Human Capital and Social Capital

Do you find one to be more important than the other?

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Human Capital = hard/soft skills, education, experience, etc.

Social Capital = your knowledge sharing, access to others, community participation, your LI activity, articles you’ve written, how you’ve promoted others, etc.

Do you think employers would see more value in a resume and want to hear not only about your Human Capital, but also your Social Capital?

Some employers might weigh Social Capital at the same level (or even higher) than Human Capital.

We often hear: “it’s not what you know, but who you know”.

Hopefully, if you’re a fan of Social Capital, your employer also has an appreciation for this.

Maybe, Social Capital is something you want to spend more time on in 2021, to provide you a leg up for greater career advancement.

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Variances with Salary Surveys

Martin Gessner provides salary examples in his book, The Salesforce Career Playbook, and he correctly points out the large amount of variance within them.

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For example:

Salesforce Admin (U.S. based)

– Mason Frank: $100,500 – $126,000

– Salesforce: $95,000 average

– Neuvoo: $48,750 for entry level, $94,951 average

– ZipRecruiter: $36,000 – $140,500, $88,146 average

– Indeed: $87,744

– Glassdoor: $62,000- $117,000, $87,292 average

As you can see, they’re all across the board.

Unless variables such as: location, industry, company size, specific job responsibilities, years of experience, etc. are provided with these survey results, please use them with a bit of caution.

The better alternative is speaking to others to hear the details that these salary surveys do not to provide.

While some may not disclose what they’re making, they could provide an opinion based on your experience, especially, if they were once where you are, not long ago.

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Salesforce Developer (or any software development) Talent Gap in the U.S.

While, I believe there’s a combination of reasons below, I’d be interested to hear some additional opinions on this subject.

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Also, do you see any trends occurring to close this gap?

– Not enough employers hiring entry level

– Not enough grads coming out

– Not enough interest in CS/IS as a subject

– High learning curve associated – easier subjects to study

– Higher stress is not worth the pay

– Existing developers moving into management (or other field)

Doing a quick check on LinkedIn and LinkedIn Recruiter:

~12,304 open U.S. Salesforce Developer positions*

~2,000 U.S. Salesforce Developers “Open to work”**

* Of the 12,304, maybe 10% would be willing to sponsor

** Of the ~2,000, maybe 10% are eligible to work in the U.S. without sponsorship

Equating to ~11,000 open positions who will not sponsor, and ~200 who can fill those (all things being equal and taking a SWAG, based on my experience).

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Those that attended the Salesforce Career Fair this past week.

Some questions that you might want to ask yourself (or share here):

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– What was your biggest takeaway?

– Was there anything that you would have done differently in preparation prior to the event?

– Did you discover anything new about yourself?

– Are you able to reassess what employers are looking for and start taking additional steps to achieve that?

– Did you make some mistakes and take mental notes of those?

– Did it lift your spirit or deflate you? If the latter, what can you do about it?

– Do you have a follow-up plan in place? Have you started executing on it?

– Can you make a LinkedIn connection with those that you met to open up the social media connection?

– Did you receive some constructive feedback following the discussion? If not, can you ask for it?

If you didn’t get the ultimate outcome you were shooting for, hopefully, you learned a few things and can take some additional steps that will get you a little closer to your goal.

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Being remote and your professional growth

If you’re still 100% remote and have been for the last 9+ months, do you feel there have been any downside effects to your career or professional growth?

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Things like:

– Being less visible to other areas of the organization

– Not being able to build the same rapport/friendships with colleagues

– Not being able to sit in a room to have design/idea generation discussions

– Not taking your boss out to lunch to discuss your current position and future goals

– Not having the hallway/water cooler chats/happy hours about current events

– Not sitting over someone’s shoulder to watch how they’re tackling a problem

– Losing some of your verbal, in-person, presentation skills

– Losing your ability to read non-verbal queues during discussions

Sure, many of these can be done virtually, or some may be of little relevance, but have you felt your career stagnate at all due to the current way of operating?

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Interview duration…

Do we often drag out interviews longer than they need to be?

