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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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Licenses – buy now or buy later

Do I buy now with the hopes for a reasonable discount to catch the Salesforce fiscal year end or wait until I actually need them?

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Am I the only one who had to build a super, duper, fancy, highly-sophisticated, ultra-complex algorithmic, cost-benefit calculator* to determine the best approach to save money?

*Excel with about 2 multiplication formulas

Maybe, it’s time to add a new requirement to the Salesforce Admin job description:

– Experience in Salesforce license cost modeling

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A way with words…

Yesterday, I was on a conference call, fumbling my words and repeating myself.

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Enough for me to notice and write this post.

Afterwards, I thought, some of us have a much better way with words.

While others, sputter and spatter, with ums, ahs, and ya knows.

Capturing an audience’s attention by knowing exactly what to say and how to say it is a superb skill to have.

It “seems” to come rather easy, and is impressive to hear.

Maybe it’s natural, or maybe they’ve worked on it for years.

A way with words, is one skill, that many of us can take note of to improve, while also having admiration to those who are consistently great at it.

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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 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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Salesforce Professionals: The Future State.

Sometimes, we discuss how we should design and build out Salesforce functionality so it will be easier to accommodate/integrate in a future state.

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Often not knowing when that future state is or, in fact, if it will come true at all.

In doing so, does this end up being an over-engineered solution with a lot of time and energy spent, where the present state solution is really all that was asked for?

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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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Questions/Thoughts on Brand Dilution

Is there a point when a brand gets diluted trying to be too many things?

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When an acquisition occurs, do the employees, culture, way of working, continue to exist as it used to?

Would the company doing the acquiring hire the same people from the acquired company if they didn’t now work there?

Can the same original core values still be adhered to, when each respected company used to have their own?

If a great product or company exists and another company needs to have it as their own, is that really what matters? So the competition doesn’t get to it/them first?

For the existing employees, does the loyalty get lost in the shuffle over time, as things are not what they once were?

Rather than being 1 of a few, where many knew our name, we’re now 1 of thousands where those close relationships are harder to find/keep?

Has the new direction been made so convoluted, that we’re now trying to just figure it all out individually?

Does brand dilution ultimately lead to brand delusion, causing continuous rise of internal politics, employees to leave with frustration, and customers to get confused?

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

Do you feel that you can answer the “why’s” when you’re doing a Trailhead module?

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Often I see: Find this, click this, choose this, enter this…

But then I ask myself: why choose this option specifically, what is this option actually doing behind the scenes?

Or: what about the other options available, what do they do?

Unfortunately, when the path to a Trailhead badge is linear and scripted, I believe we lose some context in the bigger picture regarding what we’re actually trying to accomplish and learn.

I guess the psychology of providing just enough information to feel a sense of accomplishment versus providing too much to feel overwhelmed comes into play…

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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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Zoom Meetings and Keeping Tabs

Are we using Zoom meetings excessively now versus pre-COVID?

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As we’ve lost some control of what others are doing.

Using it to hold people more accountable, when an email would be sufficient.

Which leads to longer work hours…

“I wonder what Chris is doing, he’s not active on Slack again, I’ll send him a reoccurring Zoom invite for 9, 1 and 4, just to make sure he’s around (and you know…working).”

Getting into a groove can be challenging when working from home, especially if there’s already disruptions around us, but having multiple, frivolous Zoom meeting checkpoints, just to keep tabs during one’s day, can suck the life out of our productivity.

Hopefully, you’re not falling victim to the Zoom madness.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): 65 Acquisitions

Maybe one has had the biggest positive impact on your career.

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Many of them, you may have never heard of, or know how they fold into specific functionality.

