Salesforce Pros: If you haven’t been getting out much…

You might have noticed the number of free/discounted online courses that are being made available.

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The latest is Pluralsight offering the month of April for free (no credit card required or other subscription shenanigans).

Over 7000 courses, a few hundred on Salesforce.

I’ve seen posts in the past regarding the lack of training available around CPQ. Pluralsight has 2 that I came across: Demystifying CPQ and CPQ for beginners.

Bonus tip: After taking a class, shoot a personal LI invite to the author. A great way to build a new connection for the future.

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Salesforce Admins: Riddle Time

Probably one of the worse, ever:

Q: What rhymes with Tails Horse Purity?

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A: Salesforce Security

How’s your knowledge on Salesforce Security?

Are you just making things work in your org to get by?

Did you inherit a disaster?

Maybe you’ve even given All Access Alan the full gamut of Administration Permissions, although he’s just a Sales Rep, just so he’ll leave you alone.

Well, if you need to brush up on your knowledge, please join Ryan Scalf’s Admin training class Tuesday and Thursday’s at 2 – 4 PM EST.

I’m pretty sure he’ll teach you something new and can probably help you get All Access Alan what he needs in a much better way.

Link to the Zoom meet-up in the comments.

We’d love for you to join us.

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Salesforce Pros: How’s your Googling going?

You know, your ability to find exactly what you’re searching for in your 1st attempt by building a good looking query string like:

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Salesforce Apex Callout OR “APIs” AND REST -SOAP

Actually, I have no idea if that’s a good query string, but I do know if you’re not currently using Dan Appleman’s Search The Force Custom Google Search Engine, you might be spending more time than you need on your Googling.

Check it out here:

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): The Save Icon

In checking out Johan Yu‘s, latest book: Getting Started with Salesforce Einstein Analytics, he references saving a lens, by specifically calling out clicking on the floppy disk icon.

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This gave me a chuckle but also got me thinking…

To no fault of his own, but exactly which floppy disk is this lens being saved to?

Unfortunately, I just used my last one to create an emergency, bootable drive for my Windows 3.0 OS.

Long live the Save Icon!

Book review on Johan’s book coming out in a few weeks…

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Need some pointers on the future of your technology career?

Please check out Dan Appleman’s latest session on Pluralsight, as I’m sure you’ll gain some additional perspective, based on his years of professional experience.

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Best part of it: It’s free!

https://lnkd.in/expUMRz

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The risk/reward with paying less than market…

Especially for contractors.

Contractors do what they do because they’re good at it and there’s a financial upside.

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Occasionally, they may take a position less than market if they’re in a pinch.

BUT…

They know they’re being paid less, and they’re also probably getting calls regarding better paying options.

I think it’s only a matter of time when deciding to be cheap causes an employer to have to start over and back-fill.

Seems like a riskier move than to just start with market rates in the beginning.

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Are you easy to work with?

How about your colleagues, are they?

How about your boss, is he/she?

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While there’s different ways for this to be determined, I think it should land near the top of the skills/personality chart.

It makes working with you and you working with others much easier.

If you know someone who’s easy to work with, let them know.

It could make their day…

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Brown nosing in the office…

“No way, Chris, I let my work speak for itself, I work hard, play fair and I’ll get ahead”

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According to research, managing what your boss thinks of you and continuing to make a good impression is more important than hard work.

A$$ kissing is known to be effective, even when the boss knows it’s insincere.

Results in a reduction of workplace stress, improving happiness, as well as physical health.

If it’s your thing: make your boss look good, keep them happy, have them like you, it may help during performance reviews.

On a comical note, a classic scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation:

Clark Griswold’s Boss: “Don’t forget that report, Bill”

Clark Griswold: “Yes, sir”

<as the corporate executives walk out>

Clark Griswold: “Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my a$$, kiss his a$$, kiss your a$$, Happy Hanukkah.”

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The internal challenge of continuous picking…

If you’re a parent with kids still at home, I think you have 3 primary things going on at a broad level:

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1. Your family

2. Your career

3. Your social life

Putting time into one, takes time away from the other.

Finding the balance and keeping everyone (including you) happy is where harmony resides.

For most, much easier to say (and write) than do…

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Express yourself…

Do you find talking or writing about what’s troubling you, consoling?

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If you’re not sure, try it, it could help you get through your current obstacle(s).

Often, you’re probably not even looking for an answer, rather just to express your thoughts, get them off your mind, in order to be able to turn the corner and continue on.

This past week I had:

1. A new Salesforce career seeker write to me expressing the struggles they were facing in landing their 1st position

2. A junior level Salesforce Admin call me to determine which position they should take next and expressing why it made sense

3. A request to have a call for someone expressing the need to make a transition to a new career in Salesforce

4. A senior Salesforce COE (Center of Excellence) Manager expressing what they really enjoyed about their position, but why it was time to move on

5. A private message expressing an opposing point of view on one of my posts on consulting

These are all great forms of expressing, and I’m sure it helped them in moving forward in some small way, regardless of what I (or any recipient) says in response.

In my best Madonna voice:

“Express yourself, You’ve got to make him

Express himself, Hey, hey, hey, hey”

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More and enough…

Do we have enough or just feel the continuous need to do more, be more, earn more?

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Do we consider time = money, especially when we hear of all the Salesforce work that’s available out there.

Why can’t we have more (or bigger) slices of the Salesforce work pie?

If we’re working full time, that’s only 40, 50, 60 hours a week, we still have over 100 left (who needs sleep?).

