working to reduce the amount of caveat that needs to follow.

Being present, contributing, showing your work, engaging, helping others, etc. should get you going in the right direction.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Exponential connection building

Step 1 – think of 4 quality questions that you want to ask an experienced Salesforce professional. 

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2 of those questions should be:

1. “If you were just starting your Salesforce career today, how would you go about doing so?”

2. “Who do you recommend I connect with from your network that’s helped shaped your career, or could provide quality advice for someone just starting?”

Step 2 – find 3 experienced Salesforce professionals to ask those questions to. 

Be subtle and professional in your approach. “Hi Billy Bob, I realize we haven’t met before, but I noticed that you’ve been working with Salesforce for over 3 years now. As I begin my journey, would it be OK to ask you 4 questions about your career to hopefully help shape mine?”.

Step 3 – Those initial 3 people will give you 3 more people to reach out to. 

At that point, name drop: “Hi Sally Sue, Billy Bob mentioned your name as someone he has a lot of respect for and recommended I connect with you for career guidance…” ask the same questions, you asked Billy Bob.

Step 4 – Repeat the sequence. 3 X 3 X 3 X 3…adds up very quickly.

Step 5 – Log the answers, find the patterns, focus on those.

Step 6 – Keep in touch, provide valuable content, stay top of mind.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Persist until success

In the classic book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino, there’s a chapter/theme called:

“I will persist until I succeed”

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Within this, a couple of passages stick out, that may be relevant to you.

“It is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary to reach my goal. Failure, I may encounter at the 

thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never will I know how close it lies unless

I turn the corner”.

and

“I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not

a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow of itself, may be trifling, and seem of no consequence.

Yet, from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble.”

Maybe this helps keep you going…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: What industry are you in?

The Salesforce industry?

The tech industry?

The retail, CPG, energy, financial services industry?

The sales, service, marketing, or other cloud product industry?

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Possibly, one of those, but I think that’s secondary.

As a career seeker, your primary industry is:

The Trust Industry

This is the industry where the hiring managers work, where they look and where they believe they’ll find the right individual to do the job.

And unfortunately, I don’t think this industry is always based on resumes alone.

They may have been burnt one too many times just on a resume, resulting in a bad hire.

To help prevent this, they’re looking for recommendations from others, or for an individual to showcase their work, or for their social profile to be well built and to hear what others are saying, or how has that individual provided value to others.

It’s what they can see, latch onto, and investigate further, if they so choose.

Continue to figure out how to effectively work, market and sell yourself in this industry.

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Salesforce Professionals: How’s your written communication skills?

To help influence, inform, relate, understand, think, educate, maybe entertain.

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While I was working on a marketing slide, I realize how hard this actually is, where someone else (not me) actually thinks it’s good.

With the goal of: Communicating an effective message, to a targeted audience, to make as much impact as possible, with as few words necessary.

Along with the dilemma of: Too many images, not enough images, too many words, not enough words, too busy, too subtle, good font type, bad font type, too self-promotional, not enough self promotion, too generic, too specific.

The list is endless.

Revision 1, 2, 24, 49, 308…

But, at the heart of it all, you want to: 

Get your audience one step closer to make a decision that you’re seeking.

So when composing, think through the mind of the recipient, when they’re asking themselves: why him/her, why this, why now?

Resumes, your project pitch, your grocery list for your spouse.

Continue to refine this one skill will pay in spades over your career.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Our biggest challenge?

I think: Obscurity

Whether it’s you as a job seeker looking for a position or me as a recruiter looking for a new customer.

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Are the people that need to find you, finding you?

Check out the below numbers using LinkedIn Recruiter.

Salesforce Admin – 13,756

Salesforce Consultant – 11,665

Salesforce Developer – 6,354

Salesforce Architect – 895

These numbers represent the number of Salesforce professionals looking for new opportunities (globally).

If you hold any of these titles, then you’re somewhere in this count.

Maybe you’re in the top third, middle third, or bottom third.

It doesn’t really matter…

The bigger question is, how can YOU be found?

Do you have a strategy in place?

Waiting to get picked out is probably not the best option (or very sustainable).

Fortunately for YOU, that’s what most are doing.