2006 – Sendia, Kieden;

2007 – Kenlet, Koral;

2008 – Instranet;

2009 – GroupSwim, Informavores;

2010 – Jigsaw Data Corp., Sitemasher; Navajo Security, Activa Live Chat, Heroku, Etacts;

2011 – Dimdim, Manymoon, Radian6, Model Metrics, Rypple,

2012 – Stypi, Buddy Media, ChoicePass, Thinkfuse, BlueTail, GoInstant, Prior Knowledge;

2013 – EntropySoft, clipboard.com, ExactTarget, EdgeSpring;

2014 – RelateIQ;

2015 – Toopher,Tempo, ÄKTA, MinHash, SteelBrick;

2016 – PredictionIO, MetaMind, Implisit, Demandware, Coolan, Quip, BeyondCore, Heywire, Gravitytank, Krux, Twin Prime;

2017 – Sequence;

2018 – Attic Labs, CloudCraze, MuleSoft, Datorama, Rebel Mail;

2019 – Griddable.io, MapAnything, Bonobo AI, Tableau, ClickSoftware, Diffeo;

2020 – Evergage, Vlocity, The CMO Club, Slack Technologies;

2021 – Acumen Solutions (SF Fiscal Q2 FY22)

Are more professional services acquisitions on the horizon for 2021, particularly those that are industry vertical focused?

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Credit Checks

How do you feel having a credit check done as part of the job offer process?

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Yes, some companies do this.

Is there a correlation to not managing ones own finances well to being a financial risk to a company?

And I’m not talking about a finance or accounting related role…rather tech.

Interested to hear your take and if you’d be put-off by this request, or if it would rather help you feel better that you were being employed by a company who takes this seriously.

I guess your answer might vary if you had a 300 versus 850.

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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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CRM Bells & Whistles

How much time and energy is spent discussing, designing, developing, testing and deploying CRM related bells and whistles that never end up being used (or used very little)?

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Do these bells & whistles increase user adoption, user satisfaction or hit at some of the major pain points companies face?

Do we often lose focus on getting some of the core CRM functionality correct before layering on the extras, causing

more harm than good?

Management of: Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, Cases, Activities, etc.

I guess it’s the Bells & Whistles that keep our industry chugging along for the past 50+years…

Computerworld, August, 1976:

“Before even considering bells and whistles, a user should look at the plain vanilla system and see just how operationally sound it is.”

IT PM Job Posting, January, 1967:

“We are writing in COBOL under DOS and [our system] will have all the bells and whistles.”

Article reference:

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/bells-and-whistles.html

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Salesforce Professionals: Expertise

How is this defined?

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Do you consider yourself an expert at something?

If so, what is the unit of measurement? Years, Projects, Trophies, Scars, Wrinkles, Grey Hairs?

Does the audience that you’re displaying your capabilities to/for consider you as an expert?

Maybe the audience today believes you to be an expert, but if you were to deliver the same level of skills to a different audience tomorrow, they may not, as they’re, in fact, the experts…

Unfortunately though, if you’re not an expert, what are you?

An amateur? Ouch!

Let’s stick with Expert, as it sounds much more profound.

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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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Salesforce Content Creators: Thank You

For your contributions.

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It takes time to create content for others to see, but more than that, it takes guts.

Guts because you might ask yourself:

Will anyone like it, read it, watch it, listen to it, share it, find it interesting, or helpful?

Which might lead to: why am I even doing this?

And your guts overcame this mental resistance.

And you published anyway.

And someone noticed it, enjoyed it, thought about it, maybe even took action on it.

Your contribution helped them.

Or maybe you don’t create from scratch and you comment on other’s work instead.

Thank you.

As, you might have resisted and even drafted something and then thought to yourself: “ah, forget it”, worrying about a potential backlash, but you stood for something, and rolled with it.

You contributed to the conversation, possibly with an opposing viewpoint, which then helped others, who were thinking the same thoughts.

Thank you to the creators, contributors, and commenters in expressing yourselves.

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Salesforce Professionals: Your approach to a Salesforce problem/project

In speaking to a prospective client last week, they mentioned they often get pitched a very canned Salesforce solution to their requirements.

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Often missing the mark regarding what they’re actually looking to accomplish.

Causing frustration, most likely because they were told/sold on how flexible Salesforce can be to meet their specific business needs, but then not seeing that once an integration partner comes in with a proposed solution.

This situation might be the outlier, although I’ve heard it a few times over the last 3 months on different occasions.

Why do you think this occurs? I realize this is a very broad stroke conversation.

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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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Recruiting Full Time Experienced Salesforce Developers.