During our lunch hour, after hours, on our commute, weekends, during our kids soccer game, etc.

I can be made available, give me more…

Earlier in my career, I felt the same way, as either I was on the bench between projects, or the work wasn’t keeping me busy (fulfilled) enough.

Looking for ways utilize my time on part-time gigs.

Now reflecting back, what is enough?

An internal struggle, I think many of us go through, weekly, daily, hourly.

I have time, what can I do with it?

Enough for one, might not be enough for another.

Is having more the right answer, or maybe it’s having just enough, right here, right now.

Find your enough, however more or less or equal that is for you, once you have it, be happy, be content, be fulfilled.

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“Why are you looking to make a change?”

“That’s none of your beeswacks, Chris.”

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I asked this question this week when speaking with a candidate who’s currently employed.

She delightfully answered and didn’t say the above.

Then I thought about it some more, and whether the question was really any of my business.

If it was being asked to me, I might question as why it really matters.

In this case, I wanted to make sure the position we’re discussing is not more of the same of what the individual DOESN’T want.

Often a job description only goes so deep, so we often need to dig a little deeper.

This then allows us to add those notes on the submission to either proceed or end the process.

Feel free to ask the recruiters you work with, “why do you ask?” if you feel uncomfortable with the questions being asked.

The question on current salary is probably one you’re thinking, which often company’s ask us to request, which we should also have an answer as to why.

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“Jacked-Up”

The customer’s Salesforce org that is…

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Their words, not mine.

I’m sure there are some more elegant phrases to use.

It’s only Wednesday, and I’ve been involved with 2 conversations with very similar stories.

The good thing for you, especially if you’re a skilled Salesforce consultant, is that there’s plenty of interesting work to be had.

Call yourself – “The Jacked-Up Salesforce Org Fixer” if you’re looking for a new title.

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Salesforce Professionals: Mo Money, Mo Problems.

“I don’t know what they want from me
It’s like the more money we come across
The more problems we see” ~The Notorious B.I.G.

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Do you believe this is true?

Have you experienced more headaches, more responsiblities, more stress, and less time as your salary has increased?

We would have to presume one typically leads to the other…

And does one amount over another lead to more happiness?

Studies show it could be $60K, $75K, $95K that just the right amount to make one happy.

And then there’s the hedonic treadmill: a person to remain at a relatively stable level of happiness despite a change in fortune or the achievement of major goals.

A thought provoking quote I heard yesterday:
“Money is the cheapest thing, liberty and freedom is the most expensive.” ~Bill Cunningham (American Fashion Photographer, New York Times)

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Do you feel like it’s cheating?

When you decide to look for new opportunities while you’re currently employed…

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Do you question your dignity, your pride, your loyalty, your trust?

Does it create anxiety, stress or guilt?

You might be worried that word gets out and your current employer or colleagues could find out.

Then what? Will you instantly be “let go”?

These are all natural tendencies we have.

There are reasons why you decided to start your search.

Use those reasons to help propel you forward.

You don’t have to blast your resume to the world if you’re concerned.

Play it safer, start with just having a few conversations with those you trust to get the word out.

It’s your career and your future.

Sitting still won’t get you any closer.

You’re not a cheater…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Getting Help

In general, I believe your peers want to help you, especially if they see that you’re struggling.

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But, they need to “see” that you’re struggling and what you’ve done already, not just hear about your sob story about getting certs, badges and no interviews.

Over the weekend, I was working on my swimming and there is a guy in the pool who I often see.

He’s a good, experienced swimmer, I’m not.

After our swim session, he says, “hey, you should get some goggles, they’ll help you tremendously”.

We had never spoken before and it opened up some additional conversation.

I think this happened for a few reasons:

1. He’d seen me there at least 4-5 times before. (my consistency)

2. He was good at something, had been doing it for awhile, and wanted to help others/me. (his generosity)

3. He saw that I was putting a valid attempt in to get better (my effort).

If you’re not getting the additional help that you feel you need, think about if there’s other things that you can do to show others your consistency and effort.

It will often lead to the generosity of others.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: You control one thing.

Your effort.

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You don’t control:

if you get passed over.

if the recruiter ghosts you.

if the company cancels on you.

if someone on the team doesn’t care for you.

if you don’t get any feedback after an interview.

if the company drags their feed in making a decision.

if the offer is extremely lower than what you’re expecting.

Yes, all those things suck and shouldn’t happen, but they do.

Understanding that those annoyances you can’t control, and focusing on what you can control, is very important as you continue your journey.

Or maybe to put it another way, as the American rapper/producer/entrepreneur Sean John Combs/Puff Daddy/Puffy/P.Diddy/Diddy says:
“Can’t nobody take your pride, can’t nobody hold you down,
oh no, you got to keep on movin”

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Strengths or Weaknesses

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

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

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

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

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

Keep moving forward, with or without swim floaties…

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

I hate that answer…

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Don’t you?!

I was told that yesterday.

What does that even mean? I have no idea.

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

Let’s do this instead:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can go in a different direction too!

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

No problem…

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

Go eat a chocolate cupcake!

Better direction awaits…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Be Quick To The Point

Or rather, be the 1st to respond.

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To have a better shot at a new opportunity.

Recruiters often stick and move all day long.

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

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

Control what you can control, which is your promptness.

Maybe some Vanilla Ice lyrics will help:

“Quick to the point to the point no faking

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

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

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

Rather, the connectivity of people.

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

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

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

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

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

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Why Write?