So the question is, what can you do differently?

Hint: It’s probably going to make you uncomfortable, feel a little awkward, uncertain, cause a fear of failure, getting rejected, or get you worried what others might say.

Suggestion: Do that…again, again, and again.

Maybe, I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s much of an alternative…

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): The tug…

Between what you want to do in your career and what the job market might be asking you to become.

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Specifically, I’m referring to knowing how to code.

You tried it, you did a few Trailheads, you wrote a “Hello World” program, and 

You hated it…

It just wasn’t you, and you have no desire to continue down that track.

Why bother?

But, maybe, you “grind” through it, and even get certified.

Because the job market has tugged at your shoestrings long enough.

You’ll show “them”…

Then, you land a position that involves writing code.

But weren’t you originally miserable learning it anyway?

Now, are you content, satisfied, fulfilled?

Learning new skills can be rewarding, but learning new skills can also make you miserable if you’re not enjoying the work you’re doing.

The dynamics of…

The tug.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Where are you standing?

In the midst, in the noise, in the chaos, in the stack, in the masses, in the commotion?

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If you’re right in the middle of any of those in your job search, I don’t think that’s where you’re going to find the most success.

It’s way too crowded in there.

So, where is “there” you ask?

Well, to me, there is: Trailhead badges, a certification (or two), sending 5 generic resumes to random positions, and all the other generalities associated.

Let others stand there, but not you.

Your “there” should be where you’re: creating, sharing, building, voicing, connecting, engaging, BEING UNIQUE.

If where you’re currently standing isn’t getting results, guess what you can do?

Stand somewhere else

And if that doesn’t work…

Well, move, and stand, yet, somewhere else.

Continue to look for and find your place to stand.

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Salesforce Professionals: Could you use just 1 more blog?

Great, I came across a list of the Top 35 for 2020.

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https://academy.whatfix.com/salesforce-blogs/

Thanks to Gokul Suresh of Whatfix for putting together.

Now, how about a little Weird Al lyrics (parody of Blurred Lines):

“Okay, now here’s the deal

I’ll try to educate ya

Gonna familiarize

You with the nomenclature

You’ll learn the definitions

Of nouns and prepositions

Don’t be a moron

You’d better slow down

And use the right pronoun

Show the world you’re no clown

Okay, now here’s some notes

Syntax you’re always mangling

No “x” in “espresso”

Your participle’s danglin'”

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Salesforce Community User Groups

I’ve seen 1st hand newcomers get hired from our local Houston user group.

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Not by showing up once, twice or thrice (I hate that word, BTW).

Rather, many, many times.

I’m curious to hear if there’s been any newcomers that have shown up consistently for more than say 12-18 months and have not landed a position (of any kind).

I don’t necessarily want this to be a piece of advise that I consistently offer, if it doesn’t hold true a majority of the time (i.e. thrice out of 4 times).

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Salesforce Admins – how’s your current user set up?

Do you know it’s wrong and not sure where to start to make corrections?

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Could you use some help or want to bounce some ideas off of someone?

Or maybe you’ve struggled to pass the Admin exam and need a refresher.

If any of those are true, please check out Ryan Scalf’s training sessions on his youtube channel or join us live every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 PM CST, as we discuss various aspects of the exam, and take a deep dive into security.

“https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE_VF-XjjLwIawwTTfpwvWA”

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/399421739

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Salesforce Career Seekers: In times like this, often we, external recruiters, get whacked.

Fortunately, not as severe as being in the mafia.

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Goodfellas…
Benny: We had a problem…
Jimmy: What do you mean?
Benny: You know what I mean.
Henry: Hey Jimmy, what happened?
Jimmy: They whacked him…

When many companies are unsure of what the future holds and are putting significant cost saving structures in place, often using external recruiting services is an expense that faces increased scrutiny.

As you go about searching for your next position, external recruiters may not be your best path forward for direct placement, rather utilize them for other services (resume reviews, their take on the market, bridging a connection to a company, building a relationship for the future, etc.).

This is a generalization to help make sure you’re spending your time wisely.

One other gangsta tip: Never rat on your friends…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Is the hiring manager that you’re interviewing with, a Salesforce Geek?