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If we know a candidate is not a good fit within the first 5-10 minutes, do we feel an internal obligation to keep the conversation going?

Maybe to see if there is somehow, someway we could move forward?

I remember my 1st interview after college which lasted about 2 minutes with Hewlett Packard – some network protocol questions were asked that I couldn’t answer…”Ok, Chris, I think we’re done here, thanks for coming out.”

I knew I bombed, and the interviewer didn’t want to waste his time.

Or presumably give me any false hopes that I had a chance.

Now, occasionally, I get feedback when a candidate isn’t a good fit, but the interview still lasts over an hour.

Interview style, personality of the interviewer, thinking about if there’s another position internally that may be a better fit, and other factors, often has a lot to do with interview length.

Would you rather be told early on in the interview or have it be drawn out?

The same thought could also apply to the candidate: “Sorry, I can see I’m not a good fit here, thanks for the opportunity, good luck in your search”.

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I received this gem over the weekend and look forward to diving in and writing some good excerpts from it.

I can already tell it’s a worth while read.

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Meaningful charts and graphics, expert quotes from those “in the know”, a day in the life of a working Salesforce professional, case studies, examples of how others have found success, and much more.

Thanks to Martin Gessner, and all those that helped, to put this piece of work together.

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Why bother?

If you’ve thought about pursuing a new skill, career, initiative, industry, or specialty area, have you made up the reason not to, by thinking: 

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There’s already enough <fill in the blank>, so why bother?

Maybe enough:

– New Salesforce job seekers

– Existing Salesforce professionals

– Admins turning Developers

– Developers turning Architects

– Consultants consulting

– Bloggers blogging

– Youtubers youtubing

– Creators creating

– Specialists specializing

– Leaders leading

The list goes on…

While this might be your perception, I think there’s still plenty of room for you (and many others).

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No one is responding…

It must be our resume.

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As we go through our job search and apply to positions that seem to be a great fit, and then no one responds, we often turn to our resume to analyze why we’re not getting the attention we deserve.

Asking ourselves, what can we show differently to gain an employer’s interest?

Maybe, if we reword a responsibility or two, to show more depth.

Maybe, if we rewrite the summary, to make it more impactful.

Maybe, if we add a small embellishment of a task that we were a part of, to make it now our own.

Maybe, if we add a credential or two that we’re studying for, but haven’t achieved yet.

Maybe, if we extend a project/employment duration a few more months, to show less downtime.

Maybe, if we add some more keywords, so an applicant tracking system can move ours near the top.

We’ve all been there…

While resumes often still matter, trying to get yours to be picked out of the stack is extremely hard.

Fortunately, there’s another game in town, which includes, creating, building, giving, showing, contributing, and connecting.

Yes, this game takes a lot more effort and time, and fortunately, for you, not many are going to do it.

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Salesforce Professionals: New Ideas

As you go about your day to day work, do new ideas come to mind?

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What do you do with those?  

Let them fade away or do you write them down and share them?

If you’re responsible for a status report, you might want to add a small section at the bottom called: New Ideas of the Week.

Or document them in a weekly/monthly email.

Many will be lousy and get ignored, but occasionally a gem will catch someone’s attention.

And it could be one of those new, good, ideas that leads to a significant, positive impact, on your project.

More importantly, it shows that you’re a thinker, and not just a doer.

Doer’s can often be replaced with another doer, but a thinker is what can help set you apart.

Don’t waste those new ideas, they came about for a reason.

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Salesforce Newcomers: Demonstrating your skills

Have you thought about how you can demonstrate your ability to configure Salesforce to solve a problem that may interest a potential employer?

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Rational (or irrational) reasons that come to mind:

– You don’t know what to show

– You don’t think it will do any good

– You’re not sure where to begin

– You’re intimidated what others might think/say

– It won’t help you get any closer to landing a position

– No one will look at it

– You don’t have time

– You’re not sure if it will be good or right

– You won’t be able to answer questions if asked

– Others have been successful without doing so, why bother

– No one will really care

– You have better ways to gain an edge (more certs/more badges/more job applications)

– You’re not comfortable showing your work to the world

– It takes too much effort

– You feel once won’t be enough and don’t want to keep attempting

– You don’t know where to turn to if you need help

– You’d rather just stay with your current approach and a break will eventually happen

Most are probably valid reasons.

