Are you looking for a career where you get to learn every day and be the in-house expert for a organization? Or are you looking for the next big dream in your life, but don’t know exactly what that is?
Dear Future Admin, here’s a few things you need to know if you want to be the best Admin of all time, a.k.a. an #AwesomeAdmin.
I’ve built my career around serving Users of Salesforce (the world’s leading cloud-based enterprise business management software, don’t you know), and I can’t emphasize enough the value of working your way into the Salesforce ecosystem. With zero unemployment and a stable income, being a Salesforce Administrator is a dream job for tech-savvy, creative people who want to make the world a better place, one click at a time.
Here’s how it works: Thousands of organizations across the globe rely on Salesforce to manage business processes of all kinds, and they need enthusiastic, creative in-house experts who can configure and manage Salesforce cloud applications, as well as continually be looking at new opportunities to use Salesforce’s *nearly* all-encompassing features and capabilities.
The best organizations recognize they need a Salesforce Administrator to support this complex, powerful enterprise environment, and thus, Salesforce Administrators are in high demand.
As you may know, Simplus has aggressively grown its user and client base in recent years. Up until this SaaS consulting and product development shop hired me, Simplus was relying on an amazing team of in-house Salesforce Consultants to make needed changes to their internal system.
As Simplus grew, they realized that they needed a dedicated administrator to make their org sing, and thus my role as the Salesforce Administrator Evangelist was born.
With the creation of my role to manage internal Salesforce processes, Simplus’s brilliant Salesforce Consultants can now return to doing what they do best: Serving Simplus clients.
Meanwhile, I get to grow every day, help my new coworkers to be more productive and efficient at their jobs (and I get to become their hero in the process!), expand the limits of what Simplus can accomplish for our clients, and meet with peers both locally and virtually.
Here are nine suggestions for things you can do right now – no matter how proficient you are at Salesforce – to set yourself on a pathway to becoming a Salesforce Awesome Administrator:
#1 Get a Developer Org:
When you sign up for a Salesforce Dev Org, you can develop, stage, test your ideas, install AppExchange apps, create, delete, and go wild with your Salesforce skills. This is a safe place where you can be yourself and mess around, and do your darndest to break the application.
#2 Join User Groups:
Salesforce User Groups are community-organized groups that meet online and in person to network, share ideas, and get tips for getting the most out of Salesforce. Many admins work in the Cloud, so I also like to think of this as Me-time with smart friends. As of this writing, there are nearly 200 user groups organized by geographical region (Girly Geeks, Developers, Nonprofits, etc.) and 18 more organized by industry, ranging from asset management to real estate. You should aspire to join all of the User Groups that are relevant to your location and job (for both current job responsibility and what you aspire to do).
#3 Join the Community:
The Salesforce Community and Power of Us HUB are online communities of Salesforce users that contain groups of all sorts, supporting a huge range topics, including new features, releases, apps, partnerships, owing SteveMo a beer (because he’s a Formula god), and being a mom in love with Salesforce. The 1.8 million members of Salesforce Community alone will show you how supportive and ridiculously fun it is to be part of this dynamic, diverse community.
#4 Ask questions until you can start answering them:
Even if your knowledge of Salesforce is limited (and know this now, no one knows everything and everyone you ever meet will know something you don’t), you can still start engaging with other Salesforce users by asking questions in Salesforce.com’s User Groups and Community, Twitter (use the hashtag #askforce), and StackExchange. The more questions you ask, the more you’ll get to know about Salesforce and its user community. And you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re able to start answering questions posed by others! Turning the tables FTW.
#5 Find your Developer Friend:
Every Salesforce Admin deserves a Developer Friend to bounce ideas off of. Knowing the limitations of declarative (button-click) development and where they meet the limitations of programmatic development is a necessary part of becoming truly awesome. If you get a chance, head to a Developer User Group. Even better, Meet Your DeveloperHero at Dreamforce!
#6 Earn Trailhead Badges:
One of the newest features of Salesforce’s education path is Trailhead! Trailhead interactive learning paths allow users to earn points and badges for completing Salesforce tutorials. Each Trailhead unit incrementally helps you learn the basic building blocks of Salesforce by *doing*, and when you finish all units in a module, you earn a badge that is proudly displayed on your Salesforce Community profile.
#7 Get Certified:
The Salesforce ecosystem has grown so vast that there is an ever-growing number of certifications folks can earn. Salesforce experts can demonstrate to prospective employers what they know about Salesforce, be it declarative development, app building, programmatic development, Marketing Cloud, Analytics Cloud, or Pardot. Whether you pursue the Salesforce Administrator route or another path, such as Implementation Expert or Architect, you can prove what you know by taking an exam and earning your official certification.
#8 Go to Dreamforce:
During Salesforce’s annual four-day conference in San Francisco, you can interact with and learn from some of the foremost Salesforce thought leaders and industry pioneers. The Dreamforce conference features over 1,500 sessions and is spread out across multiple venues in the city; it’s a not-to-be-missed event for any aspiring Salesforce Administrator.
#9 Volunteer Your Time:
Salesforce has the 1:1:1 Social Enterprise model. 1% of their time, 1% of their equity, and 1% of their product is freely given to the community at large. Take a note from the Mothership and give freely of your skills. Find a local organization to which to give your time. This gives you an amazing opportunity to hone your chops and do good.
Salesforce is a dynamic, interconnected, virtual environment fueled by the passion of its users. Although it can be daunting to think you could become a Salesforce expert for your employer, you can start by taking a single step. Get your Dev Org. Engage the Community and realize you’re finally home. Study up with Trailhead, and show the world your certifications proudly.Go to Dreamforce if you can. Meet your Developer Friend. Give freely and do good.
As you invest your time and energy into learning about Salesforce, I urge you to live one of my favorite mantras, because honestly you can. Dream it. Plan it. Do it. Be it.
In subsequent posts, I’ll discuss why you’ll need more than just technical proficiency to succeed as a Salesforce Administrator. The best Salesforce Administrators understand that certain “soft skills” are necessary to interface effectively with others – and to keep our own frustrations and insanities at bay.
Comment below to continue the conversation!