Geek in a positive, technology driven, enthusiastic way, not necessarily someone who just snorts when they laugh.

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If you’re not sure, you may want to try and do a little research to find out, as more times than not, if they are, they may be asking you some non-traditional questions during the interview.

1. What Salesforce influencers/bloggers/tweeters do you follow and why?

2. What Salesforce acquisitions do you think have been the most strategic?

3. What changes in this past seasonal release do you think will have the most impact to customers?

4. Are you involved in the Salesforce community either online or in person?

5. Are you familiar with the 1-1-1 model?

6. How has Salesforce as a company made an impact on businesses, culture, society, etc.?

7. What do you think of Dreamforce?

8. What’s something that you don’t care for within CRM?

9. Do you use Trailhead, if so, what are some of the paths that spark your interest?

10. Where do you see the future is headed with Salesforce technologies?

I’m sure there’s more, but having some answers rehearsed around these could be beneficial.

Lastly, only snort, if they snort 1st.

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Salesforce Pros: If you haven’t been getting out much…

You might have noticed the number of free/discounted online courses that are being made available.

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The latest is Pluralsight offering the month of April for free (no credit card required or other subscription shenanigans).

Over 7000 courses, a few hundred on Salesforce.

I’ve seen posts in the past regarding the lack of training available around CPQ. Pluralsight has 2 that I came across: Demystifying CPQ and CPQ for beginners.

Bonus tip: After taking a class, shoot a personal LI invite to the author. A great way to build a new connection for the future.

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Salesforce Pros & Newcomers: Opinion on the current job market

While my (list) view of the current Salesforce job market is relatively small, a few thoughts to share:

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Due to the uncertainty, it seems most companies are putting their hiring on hold. The good thing for those that aren’t, is the greater pool of available talent to choose from.

If you’re a Salesforce newcomer, this is an ideal time to ask your connections if there is an opportunity to pick up some volunteer work, particularly if you hear about layoffs happening. Those on the ground are probably overwhelmed with the workload which gives you a chance to get some experience on the lower level tasks they don’t have time for (data analysis, data cleanup, prototyping, etc.). CRM related functions are still happening.

If you’re currently one of those that have more work than hours and have the capacity to offload some of the smaller, maybe mundane, tasks that you think a newcomer could help out with, please do so.

For those that are in caught in the cross-fire, I’m sure you know about the importance of continuing to up-skill.

What better time to dive into understanding how those Apex Triggers work and why Developer Donnie seemed to get all the credit when it comes to building complex Salesforce solutions.

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Slowing down…

Maybe things have slowed down a little for you during this time and you’re not constantly running from one meeting, one call, one hallway conversation, one text, one email, one Slack chat, one Chatter feed to the next all day long.

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How about a little career discovery/self-reflection time?

Science says a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, then a lifetime of deepening will keep you on the right track.

For Discovery, asking yourself:

1. What do I like to think about?

2. Where does my mind wander?

3. What do I really care about?

4. What matters most to me?

5. How do I enjoy spending time?

6. In contrast, what do I find unbearable?

Also some definitions on what you might be looking for:

A job: “I view my job as just a necessity of life”

A career: “I view my job primarily as a stepping stone to other jobs”

A calling: “My work is one of the most important things in my life”

Reference: Grit by Angela Duckworth

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Over the weekend, I caught “Uncle” Bob Martin’s presentation on The Future of Programming.

Within it, he speaks about the history and evolution of hardware, software, languages, methodologies and programmers, while stressing the importance for technical discipline.

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Back in 1945, it was predicted that the need for programmers was going to continue to be in high demand (considered mathematicians back then).

You might want to check out his presentation on YouTube as you’ll probably learn something new and it’s pretty entertaining (assuming you’re a techie).

Key takeaway (among many): as the amount of new programmers doubles every 5 years, this results in half the total number of programmers to not have experience, causing a perpetual cycle of inexperience, then causing the same programming mistakes to be made over and over, if the learnings of the previous are not taught to the new.

Below are some of the slides from his presentation.

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Salesforce Professionals – are you gritty?

Do you want to be grittier?

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What defines grit?