And, it’s almost as easy to start, as it is not to.

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Salesforce Newcomers: Do you have an industry advantage?

If you’re making a career transition, where are you coming from, and can you use that industry knowledge (layered with Salesforce) to your advantage?

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Doing a search in LinkedIn Sales Navigator for people, grouped by industry, that have Salesforce as part of their profile are below (U.S. based).

Can you look for open positions within one of these industries that directly align to where you’ve been and where you want to continue to go?  

Sure, some industries have taken a hit harder than others, so maybe a smaller sub-industry within, may still be a viable option.

Can your past/present help set you apart?

Law – 3.5K

Oil & Energy – 8.5K

Automotive – 17K

Construction – 16K

Real Estate – 27K

Human Resources – 19K

Pharmaceuticals – 14K

Management Consulting – 24K

Telecommunications – 46K

Information Technology & Services – 210K

Computer Software – 170K

Marketing & Advertising – 100K

Financial Services – 83K

Internet – 58K

Hospital & Health Care – 48K

Insurances – 29K

Medical Devices – 24K

Retail – 16K

Computer & Network Security – 13K

Consumer Goods – 13K

Biotechnology – 10K

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Salesforce Career Seekers: How do you evaluate new opportunities?

I was sent the below matrix by an experienced Salesforce professional who uses this criteria to compare their current position to new potential opportunities that they’re interviewing for.

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Factors such as: Job Tasks, Culture, Advancement, Compensation/Benefits, Glassdoor Ratings.

Maybe you can use something similar for your process.

Is there additional criteria that you take into consideration?

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Salesforce Professionals: Karma, Luck, Circumstance

Do you feel any of these have played a significant part in where you stand today in your career?

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In Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he mentions success comes from: “a patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages”.

Jeff Bezos jokes: “half luck, half good timing, and the rest brains”.

Oprah quotes: “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.”

Jack Dorsey previously tweeted: “success is never accidental”.

And the quote list could go on…

Arbitrary, accidental, timing

Preparation, brains, hard work

I imagine we have all had a combination of both.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Salesforce Career Fair – January 21

If you’re making it to the Salesforce Career Fair this year, do you have a solid game plan in place?

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Or are you going to wing it?

Some thoughts (to not wing it):

– Create a shortlist (maybe 6-8) of potential employers

– Identify why you are interested in them (this question could come up)

– Maybe this list should be those that are a little less known so you can avoid all the competition going after the same firms

– Can you find out who specifically will be there ahead of time? And is there anyone in your network that 

might be able to do a warm intro for you prior to that day? Recognizing your name could play to your benefit.

– Could you curtail your resume for each of the employers that you’re interested in that specifically aligns to their company values, mission statement, customers/industries they serve, products/services they sell?

– Is there anything happening within the company in the news, company/employee growth, M&A, financially, etc. that you can bring to their attention to ask about?

My guess is that it will be somewhat chaotic, you might not get as much time as you would like, can you stand out?

You have ~10 days to prepare.

Prior preparation prevents poor performance.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Credibility & Your Resume

One of the top reasons we hear from hiring managers (or HR) on why they decided not to move forward with a candidate to the next round of the interview process is due to credibility being lost when asked about specific experience in their resume.

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The interview could be going great, then this scenario occurs:

Hiring Manager: “Chris, you mention at your last company, you wrote some Apex triggers.  Please tell me a little more about that process, why you needed to rely on code, and the results you achieved.”

Chris: “Well, what I meant was, I didn’t actually write the Apex triggers, but I was overseeing a team member who was responsible for doing that work”.

Hiring Manager moves on to the next question, BUT, the lack of credibility flag has now been raised, and at that point forward, most likely, it’s not getting lowered.

Please be sure you can defend and speak to the specifics that you have in your resume for better interview outcomes.

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Are you the best person for the job at hand?

Or should someone else tackle it?

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More importantly, if you know that you’re not, are you able to say so?