I thought we could use a refresher…

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JD:

4+ years in Apex, LWC, Flows, JavaScript (and other JS Frameworks), custom API’s to your ERP and other legacy systems, solicit requirements, design elegant solutions, communicate to upper management, U.S. Citizen.

YES, they exist!

A combination of what they look like (to me).

Either:

– Independent Contractors at ~$100/HR (minimum)

– Being pursued by the big tech giants (Salesforce, Google, AWS, and the like)

– Running their own shop

– Working at consulting companies who are going to pay more because they can charge more

– Have a nice equity stake offering at hand

– Know someone on the inside who they’re loyal to

– Are being offered 15-20% more than the market average

– Have a nice “cush” position that allows them to do what they want, when they want, and how they want

– Working for a company where they’re passionate about the cause

– Are living under a rock and don’t want to be found

– Some other personal interest that’s fulfilling all their needs

– I’m probably missing a few others…

As of today, there’s 10,287 open Salesforce Developer positions on LinkedIn.

I love the challenge to recruit, but I think it’s safe to say the odds are not stacked in my favor…

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Salesforce Professionals: Slow-Walkers

In Roni Lubwama‘s book – The Inside Track to Excelling as a Business Analyst, he discusses slow-walkers.

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Not a term that I was familiar with, but definitely something I’ve experienced.

Slow-walkers are those that you might need information from, but they have decided to take their time to provide it (sometimes not at all). 

Possibly, due to it not being a priority for them, or other motives (i.e. job security in a client/consulting situation).

Ultimately, causing your progress to be impeded.

Then, we might have to escalate over the slow-walker’s head in order to get our job done, causing some friction along the way.

Have you been able to have a straight-forward conversation with a slow-walker about why they’re not helping you?

Not always the easiest conversation to have…

Do you have any “smooth” tactics working with Slow Walkers?

Looking online: Hermès has a walking sneaker guaranteed to help one walk faster, only $870.

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Salesforce Professionals: CRM Project Failures

We often hear about customers doing a reimplementation of their CRM system.

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Maybe you’re on a project like this now (not a failure, but rather a reimplementation).

“Studies” show areas such as: lack of leadership/communications from the top down, poor user adoption, misidentified processes, unrealized value.

If you’ve experienced this, what do you feel are the top contributors that lead to a successful CRM project versus an unsuccessful one?

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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: Work Addiction

Maybe you have it or know someone who does.

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Or maybe you’re not sure…

Something I thought about recently and found out it’s actually a health condition.

On Healthline.com it states there’s a difference between Ambition and Addiction and like a drug, people feel an emotional high when they’re working, which causes/contributes to the addiction.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Being obsessed with work-related success
  • Having a defensive attitude about others about their work
  • Being paranoid about work-related performance
  • Becoming stressed when you’re not able to work
  • Ignoring requests when asked to reduce your working time

While many of us have probably experienced one or more of the above, the problem is when it consistently has negative effects on you and others, and then being incorrectly justified as career ambition.

Treatment options exist such as inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation and even a Workaholics Anonymous fellowship.

Some references below:

https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/work

https://www.workaholics-anonymous.org/

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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: Interview Timeframe

What do you think should be a reasonable timeframe between the 1st interview and a final offer being made?

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How do you feel when the process takes longer?

Do you shrug it off, thinking, “that’s just the way it is”, especially if it’s a position that you really want?

Does it cause you to pause and think less of the company that they might not have their act together?

Why do you feel companies take so long?

Interested to hear your thoughts to any of the above…

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Salesforce job market for the experienced

For those who have been working in the Salesforce ecosystem for over 3+ years, do you feel that the job market has gotten more competitive for you?

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Although more open positions exist now, has the amount of qualified people applying for those same positions also increased?

Possibly because the experienced are not just going for any position, causing only select positions at specific companies to get all the applicants?

If you’ve been unemployed recently, are you finding it taking longer to land your next position than years in the past (maybe COVID is a factor)?

Interested to hear your experiences and thoughts regarding what you’ve faced/are currently facing.

Thanks.

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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 Professionals: Project Documentation

If there was one type of project documentation that you could remove from your area of responsibility forever, what would that be?

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Sometimes do you feel like you have to create documents for the sake of creating documents?

Along with revision after revision after revision.