Based on Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit, her research shows 4 characteristics:

1. Interest – when we’re captivated by the endeavor as a whole, although some of it sucks, overall we find it interesting

2. Practice – the need to continuously be better and resist complacency

3. Purpose – your work is important not just to you but others, interest without purpose is not sustainable

4. Hope – ability to keep going, knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, when things get difficult

If your current situation has you down, maybe check out this book to help bring out the grit within you.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Expecting versus Accepting

Before an interview, are you expecting an outcome to be favorable or rather accepting the decision no matter what?

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There are so many variables at play when it comes to interviews and the outcome is unpredictable, would accepting before starting be easier on your emotional well being?

Particularity, because you’re not the one making the decision and although you might have felt it went well, those on the receiving end might have felt otherwise, or maybe they decided to put the position on hold, or received an internal referral, or promoted within.

All areas out of your direct control.

You did your best at the time, and even if you didn’t, the conversation has ended.

When we expect a specific outcome, if we don’t get it, we’re usually disappointment.

Being disappointed in someone else’s action or decision can be a monkey on our back that we don’t want or need.

I’m not suggesting for you to agree with the outcome, but by accepting it allows you to take ownership, understand, embrace and take what you can from the situation as it unfolds.

When it comes to interviews, plan for victory, and learn from defeat.

Then if you succeed, celebrate and if you fail, re-calibrate.

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Salesforce 1st Time Career Seekers: Impossible

Is landing your 1st Salesforce position considered impossible?

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Impossible is an intriguing word meaning incapable of being true.

While there are some things that are considered impossible (e.g. changing the past), I don’t think landing your 1st Salesforce position can be one of them.

Maybe: Difficult, hard, frustrating, aggravating, challenging, annoying, disappointing and plenty of other verbs/adverbs.

But impossible?

Or asked another way, how can you prove it’s really impossible, can’t there always be one more attempt to make something possible?

Same concept can be applied to almost everything that we do…

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Salesforce Newcomers: How are you standing out among your peers?

In addition to showcasing some of your work, how about publishing a few articles or videos and then have them as part of your extracurriculars on your resume.

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Here’s some ideas:

  • A weekly set of questions/problems and answers that were posted on https://lnkd.in/eSAxn9E and why you thought they were important..
  • The top 3 Salesforce bloggers you enjoy reading about and what were some key takeaways they’ve shared.
  • Some of the recent Salesforce acquisitions, the facts about them, why Salesforce thought they were a good purchase and how that can change the CRM landscape.
  • A review of the seasonal release notes and which will make the biggest impact to Sales, Marketing, Admins, Devs, etc.
  • The top 5 trailheads that you found the most useful to a Salesforce newcomer and why.
  • A review on some of the AppExchange apps that you’ve installed and your assessment of those on why those are helpful.

A good quote to think about:
“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible” ~ Seth Godin (Marketer and Author)

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Salesforce Career Newcomers: Below are some thoughts and important questions I believe are important to ask yourself (or to ask someone else for help), if you’re considering down a new career in Salesforce.

1. Do I need an advantage(s) when compared to others to have success? If so, what are they? Talent, effort, education, background, personality, connections, all, none.

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2. How likely am I to succeed? Why do I feel that way?

3. How significant is the payoff?

4. Is there an opportunity cost? Could/Should I be doing something else with my time? If so, what?

5. Do I have the right support system and encouragement to succeed? Are they actually helping or just blowing smoke?

6. Will I learn something about myself if I fail? Can I apply those lessons elsewhere?

7. When should I decide on a different path? Do I/Should I put a hard date in place? Am I starting to feel the financial pinch?

8. Will I be happy if I succeed? If so, why?

9. Am I utilizing my time as effectively as I should towards this path? If not, what else should I be doing instead?

10. Do I feel any momentum whatsoever or am I just consistently treading water?

These are not intended to discourage, but they are meant to be real, to try and help ensure you understand the landscape and personal well-being.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How do you receive constructive feedback?

Does it bruise your ego?

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Does it imply you were wrong and they were right?

Does it make you upset or distraught?

If so, maybe you can think about it differently…

It’s a GIFT.

To provide you better direction.

To give you more guidance.

To show you what’s needed to succeed.

To help you understand what’s important.