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

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

To summarize a stoic philosophical conversation:

A philosopher was asked:

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

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Write It Down

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interview Questions That Involved Prior Research

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

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What were those questions?

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

“What do you know about us?”

“Do you know what we do?”

“Why did you decide to apply here?”

“How did you hear about our company?”

“Do you know how we use Salesforce?”

etc.

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

Thank you.

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Your Credibility

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

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

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

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

Then execute.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Being A Successful Contractor

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

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

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

Suggestions to help be successful:

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

2. Do not become complacent or feel “privileged”

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

4. ALWAYS stay engaged and find something valuable to do

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

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Cyber Monday And You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Break Into Your Salesforce Career With Dreamforce

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

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

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

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

https://www.careercircle.com/

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Striking Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you talented?

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

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

What’s holding you back?

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

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

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

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

Maybe 2020 is your year.

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

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

You can too…

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

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Dust Mites Love Resumes

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

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Another idea: allowing your work to speak for itself. 

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

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

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Airplane Runways

How long will it take to launch your Salesforce career?

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

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

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

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

Give yourself enough runway to get airborne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reset your station.  Better melodies await you…

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

Did you interview and not get offered the position?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’re not in this alone.

Unity Over Self…

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Illustrating Transferable Skills In Your Resume

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keeping Up (Or Getting Left Behind)

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

I often wonder if that’s really true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love,

The opinionated CRM recruiter

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Democratization

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

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

“Yes, that’s good”

“I like what you’ve done”

“This is valuable”

“This is very insightful”

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

“Tell/Show me more”

“We could use you (this)”

“Why did you do it that way”

“How did you come up with that idea”

“Work like this is what we need”

And eventually:

“We’d like to offer you the position”

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

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

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It could be a little risky, right?

But risk is reduced because:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have your book chosen…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interviewing Nervousness…

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

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

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

– They were once where you are today.

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

– Talk less and listen more.

– Show genuine interest.

– Think: How can I help?

– Be nice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.  

With love, peace and chicken grease.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: The Importance Of Being Social On Social

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

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

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

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

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

Low and behold, it was Wisconsin.

Ding, ding, ding.

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

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

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

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Why Are You Being Ignored (AKA Ghosted)?

I don’t know THE reason

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

– You’re not what they need 

– They went another direction

– They’re way too “busy”

– They hired internally

– Their budget was cut

– They don’t care to make a decision 

– Management changed 

– You are (this is) not a priority

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

– You were forgotten about 

– They fell into an alligator swamp

– Your perceived value is not their actual value 

– The relationship isn’t what you thought it was

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

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

– their loss, it’s better this way

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

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

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

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

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

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Throwback Tuesday: Interview Flops

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

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

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

1st Question: 

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

Me: A what?

Interviewer: A ping command 

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

Interviewer: Thanks for coming by…NEXT CANDIDATE!

End to end, maybe a 55 second interview.

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

Don’t let 1 poor turnout define your career. 

Or better said:

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Flow

Not Salesforce Flow. Rather: Interview flow.

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Or said more politely: shut-up some

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

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

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

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

I used to do this on sales calls. 

Prospect picks up the phone:

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

Click…

“Hello, hello”

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

Your friendly recruiter and hiring manager thanks you in advance.

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

Salesforce Agents.

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

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

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

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

Does it make sense to hire this process out?

It was fitting today, as 2 things happened: 

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

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

Jerry Maguire: Show you the money.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Interview Prep

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

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

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

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

The more direct questions you ask, the better.

Start with these to get the conversation flowing:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For More Success? The Answer Is, Yes!

Don’t Stress or Digress, Just Impress”

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Salesforce Career NON-Seekers: Keeping Your Connections Tied…

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

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

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

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

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

Keep your connections tied…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Being Ignored Sucks

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

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

I don’t think that’s the case.

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

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

I used to get ignored ALL THE TIME when prospecting.

For example:

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

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

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

Then I determined some better ways:

– Being referred in

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

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

– Being creative and personable

Do I still do things wrong? For sure.

Am I still being ignored?  Without a doubt.

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Giv Em Da Bizness!

Da bizness. 

Da bizness.

The interviewer that is. 

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Give them the business. 

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

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

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

How about :

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

The list goes on…

Giv em da bizness for a more impactful interview result.

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

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

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

1. Why does this position exist? 

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

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

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

How Now Brown Cow? 

Wow, That’s How!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How about by bringing unexpected value to the table?

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

Differentiate yourself.

Here’s some ideas:

– Ask great, powerful questions.

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

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

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

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

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

“WOW”!

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On The Subject Of Salary

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

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My opinion:

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

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

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

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

Hope that helps some…

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

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

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There’s 2 options that come to mind.

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

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

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

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

Option 2 – Relying on yourself to be a differentiator:

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

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

Or

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

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

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Just As Soon As…

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

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Just as soon as I hear about my raise. 

Just as soon as this project is over.

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

Just as soon as I get my new manager. 

Just as soon as this M&A takes place. 

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

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

There is never the perfect time.

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

More career success awaits you…

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A Dinner Idea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Getting Over The Nerves

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get your interview reps in for greater success.

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Good Question To Ask

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

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It takes guts…

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

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

However you want to wordsmith the below:

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

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

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

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

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A Thought On Communication (Beastie Boys Style)

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

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

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

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

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

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One Of The Biggest Cardinal Sins To Interviewing: Being Late

Although, one that probably tops it: Being Smelly

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Short story:

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

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

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

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

Did I get offered the position…heeeeck NO! 