Often wondering, will anyone ever read this thing and if so, will they actually read it more than once after it’s signed off on?

Or maybe if you’re a client, “I paid how much for you to create this?!”

Or if you’re a consultant, “We charged how much for me to create this?!”

Sure, some documentation is significant for training, planning, legal reasons, etc.

But most others…

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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: Going out on your own

Have you thought about leaving the corporate world and doing your own thing?

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Whether that’s starting your own Salesforce consulting company, creating your own product, or becoming an independent consultant.

If you’ve debated this, and haven’t made the jump yet, what’s the biggest hurdle(s) that you’re trying to overcome?

Maybe others can help provide some perspective for you.

Or if you have already made this jump and found success, please share your opinion on this move you made. 

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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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You might be a Salesforce Consultant if…

I thought we could have a play on the comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s famous line: You might be a redneck if…

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I’ll start.

You might be a Salesforce Consultant if you’ve had to use the term, “swivel chair” as a verb instead of a noun.

Ms./Mr. Customer: “Chris, how would we get that customer information from our CRM into our ERP?”

Chris: “Well, Ms./Mr. Customer, you’re going to have to swivel chair.”

Any famous sayings come to mind that you’ve either heard or said, to determine if one might be a Salesforce Consultant?

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Salesforce Professionals: Information Overload

Do you often find yourself with multiple tabs open either with Salesforce tutorials, articles, or some other piece of content, and then it just stays open for days and you never get back to it?

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I have 13 tabs open as I write this…

Or maybe you’re reading one article that links to another, that links to another, and while you had intended to spend just 2 minutes reading the 1st, you spend 40 reading 6 others…same thing with YouTube videos.

Or at the end of the week, you have 20+ browser tabs open and you really don’t want to restart/shut down your computer as you’re afraid you’ll never get back to all those enlightening articles.

“Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” ~T.S. Eliot (Poet, Playwright, Editor, Literary Critic)

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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 Professionals: BA’s, QA’s, PM’s who are on your team.

Who are not “Salesforce-isk” – meaning no prior Salesforce project work experience.

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Maybe, you’ve ran into a conversation similar to this before:

Director of PMO: “Hey Chris, Jan here is part of our PMO, she’s going to be your new Salesforce PM. BTW, her background is managing network security projects.”

I have worked with good PM’s, BA’s, and QA’s that do not come from a CRM (or even application delivery) background, but there has been a learning curve and some frustration along the way.

Do you feel there’s a much higher degree of project success when the entire team has Salesforce implementation experience or can some positions be swapped out easily?  

Maybe it just depends on the individual being brought on that makes the difference?

Interested to hear your thoughts and experiences…

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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 Professionals: Working From Home

I’m led to believe this doesn’t work well for everyone and has a lot do to with your role, or maybe how you’re used to working.

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Occasionally, I hear: “Chris, I only work remote, I can do everything I need to at home with the technologies we have”.

Over the past week, I’ve been sitting in business requirements and solution design sessions all over Zoom.

The fatigue, the slowness, the inability to think and vocalize thoughts as easily just isn’t there.

Often, I find myself, either with my eyes closed or staring off into the ether, surely looking like an amateur “Zoomer”.

While the work is getting done and progress is being made, I don’t feel it’s as productive.

I’d much rather travel to a centralized location with a round table and a white board working collaboratively in a group setting.

Maybe you’re having more success in your current set up.

FWIW, I’ve had a few clients over the last few weeks tell me they’re moving a little more aggressively back into the office.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): The Internal CRM

Often one of the bigger inhibitors in organizations is the misalignment of “the business” and I.T.

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Leading to fractured relationships and unsuccessful outcomes.

Items such as:

– Lack of a tailored solution to meet the business functions.

– The inability to show and demonstrate value in the services being offered.

– The lack of education with what the technology products have to offer to help.

– Miscommunications (or no communication) across silos.

– Being challenged to use an external vendor (competitor) to get the project done.

Interestingly enough, I think that’s what a CRM tool is intended to highlight and correct.

While we often spend most of our time using CRM to assist, educate, and build relationships to help sell products and services to external customers, we also have an opportunity to use the same concepts internally.

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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 (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: The Sea of Struggle

Are you currently swimming in The Sea of Struggle?