And it’s up to you to decide how to take it and make adjustments.

Rather than being upset, thank them that they took the time and energy to provide feedback as they’re helping, guiding and actually caring to make you better.

While this is an unnatural feeling, by taking a sense of gratitude to the individual or group providing you the message can be a game-changer in how you deal with constructive feedback, flopped interviews, discrepancies of opinion, etc.

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Chris, where should I go next?

To a big or small consulting company.

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The last few weeks I was asked for my point of view on going to a smaller versus a larger Salesforce consulting company as they were getting offers from both.

While I have my own personal biases based on the previous decisions I’ve made and where it led me, and there is no one right answer, as it really depends on where you are in your career and what you’re looking for.

But, if you’re indifferent, my suggestion: Go Big.

Often, the biggest players get the gnarliest implementations/transformations, have the toughest customers to satisfy, have more politics at play, work the longest hours, have more administrative overhead, and can cause more stress.

“That’s dumb Chris, why would I want to put myself through that?”

Answer: Exposure.

If you’re in the earlier stages of your career, being exposed to as much as you can early on, helps in determining what you want or don’t want for your future.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: “If I had only”

How many times have we said or thought this?

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After the interview…

If I had only:

– Gotten up earlier

– Left on time

– Prepared better

– Wrote it down

– Understood how

– Researched more

– Shook hands firmly

– Answered more thoroughly

– Shown more confidence

– Showered

– Remembered their name(s)

– Not gotten so flustered

– Tripped over my words

– Sat up straighter

– Talked with my mouth full

– Said “I don’t know” instead of BS’ing

– Ironed my suit

– Interrupted

– Looked them in the eye

– Spit out my gum

– Shown my work

– Asked more intelligent questions

– Thanked them

Well, we didn’t, we tried, we forgot, we got distracted, we came up short.

It’s over: 

– Reflect briefly

– Go for a walk 

– Eat a cheeseburger

– Watch a Seinfeld rerun

– Have “A” cocktail

– Talk to someone

– Write it down 

– Get it out 

You’re fortunate to have tomorrow, and the opportunity to go at it again.

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose” (Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th POTUS)

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The Salesforce Career Paradox (which can probably apply to most fields):

Entry Level Job Seekers: no choices (struggle to get their 1st position).

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Mid Level Job Seekers: too many choices (struggle to be able to decide which position to take next).

Senior Level Job Seekers: the right choice (struggle to find a position that can actually propel their career to the next level).

And while one category may seem like a “better” problem to have, as you’re not in it, each one has it’s own respective challenges that we go through.

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Effective Communication…

Describe an example of a process that you’ve built as a Salesforce Administrator:

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“Using an agile methodology, I’ve put together an in-depth and ultra-sophisticated series of highly regulated and error-free automation process steps that entails initiating and utilizing multiple decision criteria to produce an abundance of desired outcomes for the company’s sales team.”

Say what?!

There’s an art and genius to using simple language to get a message across.

By delivering precise answers that are clear and comprehensive to interview questions, you can be 2 (process builder) steps above the rest.

Rather, how about something like:

“I created a process that had 3 immediate actions, which included creating a new contract record, a post to a defined Sales Team chatter group, an email to the VP of Sales, as well 2 scheduled follow up tasks of 7 and 14 days, once an opportunity amount above $100,000 hit the stage of closed/won.”

I’m sure this could even use some refinement, but hopefully the point is apparent.

Practice your Q&A with yourself (or with your mom, your dog or favorite stuffed animal).

“Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity” (Nat Turner, Minister, Rebellion leader that led to the Civil War and slavery abolishment)

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Long term benefits of working for a consulting company.

You’re probably not always at a point to be too selective in all your career choices, but if you have a chance to work for a major, established, well-known consulting company and understand some of the nuances that come with it:

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travel, extra hours, difficult clients, metrics, driven management, egos, continuously being pushed out of your comfort zone, asked to take on more work, small fish in a big pond environment, etc. and can grind it out for a few years, please do.

As I meet with companies (industry and consulting), they often ask for this background for their next hire, as they were once there and can relate: “Oh, you worked at X, me too, let’s chat”.