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

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

Don’t be late, expect the unexpected.

Added bonus: don’t smell…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– they ask him for his valued opinion and validation 

– he provides honesty and integrity every step along the way

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great job! Keep leading the field!

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Salesforce Career Seekers: USP – Unique Selling Proposition

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

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

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

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

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

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

USP – the difference between you and me.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Let’s Play, Cliché

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shoot, score, win, drink champagne…

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Getting Called To The Next Round

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

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

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

And 

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

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

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

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

Thank you. Have a great week ahead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The list goes on…

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

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

Your unique too’s make up your yous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Typically:

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

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

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

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

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

I’m sure there’s others…

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

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Salesforce Career Seekers: BIBO (Be Intrigued By Others)

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

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

I’m intrigued…

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

I suggest for you to do the same.

Why?

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

Learn and be intrigued by others.

Success leaves clues.

BIBO!

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Salesforce Career Seekers: Suggestion, Transcribe Your Career Search Experiences

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

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

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

Below are some of the benefits:

– Equips us with overall communication and thinking skills

– Expresses who we are as an individual

– Allows us to explain and refine our ideas

– Allows us to analyze and understand a situation better

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

– Provides lessons learned along the way to reflect on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Such as:

-Reducing their overhead

-Being relatable and likable

-Fitting into company culture

-Articulate/Understandable 

-Passionate

-Professional

-Reliable

-Easy going/flexible

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

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

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A Good Salesforce Success Story

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

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

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

Applied to every position he could find.

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

Accepted lots of rejection.

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

He was offered a job a week later. 

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

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

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

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

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

Think about how a marketing drip campaign works.

Drip, drip, drip…

That’s the mindset you should have.

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

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

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

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

And if you’re hesitant, remember this:

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

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Momentum

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

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But think about the word: momentum

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

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

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

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

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

Mo…Mome…Moment…Momentum!

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Two Things An Employer Is Evaluating

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

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How do they:

Reduce the risk of the hiring decision. 

Trust that the individual selected is the right choice. 

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

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

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

And this is all FREE!

It just takes time.

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

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

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Keeping A Pulse On Market Conditions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sexism In The Sales Tech Industry

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

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

Ridiculous sh*# like:

Paraphrased – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In The Spirit Of College Football

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

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

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

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

Although the company wasn’t hiring, she persuaded HR to interview her anyhow for the future. 

Low and behold, eventually a position opened up and she was the 1st candidate they called and eventually landed the position. 

Key points:

1. She focused on, learned and applied scenario based problem solving skills more than strictly certs. 

2. She stayed confident in her abilities.

3. She was proactive. 

B!

B!

B PROACTIVE!

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Interview Tips

This week, I was asked to conduct a mock interview for an up and coming Salesforce professional, as part of the Salesforce mentorship program.

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Some key takeaways from that interview that I thought might be helpful:

– Have an answer regarding why you chose Salesforce as your profession (suggestion: probably best to leave $ out of the answer).

– Be sure you’re in a quiet location for the call, even subtle background noises can be a distraction (wind blowing, traffic, cows mooing).

– If you’re unsure that you answered the question being asked, ask the interviewer: “did that address your question or should I elaborate further?”

– Have a good answer to: why you chose to apply for this position and/or this company.

– Have a few answers to: how you solved a challenging problem, why it was a challenge and what you learned.

– Follow up with a brief email (again: brief), reiterating what you heard and why you think you would be a good fit; be specific.

Short tribute and relevant lyrics:

“If at first you don’t succeed (first you don’t succeed),

Dust yourself off, and try again

You can dust it off and try again, try again” 

“Try Again” ~ Aaliyah, 08/25/2001

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Hiring Managers: The Joys Of Salesforce Interviewing

This one brought a tear to my eye and I thought it was worth sharing.

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In speaking to a Salesforce hiring manager today who interviewed a Salesforce Developer who looked like an absolute all-star on paper. 

Hiring Manager: “So, where do you do most of your actual development work: Sandbox, Production, or Other?” 

Candidate: “On my computer…” 

I guess technically the candidate was right… Needless to say, the interview didn’t last too much longer. Have a great weekend!

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Being An Independent Salesforce Consultant

Over the weekend, I read a few great articles on being an independent Salesforce consultant.

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One aspect I wanted to point out, based on my experience, that you might want to take into consideration, if this is the route you aspire to take, is your bill rate.

I believe eventually you hit a ceiling, regardless of how many additional years of experience you have, additional certifications you obtain, high profile clients you’ve served, etc. 

There are exceptions to produce greater income, such as, building an actual company with employees, moonlighting and serving more than one client, or finding clients that will only pay what you want to charge and you’re willing to turn down projects until then.

My bill rate eventually flatlined based on what the market was willing to pay and I have those in my network that have seen the same. 

I also have had discussions with those who decide to go back to being a corporate employee because of this (along with the need to have a steady paycheck).

Your mileage may vary, but please keep in mind that your bill rate curve does not go to infinity as an independent consultant.

Have a great week ahead.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – Your Work, Your Ideas, And Your Name Can Spread…

Like butter. But you gotta start.

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And I’m not talking about spamming everyone you know telling them that you’re looking for a Salesforce position – that’s easy, not too effective, and probably a little annoying to the recipient. 

I’m referring to the hard stuff: moving your ideas to tangible outcomes, sharing what you’ve built, presenting your ideas to others, soliciting feedback, asking for help.

That shows vulnerability, humility and personality.