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Trying to figure out the pieces of the puzzle

You’re working hard, every day you bustle

Competing priorities are often hard to juggle

Working from home, you feel you’re in such a bubble

And then some of the interview questions make you chuckle

They were not relevant, and caused you to fumble

Maybe even feeling a bit disgruntle

And wishing you could go back to the interviewer with a muzzle

Don’t do that, but it’s ok to grumble

Or worse when you don’t get a response, you feel stuck in a muddy puddle

Or a vicious jungle

Or a trash pile full of rubble

But you have the tools, you have a shovel

Stay strong, keep digging, continue to hustle

Use your intelligence, your perseverance, your brain muscle

Get support from others, spend time to huddle

Stay humble

As this won’t last, you know, all this trouble

Sometimes, it’s just how the cookies crumble

Eventually, it will be as good as a sweet honey suckle

Or better yet, a creamy, chocolate truffle

In time, you’ll swim out of The Sea of Struggle

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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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Salesforce Consultants/Contractors: Maintaining Billable Hours This Year

COVID, WFH, Virtual Schooling, Your Billable Time

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Giving props to Salesforce Consultants/Contractors currently on a project who are having to juggle all these.

Trying to have a productive 35-40 billable work week while maintaining your kids virtual schooling is HARD.

I’m not a billable consultant anymore, but if I was for this year, I’d be lucky to get in a productive 5-6 hours during a school day.

Early mornings, late nights or weekends seem to be more common over the last 6+ months to help make up the difference.

Maybe you’re experiencing the same situation.

If so, great job keeping it all together, as I know in many instances the hours are what get measured.

Hopefully, you’re getting the support and flexibility from your peers, clients, leadership team and family to make it all work.

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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 Professionals: Miss being hands-on?

If you’re currently a manager (or any position that’s no longer really considered “hands on”), do you occasionally think back and ask yourself, would you choose the same career path if you had to do it all over again?

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Maybe others saw you as being better at managing people, process, timelines, budgets, strategic direction, etc. and over time have persuaded/advised you to continue down this more non-technical path.

Since then, you’ve lost the ability, skills, and confidence to roll up your sleeves and troubleshoot a coding problem.

At least in a time-effective manner, so you rely on others to do it, but you always tend to have that “itch”.

Thinking:

“Stand back, watch a seasoned pro work his/her magic”

Or

“It took how long? back in my day…”

This feeling might even compound when most of the buzz and opportunities nowadays are around Developers, Architects, etc.

Especially, if you’re in the job market, it seems that technical roles are 20:1 compared to managerial positions.

I imagine that you’re not alone if the above struck a chord…

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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 Contractors (H1’s in the U.S.): Your LinkedIn Profile

Often, much of my work day consists of looking at LinkedIn profiles, searching for skilled contractors.

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Unfortunately, many profiles read the same way and I’m not able to find anything unique.

Same generic key words, same responsibilities repeated over and over.

One of the areas that I look at that helps show credibility and is a proven differentiator is your Recommendations section.

If there was one piece of advice I could give, please do everything you can to get recommendations from the managers that you have a relationship with at your current client before (or shortly after) you wrap up your project.

You may have to ask more than once, or a more favorable option is to give a recommendation, as there’s a good chance you’ll get one back in return.

We need your expertise, but unfortunately, you might be getting looked over by a recruiter or hiring manager as you’re not standing out to them.

Please keep getting recommendations top of mind as you transition off a project for better future visibility.

Thank you.

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Thank you to Johan Yu and Angie Chng and all the attendees at this week’s Singapore Salesforce User Group for allowing to share my thoughts on Building a Brand.

A good question came up (and often does), which I think many of us have thought about before:

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Starting a Salesforce Blog.

Thoughts such as:

1. What should I write about?

2. There’s already too many blogs, do we really need another one?

3. What should the format be?

4. Will anyone care?

5. What will I get out of it?

All of these are very valid.