It has benefited me in my career, although it often sucked at the time, being on conference calls on a Friday night or prepping for a go-live over a holiday break, it’s opened up future conversations and opportunities that I might not otherwise would have had.

It’s not for everyone, but might be something you’d like to think about trying as you continue down your career path.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Transferable Systems Skills

A good story on being smarter than the recruiting systems.

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Often applicant tracking systems spit out resumes without specific keywords being recognized and while I’m not suggesting to lie on a resume, I do suggest to take what’s available and apply it.

Over the past few weeks, Bhavana Patel, CSM and I were discussing how she could take her other non-Salesforce experiences and skills and relate it to what a Salesforce Admin’s responsibilities would be.

Intelligently, she took the relatable keywords and phrases from the below admin training description and ensured her resume accounted for those that were applicable based on other systems she has worked on:

https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/academy/classes/adm201-administration-essentials-for-new-admins/

Keywords such as: Data, Formulas, Reports, Records, Logins, Access, Permissions, Configure, User Interface, Troubleshoot, Exceptions, Collaboration, Automation, etc.

I think it was a valuable exercise and if you’re not getting the results that you’re looking for, you may want to cross reference your resume.

“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt, 26th POTUS

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“If you want to be a knight, act like a knight”

While the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes of Don Quixote has many twists and turns, one theme is clear, that I think can apply to your goal of moving into or up in your Salesforce career as an Admin/Dev/Architect/Manager, etc.

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If you want to be one, act like one.

Don Quixote was considered a knight-errant, where he would wander the land in search for adventure in his pursuit for chivalry.

Acting as if…

How are you pursuing your adventure on becoming a better Salesforce professional, especially if your current position isn’t allowing for additional growth?

How about going out and speaking to some of those who are where you want to be some day.

Asking about how their days typically play out, the types of projects and challenges they deal with, and advice to offer you to get where they are.

Then, take some notes, think about these, and ask yourself:

“What would an Admin, Dev, Architect, Manager do in this situation when you come across them.”

Psychologically, having these thoughts and actions could help build your confidence as if you’ve already played the part in your mind.

Be creative, be that Salesforce-errant.  Just don’t fight any windmills.

“Thou hast seen nothing yet.” -Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

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Previous Salesforce Career Seekers: Did you decide to quit?

In your initial pursuit of a career transition doing Salesforce work?

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Or even when you landed something and decided to eventually pivot out.

And more importantly, are you happy in whatever work that you’re now doing?

If so, I’d/We’d love to hear from you.

While I enjoy thinking and writing about Salesforce careers and will continue to do so, I think it’s equally important to discuss alternative paths to overall career success, enjoyment and fulfillment.

Particularly, when we seem to be consistently hit over the head with: Salesforce This, Trailhead That, Admin This, Certifications That, Community This, Opportunity That…the list goes on.

There are alternatives and I think perspective can help.

Maybe, I’ll come up with a short questionnaire to publish for those I hear from that decided that Salesforce wasn’t for them.

This post was inspired by a fitting quote I read today:

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…then give up. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.” ~W.C. Fields (American Comedian and Writer)

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“Why are you looking to make a change?”

“That’s none of your beeswacks, Chris.”

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I asked this question this week when speaking with a candidate who’s currently employed.

She delightfully answered and didn’t say the above.

Then I thought about it some more, and whether the question was really any of my business.

If it was being asked to me, I might question as why it really matters.

In this case, I wanted to make sure the position we’re discussing is not more of the same of what the individual DOESN’T want.

Often a job description only goes so deep, so we often need to dig a little deeper.

This then allows us to add those notes on the submission to either proceed or end the process.

Feel free to ask the recruiters you work with, “why do you ask?” if you feel uncomfortable with the questions being asked.

The question on current salary is probably one you’re thinking, which often company’s ask us to request, which we should also have an answer as to why.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The right message at the right time.

“I already know dat, DADA!”

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I hear those words time and time again from my 5 year old.

But he doesn’t take action.

Then what happens?

Low and behold, someone else says something very similar and he’s all over it.

A different time, with a different demeanor, from a different person, under a different circumstance, causing a different reaction.

Often we hear or see something that we’ve come across before, and it doesn’t mean a thing to us.