Often our ego might get in the way, as we want to take on new challenges to help prove our value to both ourselves and to others.

Last week, I was asked to install a light fixture for my niece. I said “sure, no problem”, I’ve done that before.

To my dismay, after about 2 1/2 hours into it, the job wasn’t done, and I ended up breaking the wires.

I wasn’t the best person for the job, and made things worse.

I should have stepped aside, especially when the instructions said: Step #1 – Use a licensed electrician

There’s a fine line between trying and succeeding, and learning along the way, and knowing up front what your limitations are and expressing that.

How do you handle situations when you know you’re not the best fit?

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Salesforce Newcomers: It’s OK not to know all the answers.

Don’t think you’re the only one who doesn’t have an answer to a question/problem.

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Sometimes, we beat ourselves up, for not knowing something that maybe we “should” have.

The same thing can often be said for a very experienced Salesforce professional as well.

An architect may be put in a scenario (or a conversation) that they haven’t experienced before.

Or maybe, the answer just slipped their mind when put on the spot.

It’s not out of ignorance…

They just didn’t know.

So they go and figure it out.

Determining how to find the answer, is the next best option when you don’t know.

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Salesforce Professionals: Mentorship

Have you had some good mentors in you career?

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If so, what made them good?

If you haven’t had a mentor yet, what is the value that you would hope a mentor could provide?

Is finding a good mentor difficult?

Sometimes, we speak about mentorship when someone’s career is just starting, but having a trusted mentor (or set of mentors) along your entire career is probably equally beneficial.

Often, we don’t have a formal exchange in starting a mentor/mentee relationship, rather it’s just understood, between the two individuals, who are receiving equal benefits and “get” one another.

Maybe this year, a new mentorship can be formed for you and more importantly, by you.

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Salesforce Professionals: Fluff

How much additional fluff do you either write or read about when it comes to your project’s documentation?

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Do you often find something that could have been said in 2-3 sentences ends up being drawn out to 2-3 paragraphs, or even 2-3 pages?

Asking yourself either, why am I reading this or will my audience I’m writing this for even read this?

When I used to help write proposals at big consulting companies, I needed to determine how many different ways I can get a message across to cover all the bases. 

Or maybe it was to help management feel that I’ve put in enough time, thought and effort into the exercise.

Now, when I write proposals, I think about how many different ways can I shorten the message to still be equally effective and understood.

With the hopes that it will actually be read.

Easy to understand, impactful, and concise, is often a tough combination.

I think effective writing should be on all of our “skills to continue to enhance list”.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Biggest Unknown

Prior to an interview, what do you consider to be the biggest unknown?

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Possibly, it’s not knowing the questions that you’ll be asked.

Whether it’s that or something else, have you done everything you can to try and reduce that unknown as much as you can?

Could you do more?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The best fit might not always win

Have you ever thought after the interview that you were a great match, then to find out you weren’t offered the position?

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Leaving you scratching your head and asking yourself, “what happened”?

Then to never receive a real answer as to why you weren’t chosen.

Many of us have been there…

One potential reason, is that you could have been seen as a disruption or threat to the existing team, the culture, the ways of working, etc. and unfortunately, the hiring manager is looking for someone a little more passive and easier to manage.

In my experience, very seldom is that type of feedback given.

Oh well, their loss. 

Keep being you…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Dropping Indirect Hints

As you’ve probably experienced, hiring managers, recruiters and HR do not always get back to you in a timely fashion.

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One way to possibly bring the conversation back to life, indirectly, is to ask an off-topic question or send them an article of interest, specific to something you heard during the previous conversation.

“Thanks Chris for the interview last week, I enjoyed our discussion, you mentioned you like fishing as a hobby, I thought you might find this article interesting.”

or

“Thanks Chris for the interview last week, I enjoyed our discussion, you mentioned you like fishing as a hobby, I meant to ask you, which artificial worm do you find works best in the fall?”.

Last week, I was sent a resume to review and it fall off my radar, then a few days later, the individual sent me a question off topic, which indirectly reminded about their resume.

Versus an email saying – “Did you review my resume yet?”