My short answers:

1. Find your niche and what you enjoy most, you’d be surprised how the thoughts start flowing

2. Someone, somewhere, at this exact time can use and find value in what you have to say, your personality, your take, your opinion

3. Focus on the content, the bells and whistles don’t matter as much

4. Yes, maybe not the 1st time or the 2nd or the 3rd, but eventually people will care and enjoy what you’re sharing

5. More than you think, the process of getting your thoughts on paper and being able to articulate yourself through writing can be enjoyable, satisfying, and I think can help build additional valuable skills to help your career

You gotta start though.

We’re waiting…

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A little humor (or rather disappointment) in today’s post…

Salesforce Contract Recruiting – will the real Salesforce Developer, please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?

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“We’re going to have a problem here…”

Received 2 Salesforce resumes this past week – Same name, same certifications, same trailhead link, some of the same previous company names, but with totally different responsibilities at each respective company.

Along with different email addresses and different phone numbers.

So, at this point, I really have no idea who I’d actually be speaking with.

I realize the cert dumps have been a problem for awhile, this seems to be next level, especially pointing me back to their certs/trailheads.

If you’re an Eminem fan, let’s just swap Slim Shady in the below lyrics with “Salesforce Developer”.

“‘Cause I’m Slim Shady, yes I’m the real Shady

All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating

So won’t the real Slim Shady please stand up

Please stand up, please stand up?”

The Real Slim Shady (year released: 2000).


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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: Being likable

Are you likable?

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What does being likable mean to you?

And does it mean the same thing to the person who you want to like you?

One interviewer may like you, and another interviewer from the same company, might not.

That’s interesting…

Why would that happen?

Did you do/act/say anything differently between the two interviewers?

Possibly, it’s that one answer that you gave one interviewer and they just didn’t care for it, causing your likability meter to drop a few points.

Or maybe being liked is not so much on what you bring, but rather on what the other person can relate to based on their past, their story, their thoughts, and their own likability.

As Stuart Smalley, from SNL, Daily Affirmation says: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

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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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Enjoying Your Work

This past week, I was speaking to a Salesforce newcomer, and I was asked if I think most people really enjoy their jobs.

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It’s a great question…

Based on what we often read or hear, the majority say “no, not really”.

In my 4+ years of Salesforce recruiting, only a handful that I speak with say they were looking to move out of doing Salesforce related work and primarily because of the limitations that Salesforce puts in place when it comes to development.

More often what I see is when a company decides to part ways with using Salesforce, the internal Salesforce Admin or Developer decides it’s time for them to look elsewhere to continue their Salesforce career.

Do you or someone you know decide to leave a career doing Salesforce related work for something that was a better for you/them?

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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: Sales Street

Are you the only one selling during an interview?

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Selling yourself on how you’re a good fit and why you’re interested.

How’s about the interviewer, how are they doing?

Are they also selling to you on why you want to consider working there?

The conversation should be a 2-way sales street.

Because one ways often lead to dead ends…

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): JPGC

Job Posting Governance Committee

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Can Salesforce and LinkedIn (Microsoft) partner up to put a JPGC in place?

Any company that would like to post a Salesforce position on LinkedIn would need to have their position voted on by a qualified committee of REAL Salesforce professionals that will allow the job posting to fall into 1 of 2 categories:

A. Realistic, practical, logical, credible, rational, achievable, fillable and SMART

or

B. Imaginative, unachievable, impractical, delusional, unrealistic and DUMB

A votes get posted.

B votes go back to the individual that wrote the job description and get hit over the head with a Homey D. Clown sock.

“Homey Don’t Play Dat”

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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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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): The Salesforce Marketing Engine

Maybe, it’s just me, but I occasionally feel “doomed” to download a Salesforce whitepaper.

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Historically, the below happens:

1. I get multiple calls from a sales rep

2. I get a series of follow up emails

3. Salesforce banners have infiltrated my browser

4. My YouTube cat videos are interrupted by Salesforce commercials

Information comes at a price…

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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 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: 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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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Netflix worst customers are…

Salesforce Professionals

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During quarantine, the average Netflix user watches 3.2 hours of Netflix videos per day.

In the U.S. alone, that’s 6.1 billion hours per month (700,000 years!).

I’ll go out on a limb, and say that’s not the case for Salesforce Professionals.

Most likely because we’re:

  • Studying for certifications
  • Taking/retaking certification exams
  • Thinking of the next cert to get
  • Possibly debating the value of certifications on LinkedIn

I wonder how many additional certifications have been attained since March compared to this time last year.