Then our circumstances change, and it’s the one thing that we really needed to hear to keep us going.

Continue to keep your internal antennas up to catch those messages.

“For the 4th time, Son, go brush your teeth, it will prevent cavities…”

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Salesforce Professionals: Do you read?

I’m not referring to just Salesforce blogs or other online articles.

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Real, physical books.

Yes, they still exist, and believe it or not, they’re FREE at the library.

Or e-books if that’s your thing.

More importantly, reading books that seem totally unrelated to your current day to day work.

Maybe philosophy, auto-biographies, self-help, history, etc.

If you tend to struggle with some of the problems you face at work, maybe reading has the answer you need.

The possible path to overcome problems, might not be with you thinking and dwelling on them directly, but rather subconsciously through reading.

Go off course occasionally, see what comes to mind.

I know, if you only had time…

How about just 15 minutes before your day gets hectic, or on the bus/train ride in, or instead of watching TV in the evening.

Surprisingly, you may become increasingly better at solving problems on the job by relaxing a little outside of work with a book.

Thank you to, Brett Habing, for asking me to write a post about the significance of reading who I know has had success as a Salesforce Admin and BA by reading.

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – Joanne Rowling (Best selling author in history – of a book series)

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Learn from those who came before you.

Robert Mankoff, a former cartoonist for the New Yorker, had a strong desire to be employed by the New Yorker, but had quite the uphill battle to get that opportunity. The New Yorker receives thousands of cartoons a week, and their acceptance rate is close to 0, but he knew if he could make that team, he would be considered one of the best.

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For 3 years and after more than two thousand rejections, he said in an interview that he received enough rejection slips to wallpaper his bathroom. 

As Bob was getting frustrated, he realized that the adage of “try, try again was not working”, so he decided to take a different approach. He went to the New York Public Library and looked up all the previous cartoons that had been published in the New Yorker since 1925.

He analyzed the cartoon captions for length and the type of humor that was presented to see if he could find some missing element that he wasn’t presenting that was, in essence, causing all the rejections. After not being able to easily understand that missing link, it hit him, as he then realized that all the cartoons had one thing in common: 

They made the reader think.

And the cartoonists used their own personal drawing style to achieve that. Furthermore, there was no single, “best” style, as many variations were picked over the years.

Finally, Bob revised his approach to be more in-line with what would be accepted causing the viewer to think about the drawing, as well as adopting his own dot style of drawing (called Stippling).

With his revised approach, he drew the below cartoon, which was the first to be accepted by the New Yorker.

The next year, he sold 13 cartoons to the New Yorker, then 25 the following year, then was asked to become a full-time cartoonist.

While we often hear the saying, “success leaves clues”, I think this story is a great example of that. Although, discovering what “worked” wasn’t easily recognizable, Bob took his own approach to figure out how to get better by studying the history of those who “made it”.

If you’re currently going down the Salesforce career path and not sure how to achieve the success that you’re desiring, take a look at those who came before you, talk to them, research their background, ask intelligent questions, look for similarities that you can latch onto. Sure, everyone’s journey may be slightly different, but I think you’ll find patterns that have led to their success which you can also take into consideration to help you in yours.

Article inspired by a chapter on Robert Mankoff from the book Grit by Angela Duckworth

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Salary Negotiations

Maybe there’s a middle…

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Or rather an intermediate in this context.

I was asked to conduct a mock interview yesterday as part of the Salesforce mentor-ship program.

One of the topics we discussed was salary negotiations.

I believe it’s always more art than science, as there’s many variables that come into play when it comes to salary and only you can determine what “works” for you.

But maybe there’s a middle…

If a potential employer makes an offer that is a little less than what you’re expecting and they’re not budging.

Rather than declining the position all together and assuming that you’re really interested, express that, and ask if there are any options to accelerate you receiving a raise within 3-6 months of proving yourself.

Some companies have the flexibility to do this and it can potentially keep the conversation moving forward.

Obviously, there has to be some trust that they’ll come through, but it would get your foot in the door and help you gain some additional experience.

Don’t end the conversation entirely, think about if there’s a middle.

“Oh baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle? I’m losing my mind just a little” ~Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – The Middle

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