It probably wasn’t intentional, but it worked.

An approach you might want to try, if the direct questioning isn’t getting you anywhere.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Recruiting Industry – New Year’s Resolution

As unrealistic or unachievable as it might be, are there a few resolutions you would like to put in place around the recruiting industry?

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Some to get us going:

– Follow up correspondence provided after interviews

– Realistic job descriptions

– Entry level positions that are truly entry level

– Removing 2+ hour technical assignments

– Having 4+ separate interviews with 4+ different people, discussing the same 4+ topics

– Taking over a month to receive an offer

– Expressing interest, then never to hear back again

– Less systems and more human interaction

Happy 2021! May the recruiting Gods be on your side this year.

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Salesforce Professionals: * THIS YEAR

As this year comes to a close, maybe you didn’t achieve everything that you set out to do for 2020.

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Across the board, 2020 had plenty of asterisks, footnotes, and exceptions associated to it.

Maybe yours is as simple as: * THIS YEAR SUCKED!

Fortunately, after today, we get to tear the last page of the calendar away and start anew.

This time next year, hopefully, yours becomes: * THIS YEAR ROCKED!

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Resume Objective: In or Out?

I’ve read a few opinions about it being unnecessary to have an objective within your resume, stating that it’s obvious what your objective is.

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I tend to disagree, with the hopes that if little else is read on one’s resume, the objective would summarize where you’ve been and where you’d like to go, and then if the reader is interested from there, they can review the experience section.

What do you think?

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True Confessions of a Salesforce Tech Recruiter

Thank you to Joshua Cruz for the opportunity to be on his podcast to discuss the recruiting industry. We had a great time and shared some good chuckles.

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Joshua has been producing some valuable content each week and I’d suggest to add him to your LI network and follow his YouTube channel to hear more on what he and his guests are sharing.

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“They’re trying too hard.”

We occasionally hear this when someone wants to be liked or to just fit in.

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Do you feel that trying too hard can actually hinder your career progress?

Is there such thing as trying too hard when it comes to your career?

Whether that’s in your job search, revising your resume over and over, studying for another certification exam, bending over backwards for your boss or colleagues, never saying “no”, and/or generally taking on more than you care to.

Or is it the fact that, regardless of how small the incremental gains are, some level of achievement is being made, and that’s what ultimately matters (without risking your health, family or emotional well-being)?

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Newcomers): Journey vs Destination

We often hear, it’s not about the destination, but rather the personal journey that we face.

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Do you feel that’s the case for you as you work on landing your 1st (or next) Salesforce position?

Have you been able to learn (or revisit) some things about yourself along the way?

Some mixed characteristics that come to mind:

– Resilience

– Self-education

– Helpless

– Uncomfortable

– Overwhelmed

– Lost

– Dedicated

– Perseverance

– Failure

– Inquisitive

– Passion

– Bravery

– Confident

– Gratitude

– Depressed

– Belonging

– Worthless

– Joy

Maybe I missed some, what say you?

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Among the unusual ways of working this year, putting in your notice, might have been no exception.

With the rise of video conference calls, if you used that medium, that might have been a new way of communicating such a personal message.

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Fortunately, you didn’t have to worry about your boss yelling at you: “Get out of my office, pack your things, and leave immediately!”

If and when, we get back into the office, taking the day off and using a video conference to put in your notice, could become the norm to ease the tension.

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Post Interview Takeaways

Outside of possibly not having the right (or enough) experience for the position that you’ve interviewed for, have there been other qualitative feedback points that you’ve taken away, either by being told explicitly or through self-reflection?

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Maybe:

– Lack of preparation (this company was started in 1942…)

– Mustard from lunch left on your chin (dang, that was a good hot dog)

– Rambled, rather than directly answering the questions (it all started when I was 6 years old)

– Dropped the f-bomb one too many times (it slipped out)

– Personality conflicts (I’m the best, no I am, no she is)

– Dozed off during the Zoom (it was only a long, delayed blink)

– Over-qualified (don’t you hate those)

– Lack of enthusiasm (ra-ra, hoo-ray)

– Culture fit (whatever that really means)

– Couldn’t get into a good conversation flow (umm, ah, you-know)

– Bad hair day (flat iron burned out right before the interview)

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Salesforce Professionals: Indecisiveness

If you’ve thought about making a job change, and it’s taking longer than it should to start the process, what’s causing that?