That’s what helps to get your name, your work, your candidacy and your butter to spread. 

Will the 1st attempt be buttery smooth?

Probably not. 

Then what?

Do it again, again, and again.

You’ll get better and the spreading will happen one dollop at a time. 

In general, people enjoy helping other people and want to spread the word to others about your capabilities.

But they’re much more open to this, when they see you putting in the work, the effort and the ability to persist through the tough times.

Spread your butter as:

“With enough butter, anything is good.” ~Julia Childs (American Chef)

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Salesforce Career Seekers (Specifically Aspiring Developers):

A conversation of “buts” that might be in your head:

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Aspiring SF Developer: Chris, I keep trying, but I can’t get a break.

Chris: Please be patient, your time will come, hers did.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, maybe I’m past my prime?

Chris: No, you’re not, it wasn’t past hers.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I live in a small town.

Chris: Doesn’t matter, she did too.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I’ve never had a job in tech.

Chris: Neither did she.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I don’t have a 4 year computer science degree from a major university.

Chris: She had a 2 year programming degree at a local community college.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I took some years out to be a mother.

Chris: Oh yea, how about 15 years that she took.

Aspiring SF Developer: But, I don’t know what to do now.

Chris: Neither did she, BUT, what she did have was goals and aspirations to become a Salesforce developer and now has been doing it professionally for 3+ years.

Post inspired by a phone conversation I had with a Salesforce developer this week where all the above was true.

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Corporate Policies, Procedures, And The Challenges They Bring

I think one of the biggest challenges/constraints good software developers (primarily contractors) have when starting a new project is the amount of corporate policies, procedures and traditional ways of working that negatively affect their performance and morale which prevents them from hitting the ground running to produce results.

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Today, I had a developer approach me, looking for an out, although he just started a project about a month ago.

I asked, why so soon?

He can’t get anything done.

Crappy, locked down, laptop that he was given that he doesn’t care to use; firewalls up the wazoo preventing him from getting to various tools he needs; paperwork that he must continuously fill out and get approval on.

I understand corporate standards, security and regulations to prevent a developer going “rogue”, but unfortunately, good developers will also bail as they get tired of knocking their head against their desk everyday.

If you’re a contract developer, I guess the only way to understand what’s ahead for you, is to try and get as much clarification on what you’re up against before accepting (which I understand is not always possible).

Keep doing what you love, less frustrating opportunities await you…

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Employee Loyalty To The Platform

Probably once a week or once every couple of weeks, I speak to an established Salesforce Professional regarding why they’re looking to make a career move.

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The #1 reason I hear: “my current employer is moving off of Salesforce and I’m not interested in that.”

While this can be analyzed in multiple ways: 

– Salesforce is losing a customer. 

– The company is losing a good employee.

– Above all, the employee knows what they want to continue to focus on within their career progression.

I’m probably biased, but I don’t think there’s many other technologies that have that type of impact.

Tongue in Cheek example: Network Admin – “Oh, we’re moving from Cisco to Juniper, I’m outta here!”

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): Company’s Reimbursing Employees For Failed Certification Exams

In conversing with a highly accredited Salesforce Professional this week, we discussed the CTA Review Board exam and he mentioned his company would only reimburse him if he passes (and this is a global billion dollar consulting company).

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With the anxiety that often accompanies taking this exam (or any certification exam), the financial impact to the employee should probably be off the table.

I think a good incentive for company’s to have in order to bring in and retain highly sought after talent is an annual continuous learning bucket that allows one to utilize at their discretion with no pass/fail stipulations.

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Salesforce Career Seekers – An Idea To Take Into Account When Interviewing

Treat it like an investigation with answering these types of questions:

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1. What are the problems with the company that you’re interviewing with trying to solve?

2. What are the anticipated outcomes of these problems and what is the timeframe to achieve those?

3. How would you approach solving these given your experience (or if not experienced, your approach to solving any problem in the past).  And I’m referring to a systematic, thought provoking process, not just “Googling” for an answer.

The more you can find out about #1 and #2 before the interview, the better. Then further flush these out during the interview. Then write a short follow up afterwards summarizing what you heard and your approach. 

Will it guarantee a new position? Of course not. 

Will it help you stand out and be remembered? Without a doubt.

Will it help you be better prepared for your next interview? 100%

In Summary: Investigate, Anticipate, Demonstrate, Correlate, Collaborate, Differentiate, Be Great!

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Tom Siebel And The Transformative Culture Of Innovation

In reading Tom Siebel’s latest book on Digital Transformation where he discusses where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going with AI, IoT, Elastic Cloud Computing and Big Data, he also discusses creating a transformative culture of innovation.

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Some key points:

* Companies that are able to innovate effectively sharing these characteristics, win: high tolerance for risk, agile project management, empowered and trained employees, collaborative cultures, lack of silos and an effective decision making structure.

* At his company, C3.ai, they have a Self-Learning Hall of Fame for skill development, which includes a letter of recognition signed by the CEO and a bonus check for each certification of completion.

* The above program is not managed by HR but rather at the C-suite level to take ownership, participate, lead by example, recognize participation and to make it an integral part of company culture.

C3.ai is extremely competitive with hiring, last year alone they had over 100 open data scientist/software engineer positions and received 26,000 applicants, interviewed 1,700 (6%) and hired 120 (.4%).

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You’re In The Driver’s Seat

Salesforce Professionals – please remember, you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to making a career move and you have an offer that you’re considering.

