#1 - SuperGrape

For a little more clarity on the timeline I’m providing a table to show the job hops.

Job Description

Length of Employment

Computer Repair to Department Manager

6 years

Technical Support Manager to Project Manager/Jr Developer

5 years

Salesforce Consultant specializing in Einstein Analytics

18 months

Salesforce Administrator

1 year

I have always been in a technical role of some sort so I think starting from the beginning might be best.

A high school friend referred me to work at a local big box electronics store. I started there, at 18, in the computer repair department and quickly worked my way to management. I managed the computer repair & home install teams and was making relatively good money for retail. Working there for 6 years, 5 in management, I got tired of the constant 60-70 hour work weeks and not knowing if I was going to work tomorrow. One of my computer repair techs had left for a software company as tech support and after a year or so he reached out and asked if I was looking for a job.

I interviewed with them and the environment seemed nice, I would work Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. It was a significant pay cut, something like 40% less, but work life balance was my goal at this point. I was hired as the Technical Support Manager and did that for 3 years, teaching myself SQL, basic JQuery, CSS, some PHP, and our internal ETL tool language out of necessity to support our product. I grew tired of management and decided I wanted a more technical role, so I moved to the “Implementations” team which was more of a Project Management and custom solution role than “fix the ticket”.

On that team I ended up getting pretty solid with SQL, keeping the same title but shifting to more of a junior developer role that focused on data. Now with around 3 years of experience I was one of the more senior people at the company and essentially ran my own little “team” without being an actual manager. I trained my counterparts and was known to be the guy that could answer your question or at least help in some way. Another 2 years at this company I felt like my job was getting stagnant and a guy I trained reached out asking if I was interested in working for a local Salesforce Consulting company. No Salesforce experience required.

Turns out this company wanted me due to my background in SQL/Data and they needed someone to pick up Einstein Analytics (Wave at that time). Supposedly the language and data structure were similar enough that I would be able to pick it up quickly. I was hired a few weeks later and spent the first 3-4 months doing Trailheads and working on small Einstein Analytics projects. My specialty always remained Einstein Analytics but after the first few months I started receiving Sales Cloud projects, and rather big ones too, up to 1200 hours or $200k at our rates. This was a master class of fake it until you make it, but I think my clients generally liked me and the solutions put in place. I was typically put on projects that had a lot of moving technical pieces. Around 15 months in had one that involved a lot of development and calculations based on many factors. I was working with a Director at the client and met face to face to nail down some of the calculations. The next week we delivered a solution that did exactly what they needed, and he remarked that I was the best contractor he ever worked with. He slyly mentioned that they were looking for a Salesforce Admin and basically nudge nudge wink winked at me. Never one to turn down a potentially good thing I applied for it.

The new potential Manager said they had about 80 applicants for the position already, but he didn’t like any of them enough to hire. They were thorough in the interview process, I met the CIO of the company in person and had a handful of phone calls with HR, the potential Manager, etc. This is a large company, 40k+ employees, so I felt that the CIO taking the time to meet me was a great sign that they were interested in me and invested in Salesforce as a whole. It was a long process taking nearly 2 months, but I was offered a job. Putting my notice in at the current company was difficult, overall, they treated me well, and I definitely wouldn’t be Salesforcing without them. It was necessary though, I was burnt out on consulting, and the new job was 100% remote with a decent raise.

At this new company I am the only Admin for 3 medium sized Orgs totaling around 400 Users and 7,000 Community Users. All 3 Orgs were in pretty rough shape when I started and they’re slowly turning around. I have had a great experience here, the company treats me well, my Manager is probably the best I have ever had, and I get the freedom to Salesforce the way I think is right. As people learn I exist, and that Salesforce isn’t as terrible as they once thought, I get more and more projects. At this point the projects are now too much for just me and this company that had no Admins for 7+ years just approved hiring a second one in less than a year. I am going to be promoted to Sr Salesforce Admin or Manager or something and the new Admin will work under me. They will basically take my current role and handle day to day while I will take on these larger projects. I am excited to see how 2020 is going to be and what we can get done together.

TLDR: The people you know and the work that you do is far more important than a handful of certs. I have never sourced a job myself; it has always been about networking in one way or another. Be good at what you do, be good to the people you work with, and don’t pass up an opportunity if one arises.