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We recently sat down with Geraldine Gray who’s been a Salesforce MVP for over a decade. Geraldine is also CEO of Endiem, a Salesforce consultancy.
She spoke about the steps to take to become a Salesforce admin, and how to set yourself up for success in that career path. Here are just three of the questions we asked her during our discussion.
What’s the fastest and cleanest way to break into the Salesforce ecosystem as an admin?
Geraldine: Let's say you've done a few of the basic admin trails and you have worked in a B2B environment. So, I think the next thing you do is you look to see what skill set you have that people are looking for that can be adjacent to Salesforce. So, for example, perhaps I'm a data analyst who's pretty handy with working out how things work. Perhaps I’m in customer service and it would be a really good fit or I'm on the help desk...
I think that if you're already working in an organization and they're implementing Salesforce, get yourself on the project as a superuser and bring value to that project. And then by taking your adjacent skills, you can meld them with Salesforce.
You can make yourself more available to the Salesforce team and, yes, you're going to end up having two jobs. But hey, most people have two jobs, so there it is. But take those skills and then meld them with what you are already good at will make you a far more attractive candidate than somebody who has never done Salesforce but wants to be a Salesforce admin.
What should people keep in mind as they look for these roles?
Geraldine: So, pre-COVID, we were very focused on the local area. Post-COVID, our consultants are everywhere. Everybody is literally coast-to-coast and around the globe.
However, for your first role, I think it's really important if you can find a role that's local because that makes you instantly more available, whether it's more available because you're in the same time zone or more available because you are able to be in the office if that's your thing…
But going for a local company is going to make you more attractive because I believe people like to hire locally. We're in Houston. Houston people like to do business with Houston people. It's just the way it is. Dallas folks like to do business with Dallas folks...
There's definitely a sort of a local-centric demand. And being the person who is that Salesforce tentative admin who's got that adjacent skill set is going to make you way more attractive than somebody who's remote.
Remote onboarding can be hard doing a job you've never done before at a company you've never worked at before. That's setting yourself up for a very steep climb. So if you can find a company locally that's looking, I think that would make you a very attractive candidate.
What's the individual opportunity for a Salesforce admin in the long term?
Geraldine: Where I've seen some people have really good success is not just by becoming the admin in their company, but then by going on to become a business analyst within their organization. And then they take the Salesforce skills, because now they understand business and sales ops or service ops (whichever it is that they've been servicing), and they take those skills and then they move them over.
Again, they're moving adjacent, so they're moving to what's next. And what's next is that sometimes they become a business analyst who knows Salesforce. Then they can take that role and they can maybe move to the PMO. Now they know Salesforce, they understand how technology works, and they understand what it takes to be part of a technology project.
So, it's not just about having basic Salesforce skills, but it's also thinking about where can I go in the future? Because you may not want to always be a Salesforce admin. And Salesforce admins in companies can get very pigeonholed because once you're good, it's very hard to replace you. So, always think, “Okay, what else can I do beyond just being an admin?”
To hear more Salesforce career advice from Geraldine, watch the rest of our discussion here.