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Not the hiring company and DEFINITELY not the external recruiter.

It really bothers me when I hear stories about being pressured to “hurry, hurry, rush, rush” when it comes to making such an important decision for your future. 

There’s often enough anxiety already at hand, feeling the added pressure from an outsider doesn’t help.

Now, I’m not saying to drag your feet either, as a decision has to be made, but rather come up with a date and time to finalize that decision and if you’re transparent in the process about why you need that time, it “should” get people off your back. 

On average, I think 3-5 days should be adequate time, unless there’s some unusual circumstances that’s involved.

It’s your career and your decision…

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When We’re Not A Fit

Salesforce Career Seekers – there are times when we decide we’re not a fit for a particular position that we’ve interviewed for. 

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One way to help keep the relationship in tact for the long term and to turn the disappointing news with the interviewing company into a positive one, is by referring someone else from your network that you know is actively looking and could be a better match based on what you’ve learned about the position and company (assuming it was a positive experience).

Turning down career opportunities can be a hard decision and can stir up some additional emotions, but providing an alternative candidate to the hiring manager or HR can also help show that you have an interest in helping them succeed.

A good way to build a stronger bond in both directions, as it’s often those small gestures that can have a much larger impact on your career somewhere in the unforeseeable future.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought of the Day): The Many Industry Niches Of Salesforce

As I speak with smaller consulting companies, it is fascinating to me how many small pockets of industry focus that are available to define a target market.

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If you’re thinking of starting your own consulting practice, or maybe just being a 1 man/woman band as an independent, a suggestion is to find your little niche to excel at. 

Marketers often say, the smaller the market segment, the better, as over time your name will become known within that space and prospective customers will find you.  

Not over night, over time.

Also, don’t try to become all things to all people, but rather a specialist in your specific field of expertise.

Since every business needs customers and sales and need to have a digital platform to survive, think about an area that you have a passion about.

Just a few that come to mind (and these are still very broad):

– Artistry

– Home Decor

– Outdoor Leisure Activities

– Specific Non-Profits

– Music

– Cooking

Whatever you enjoying doing, maybe as a hobby or from a previous industry that you worked in and feel that you have an internal desire to be best in class, then use that layered with Salesforce.

I see plenty of opportunity there.  

Hopefully, you do too…

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Salesforce Career Seekers: A Few Ideas Or Questions To Think About For Your Next Interview

Issue, Impact, Importance

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Issue: what are the top problem(s) the organization is trying to overcome as it relates to Salesforce?

Impact: in not solving this issue, how is it effecting (fill in the blank)? 

Importance: how long has this been a problem and why is there such urgency now?

Bonus: what did you like about my resume, experience, digital footprint, referral, etc. that helped in determining I might be a good match for this role?

Understanding the what (the issue), the why (the impact), and the importance, can help lead the conversation into the “how”, which should be where you bring in your expertise (especially when you asked – what they liked about your background).

I realize interviews aren’t this straightforward, but the above could just be mental notes to take with you.

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Attitude Makes All The Difference

As I get older, hopefully I’m becoming a little wiser and healthier, a lot less uglier, and much more appreciative. 

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I find tremendous satisfaction in hearing about the success of others.

This past week I had a Salesforce “newbie” provide me the great news that they landed their 1st paid Salesforce position. 

We connected back in August of 2018 as they read one of my articles and wanted to discuss their Salesforce career aspirations. 

9 months later after keeping their head down and focusing on their goals, they succeeded. 

While I don’t have a huge sample set to reference, those that come to mind took between 9-12 months as to when they decided to “go for it” and getting that 1st Salesforce opportunity. 

Obviously, there’s many variables at play and your results will vary, but I did want to share a short success story if it helps to keep you going. 

Regardless of this example or any others, in my opinion, your ATTITUDE over the long run is what will make the difference.

Have a great weekend, I’m off to cut cucumbers for my eyes.

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Customers Losing Their Strongest In-House Technical Talent To Salesforce Themselves

Just spoke to a customer today who had this happen.

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My prediction: they’ll need at least 4-6 months (if not longer) to replace them.

Not good…

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Get Creative

This was such an exciting story, I had to wake up extra early just to write it…

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Meet Jeanne Moeller – she’s looking to continue her Salesforce career, particularly in Higher Ed, she’s considered a “Data Geek” and understands the value of good, clean data in a CRM.

Here’s what she did:

Made a tweet asking for help.  

It only received 3 retweets and 25 likes.

The quantity didn’t matter, as it fell in the right hands, at the right time, sparked a hiring manager’s interest and she got an interview.

The next thing she did was STELLAR!

She went to the company’s website and filled out an online form inquiring about their products and services.

Sure enough the VP of Sales (or equivalent) contacted her…ABC – Always Be Closing, right? 🙂

She responded with (paraphrased): “I actually wouldn’t be an ideal prospect, but I’m currently interviewing with your company, do you have 20 minutes to discuss why you enjoy working there?”

Dang, that was genius on so many levels!

That conversation occurred and she’s continuing the interviewing process.

That’s how you stand out, that’s how you get creative, that’s how you get a potential shot.

Figure out your inner genius, we all have it!

Ok, it’s 4:30 AM, I have cows to milk and chickens to feed…

Have a great Tuesday!

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Please Don’t Do These

In the world of recruiting/contract staffing, the more ridiculousness I run into, the more I realize if I didn’t have a good relationship with the customers I work with, I would have been kicked to the curb long ago. 