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Some thoughts you might be having:

– Too much of a hassle (resume, interviewing, dealing with recruiters)

– Not sure what to go after

– Waiting to hear how the bonus/raise/promotion is going to turn out

– Don’t want to betray your current employer

– Too heads down in the day to day activities

– You enjoy the people you work with

– Waiting for your current project to finish

– Worried if others find out

– Family situation needs to run its course

– Was told that internally, things are going to change

Maybe over the holiday break, you can reflect and take some action if the indecisiveness has been going on too long.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Resume Suggestion

Many resumes have a section called: Key Skills (or something similar), where it’s a bulleted list of items which are often pretty generic.

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Great Communicator, Reliable, Analytical, Hard Worker, etc.

Instead of this approach, how about changing it to: Challenges & Solutions

Which can be more specific.

– Built X to Solve Y

– Managed X to Produce Y

– Utilized X to Overcome Y

– Streamlined X to Save Y

– Designed X that Led To Y

– Established X to Bring in Y

– Resolved X Allowing for Y

– Lead X to Achieve Y

– Delivered X Resulting in Y

I think this would have more meaning to the reader.

And then in the company experience section, elaborate a little more, as needed.

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Salesforce Career Seekers (newcomers): What court are you playing on?

In your job search, have you thought about looking at courts where only a few are playing?

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Many of the open positions on LI have 2, 3, 5 applicants.

That might be where you want to be spending your time catching a pick-up game.

Those courts need players too.

Don’t look like a scrub though, act the part.

You have a better chance of standing out and getting picked up.

“Who’s got next?!”

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Salary Negotiation Anxiety

Is this something you have/get?

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For some, it could be the worst part of the entire job hunting process…

I think we often find it’s easier to just accept the offer presented, even if it’s a little lower than we expected, rather than the anxiety that may come onto us, when we have to negotiate.

Any tips on how you’ve been able to overcome this (maybe some self-talk suggestions) for those who might be challenged with negotiations?

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Salesforce Professionals: Unrealistic Expectations

Based on your experience, are there a few top areas of a Salesforce project, where you feel unrealistic expectations are continuously put in place?

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Some examples:

– Overnight user adoption. 

– Integration with minimal customization. 

– Ability to bring talent in easily. 

– Was told it was out of box functionality, when it actually needs X + Y + Z to work.

– ROI of X% in 3, 6, 12 months.

– Experience of a system integrator.

– The technology will fix this process.

– Top executive support, then…

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The most important action…

If there was one action that you’ve taken that has helped provide you the success in your career this far, what would that be?

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I realize success is ultimately based on many actions taken over time, but one might stand out the most.

If it’s continuously learning, please be more specific regarding what and why.

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Salesforce Professionals: Your Niche

Do you have one? Do you think you need one?

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Are there career advantages to having a niche?

It could be industry, a specific Salesforce technology/cloud/product, type of role, etc.

Or a better question, are you able to say “no, I’m not interested”, if a request, position, opportunity does not fall within your defined niche?

If is often said, it’s the things that we say “no” to, that allow us to spend our time and energy continuing to become an expert at our defined niche.

A lot easier to say than do, especially during a career search, when the bills aren’t waiting for your niche…

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Salesforce Professionals: Salary Bumps and Risk

If you’re content where you are, but are passively looking for your next position, do you give yourself a salary percent increase target, to help subsidize the risk of making a move?

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I get asked this question occasionally, and I (and probably others) would like to hear your take.

Historically, I shot for 15-20%, but those positions were after 2-3 years of current employment, and were positions under $100k.

Higher paid positions, I think the target would probably need to be a smaller bump (5-10%), unless you’re drastically under the market range.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Older job posts

Please don’t make the assumption that a job post that’s a few months old, has been filled.

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We recently spoke to a Fortune 500 company and they’ve informed us they haven’t been able to fill a Salesforce Admin role for 3-4 months now.