Sorry, Tiger King, Ozark, Breaking Bad, Outer Banks…

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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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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 Professionals: Bad Bosses

Have you had one in the past?

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Maybe you have one currently.

What made/makes them “bad”?

Whatever those things are, are you able to take those into account, if and when you’re the boss?

Over your career, you may learn as much, if not more, from a bad boss on what not to do, than from a good boss on what to do.

I know I have…

Allow a bad boss situation help you to become the good boss you aspire to be.

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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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Recruiting like finding a mate…

This past week I felt like I was using a Tinder recruiting app.

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On 2 separate occasions:

Client: “Chris, we liked the candidate and think they could be a great fit, but do you have anyone else?”

Huh?

Candidate: “Chris, this is a good opportunity, I like what I heard in the initial interview, but do you have anything else?”

Say what?

I’m confused if I should be swiping right or left in these 2 scenarios.

Next week, I’ll see if eHarmony, Zoosk, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel and It’s Just Lunch will produce more favorable results…

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Salesforce Professionals: Career Choices

For some random reason, driving home from the gym yesterday, I thought about previous career choices.

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In my 20’s & early 30’s, I put my consulting career in front of most everything else, causing many late nights in the office, an unhealthy lifestyle, not enough exercise, and making poor (but all so good) dinner runs after 8 PM.

My top picks:

32 oz. Thai Tea (~100g of sugar), along with Chicken Pad Thai

4+ Red Lobster biscuits (640 calories), along with Lobster Scampi Linguine

Double cheeseburger meal from Wendy’s (1,130 calories), along with 4 pc Chicken Nuggets

Would I have done it this way again at that age if I had the choice? Probably so.

Eventually though, I realized I had to make some better decisions in my career and overall health.

No one told me to, but I knew.

Maybe, you too, are also at this point…

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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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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: Staying Top of Mind

Once you introduce yourself to someone, how are you staying top of mind, after that?

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Often when someone reaches out to me to let me know they’re looking for their next opportunity, if I don’t have any ideas or positions that I’m aware of at that moment, that encounter will probably fall to the back of my hippocampus (I had to look that up).

But, if I see that individual active on LinkedIn in the future, writing, commenting, liking, sharing, etc. my hippocampus gets refreshed.

Often, being top of mind and at the right place at the right time will provide you that opportunity to reengage.

Please think about this if you’re hesitant on being active on whatever medium you work on (email, social, phone, community, etc.).

When you’re sharing or engaging on a topic that’s of similar interest to someone else, it allows for that common bond to stay in place.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A thought provoking quote

I read this week:

“Success in life lies in wanting what you finally get.”

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Something to ponder, as you continue your career journey, in determining what will make it successful.

Book reference:

What On Earth Have I Done?
By: Robert Fulghum

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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: 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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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 Professionals: A few relevant quotes…

When it comes to what you see or hear regarding Salesforce careers, average salaries, demand, type of work involved, future growth, etc.

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Two quotes might be helpful:

“Trust, but verify” ~Ronald Reagan, Minor League Baseball Announcer, Iowa Cubs, 1937

“The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy” ~Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S., 1861-1865

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Sometimes do you feel paralyzed?

Paralyzed in the pursuit of being perfect…

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Whether that’s your resume, how you reach out to others, demonstrate your work, do things that you’re not sure will work, etc.

We all fall into that state.

Which then causes us to not do much of anything.

We can either:

Stay in the corner and wait patiently.

Or 

Break through the resistance and take a step.

“Be brave. If you are not brave, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.” ~H. Jackson Brown Jr., American Author (When You Lick a Slug Your Tongue Goes Numb)

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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 job search can be a lot like fishing…

Gone fishin

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Yesterday, I went fishin

And my bait kept coming up missin

Caught not a one, not even a small perch

This is sure reminding me of my job search

But I thought, I still need to cast

I mean, how long could this shut out last

There has to be a bite or just a nibble

Something to get me through this quibble

Then I caught a boot, then I hit a snag

Darn, this fishin trip is such a drag

There’s gotta be fish, where are they all hiding

I know they exist somewhere, where a