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Here’s the latest, please don’t do these (for my sanity):

1. If you’re going to use the word “Present” on your resume, that means right now. Not yesterday, last week or last year. I don’t recommend to have “Present” on your resume and then your LI profile shows employment ending in 2018…you’re off to a bad start when dates don’t line up. 

2. If you’re running a side hustle other than between 7 PM and 7 AM or on the weekends or holidays, it takes about 2 days for your current project to figure it out and call me for an exit strategy. 

3. If you’re going to send in someone else for an in-person interview versus the individual I spoke with on the phone, at least give them the instructions I provided on how to get into the building, who to ask for, etc. – showing up like a lost puppy is not good; they failed the interview with flying colors, BTW.

And my wife wonders why I insist on having 3 glasses of wine at dinner…

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A Career In Information Technology – The Great Neutralizer

I don’t think there are too many career paths that allow you the opportunities that a career in I.T. can provide.

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When it comes to financial growth and long term prosperity (and I know $ isn’t everything, but some may say it’s 2nd to oxygen), only a few occupations (also sales, business owner) will allow you to make a “good” living regardless of a degree received from a prestigious university or a community college, to having a different degree all together (where’s those History majors out there?) or even having no degree at all.

We either fit into any of the above or know someone who does.

If you’re thinking of making the jump, please don’t hesitate too long.  The industry can use your help; it’s no cake walk, you’ll get frustrated (a lot) and you might even be considered a geek, but the career opportunities are endless.

Post inspired by a young professional I have been helping this week as he was given the opportunity to get hired in as a helpdesk analyst with no prior experience and I told him that he would be missing a golden opportunity if he passed it up. It was an internal struggle for him of short term versus long term thinking. 

Fortunately, he listened and he has a bright future ahead.

You do too…

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Blurred Lines (Salesforce Job Titles)

Administrators/Developers – both of these build “things”

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Solution Architects/Technical Architects – both of these architect “things”

Too much overlap nowadays with job descriptions and associated titles

I have us covered: I’ll ask Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. to perform a remix at Dreamforce this year so we’re all clear

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Holy Moly Batman!

Holy Moly Batman! Some things that worried me this week in Gotham City:

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1. I post a contract position on a job board and someone I just placed on a contract applies – SHAZAM! 

2. A Marketing Lead is unemployed as their previous employer went out of business for lack of customers – KAPOW!

3. A Salesforce Admin who has over 10 years of real experience gets disqualified for not having an Admin cert – BONK!

And it was only a 4 day work week in the U.S. – ZOK! 

On to next week’s adventure.

Same bat-time, same bat-channel…

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It’s Only A Matter Of Time – And Yours Will Come

Over the last 10 days or so, I’ve had 4 Salesforce Professionals get back to me with exciting news that they’ve landed a new Salesforce position, which was great to see.

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If you’re still in your pursuit, it’s only a matter of time.   

And your time will come.

If you have an interview queued up this week, are you prepared?

Some things to think about:

The interviewer is expecting intelligent and engaging questions. 

They’re looking for what you know and understand about their business…in other words, did you do any research?

They’re looking for an idea or two that you can present to differentiate you from the next candidate.

Don’t do all the talking, the more you talk, the less you learn.  Learn about their specific challenges during the conversation, then follow up with what you learned while thanking them for the time. 

Your ideas, your preparedness, your positive personality, your confidence, your follow up is what can differentiate you from others, especially when you don’t meet all the other qualifications. 

An employer is giving you a chance to show your intangibles.  You’re in control of those. Show them!

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SRTotD (Salesforce Random Thought Of The Day): Salesforce Certs And Internal Career Progression

Have you ever been passed over for a raise or a promotion for not having a specific Salesforce certification?

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Have you ever been denied an internal assignment or project from management for not having a specific Salesforce certification?

Have you ever been shunned by your internal peers for not having a specific Salesforce certification but they needed your help desperately?

If you’re in consulting, has the external client or the internal client facing lead decided to not staff you on the project if you didn’t have a specific Salesforce certification, BUT you had the relevant on the job experience?

I’m working on an article to provide some additional options where I believe your time could be more valuable than the emphasis on certifications (especially when they’re random and don’t drive towards an end goal), but maybe I’m completely off the mark, if all of the above are happening.

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Understanding The Compensation

This is about as annoying as it gets, IMO. Employers, please don’t do this (this way), I see nothing but smoke and mirrors and a lot of potential ticked off candidates with a recruiter stuck in the middle.

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I received a job order yesterday (from a new employer) stating the salary was $120k. 

I then go back and asked about the bonus structure. 

Their response: actually the salary is 90% of the 120k, with a bonus structure of the other 10% after 12 months of employment. 

It’s funny how they left that critical part out of the initial job req.

In good faith, I’ll assume they were waiting for me to go back and ask as I wait patiently with popcorn and soda.

Be careful candidates, always understand the full compensation up front before proceeding. If the recruiter doesn’t know, it’s their job to find out.

It appears that Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, David Blaine, and Criss Angel have teamed up to help some employers write job orders.

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The Format Versus The Content

In reviewing and providing suggestions on a handful of resumes this week, I think we often get too concerned on the format versus the content. 

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Here’s some questions that I came up with to ask yourself that might be helpful:

1. Have I accurately detailed out what value I added, goals achieved, company and personal success I obtained?

2. Have I put in enough detail to help explain what specific processes and functionality I created/improved so a future employer understands my expertise?

3. Do I show what creative solutions I came up with and why it was helpful and valuable to the organization?

I think resumes are personal, and in the end you have to be comfortable with it. 