I think this is the situation for more than just them.

In this case, the job description didn’t come across as anything that would be out of the ordinary for a 2-3 year declarative Admin to have.

While, there could be something going on internally in the organization to cause the delay, the point is, if you see a posting that might seem outdated, take a shot at it anyway, it could be yours for the taking.

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Salesforce Professionals: Baby Steps

Over the last 3, 6, 9 months, have you been debating exploring other opportunities, and just don’t know where to start?

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Maybe COVID has caused some resistance.

It can feel overwhelming, and you’re really preoccupied in your current role.

But then, you occasionally ask yourself:

I wonder what’s out there, what do I want to do, am I qualified, or maybe I can find a new role internally, should I give it more time to think about it…

You don’t have to have all the answers to get started, but something should (needs to) happen, to get closer.

Suggestions:

– Update your resume

– Refresh your LinkedIn profile

– Look for (flag) a few positions that seem interesting

– Set up job alerts

– Discuss/network with others to hear what they’re doing, ask for their opinion

– Move your LI profile to “open” for a few weeks to see what comes back

Maybe the upcoming holidays provide you the time to take a few…

Baby Steps.

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Salesforce Professionals: Positioning

Are you currently in a position that is leading to a future position that you
want to be in?

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In other words, are there opportunities to grow in your current position that are challenging enough to get you to that next level of your career?

Occasionally, you may want to take inventory to determine if and how your position today is leading to your position for tomorrow.

Or for some, your current position makes you happy, content and satisfied, and there’s really no need to worry about future positioning…

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Newcomers): Career Transitions

Everyday, as I recruit, I look at LI profiles and see people who have successfully transitioned from one completely different field to another.

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Not always into Salesforce necessarily, but into other I.T. related positions.

Sure, some of them may have had a special circumstance, where a position “fell” into their lap, but there’s no way that happened for everyone.

If you’re currently struggling, most of them previously did too.

Eventually, they found their success.

6, 12, 18, 24 months from now, this post can be written again about you…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Creating Applications

Interviewer: “So, Chris, tell me about some custom Salesforce applications that you created”

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Some ideas:

– An internal job applicant tracking app as if you were working in HR, posting a new position, tracking the applicants, storing their resumes, the interviews/communications that occur, the salary offers, etc. 

– Another HR suggestion used for current employees to track their salaries, bonuses, merit raises, PTO, benefits, performance evaluations, issues/complaints, work anniversaries, birthdays, special interests, etc.

– If you were the internal I.T. helpdesk to track products: inventory, hardware, software, licenses, peripherals, phones for the employees. Using cases for service management for issues, severity, resolutions time, SLA’s, etc.

– Lastly, standing up a Community for tracking the interaction for specific services that are being offered to the public.  Working at a library, showing book clubs, foreign language classes, passport photo services, kids reading classes, etc. creating a schedule, who’s attending, waitlists, email campaigns, surveys to show how they’re interacting with the services, etc.

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it” ~Amelia Earhart (1st female to fly solo across the Atlantic)

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Salesforce BA’s: Project Problems

In Roni Lubwama‘s book, The Inside Track to Excelling as a Business Analyst, he discusses project problems that BA’s often face.

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Outlining:

– End users and stakeholders repeatedly changing their mind

– Technical application limitations that do not fully meet the requirements (or requiring much more customization than desired)

– Other teams not delivering the “what’s” and “when’s” which were initially agreed upon

– Missed requirements from the onset

– Lack of Salesforce specific implementation experience within the team

– Unintentional withholding of vital information (data points) to make important decisions

Are there others?

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Newcomers): The game doesn’t end…

A sports analogy.

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Fortunately, for you, there isn’t:

– A last at-bat

– A 10 count

– A clock that buzzes at 0:00

– A final lap

– A 3 second pin down

– The final ante

– An 18th hole

– A 12th round

– Sudden death

– A 10th frame

– A final set

– A ring to stay in

– A first to 25 (winning by 2)

– An 8 (or 9) ball

– A TKO

You have an endless number of attempts to win.

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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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