You can ask 5 different people and get 5 different opinions.

Maybe this verse is enough:

“show you’re wise, tell no lies, be easy on the eyes, and your career will rise”. -Shakespeare Hopper

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Navigating Through Corporate Politics, Biases, Misalignment, Stubbornness And Ego

Navigating through corporate politics, biases, misalignment, stubbornness and ego is by far one of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to implementing successful CRM projects.

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I had a call with a Salesforce platform owner this past week where he recently joined a new company and his primary objective is to revitalize their Salesforce instance, increase user adoption, bring in best practices, enhance the functionality to better align with business processes and essentially bring a breadth of fresh air to the sales organization.

Now he’s a few months in, and is having thoughts to bail, which I personally hate to see as I think there’s a great opportunity for achievement to be had.

BUT

He continues to hit roadblocks by the company owner who seems to know EVERYTHING that happens within the organization, while wanting to keep such a tight grip on his CRM baby that little progress can be made.

We discussed a few different strategies on how to progress over, under, between, alongside and thru this situation and there’s still some candid conversations that need to be had to further understand what’s driving this behavior.

I’d be interested to hear how others have successfully navigated situations like this before.

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Understanding The Compensation

This is about as annoying as it gets, IMO. Employers, please don’t do this (this way), I see nothing but smoke and mirrors and a lot of potential ticked off candidates with a recruiter stuck in the middle.

READ MORE

I received a job order yesterday (from a new employer) stating the salary was $120k. 

I then go back and asked about the bonus structure. 

Their response: actually the salary is 90% of the 120k, with a bonus structure of the other 10% after 12 months of employment. 

It’s funny how they left that critical part out of the initial job req.

In good faith, I’ll assume they were waiting for me to go back and ask as I wait patiently with popcorn and soda.

Be careful candidates, always understand the full compensation up front before proceeding. If the recruiter doesn’t know, it’s their job to find out.

It appears that Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, David Blaine, and Criss Angel have teamed up to help some employers write job orders.

READ LESS

continue reading
The Format Versus The Content

In reviewing and providing suggestions on a handful of resumes this week, I think we often get too concerned on the format versus the content. 

READ MORE

Here’s some questions that I came up with to ask yourself that might be helpful:

1. Have I accurately detailed out what value I added, goals achieved, company and personal success I obtained?

2. Have I put in enough detail to help explain what specific processes and functionality I created/improved so a future employer understands my expertise?

3. Do I show what creative solutions I came up with and why it was helpful and valuable to the organization?

I think resumes are personal, and in the end you have to be comfortable with it. 

You can ask 5 different people and get 5 different opinions.

Maybe this verse is enough:

“show you’re wise, tell no lies, be easy on the eyes, and your career will rise”. -Shakespeare Hopper

READ LESS

continue reading
Navigating Through Corporate Politics, Biases, Misalignment, Stubbornness And Ego

Navigating through corporate politics, biases, misalignment, stubbornness and ego is by far one of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to implementing successful CRM projects.

READ MORE

I had a call with a Salesforce platform owner this past week where he recently joined a new company and his primary objective is to revitalize their Salesforce instance, increase user adoption, bring in best practices, enhance the functionality to better align with business processes and essentially bring a breadth of fresh air to the sales organization.

Now he’s a few months in, and is having thoughts to bail, which I personally hate to see as I think there’s a great opportunity for achievement to be had.

BUT

He continues to hit roadblocks by the company owner who seems to know EVERYTHING that happens within the organization, while wanting to keep such a tight grip on his CRM baby that little progress can be made.

We discussed a few different strategies on how to progress over, under, between, alongside and thru this situation and there’s still some candid conversations that need to be had to further understand what’s driving this behavior.

I’d be interested to hear how others have successfully navigated situations like this before.

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On Professionalism

Salesforce Career Seekers – if you’re getting twisted, turned, and bent out of shape when it comes to interviews and the lack of professionalism that often occurs, you are not alone.

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Below is the latest I received from one Salesforce professional from last week alone:

– 2 interviews scheduled – both started over 10 minutes late

– 1 interview scheduled – no call at all; then a call the next day to reschedule then was interrupted so never really happened

– 1 interview occurred – told the applicant they were not qualified, but that they were qualified for another position, and then never heard back

Remember, it’s not what happens, but rather how you let it effect you that matters.  

Stay positive, keep trying and be flexible.

Sincerely,

Gumby and Pokey (the most flexible duo on the planet)

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Non-competes

Salesforce Career Seekers – let’s talk about “non-competes”, which also can be called NDA’s, CDA’s, PIA’s, SA’s, or some other legal document that employers may have you sign that protects their “trade secrets”.

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In speaking with a Salesforce consultant this past week, he/she was recently employed by a system integrator.  

AFTER STARTING, he/she was then handed a non-compete to sign that stated he/she could not work for a competitor for a year after ending their employment with this new employer.

So let’s recap (if this was me): 

1. I’m a Salesforce consultant

2. There’s thousands of Salesforce integrators (aka competitors)

3. I’m handed a legal document to sign after I’ve already started basically saying, I’ll need to take a year off after leaving or face potential legal ramifications

Quite a frustrating story and maybe there’s more to it on the legal side, but I don’t see how this is in your best interest.

To conclude, that was their last day (after having their lawyer review).

Please don’t get backed into a corner like this, thoroughly review every document you are asked to sign, if something seems “off”, ask someone.  

A new, better opportunity awaits you…

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