From Barista to Salesforce Admin ☕️
“I’m super glad that I did it - everything has changed for me in a good way.”
Meet Makini, who went from barista to Salesforce Admin in less than 6 months on our Zero to 100, our Salesforce Admin course. In this quick interview, Makini shares her Salesforce journey with us, tips for working and communicating with the team remotely, and advice for those starting their Salesforce careers.
What has been the highlight of your Salesforce career so far?
Helping people with their Salesforce queries is definitely one of the most satisfying parts of my job. When I’m able to immediately answer questions about Salesforce with confidence, and people are visibly happier as a result, it feels great. Really, it’s working in a team and helping to solve people’s problems that gives me the greatest sense of accomplishment.
Have you had any challenges or anything unexpected?
Whenever I come up against something I don’t know and have to research the answer - that’s always a challenge! My most used phrase is “I’ll look into it and get back to you.” Anytime I’ve come up with a problem that I have to deal with, I’ll say that. And I’ve learnt that’s just what you have to do. You work through it, you research it, and you keep learning. When I first started, my main worry was that I didn’t know enough. But no-one expects you to know everything straight away. Learning when it’s time to say “I don’t know the answer yet, but I’ll get the answer” is an important skill.
What is a valuable skill you’ve learned on the job?
Being able to put myself in other people's shoes has been super valuable. Walking through the user's journey is something I think about much more than I used to. I try to walk through the steps they have to go through and then think of all the ways I can make that journey as smooth as possible for someone who hasn’t used Salesforce before. I’m really trying to make it as user friendly and intuitive as possible. Ultimately, the goal is to make people’s lives easier, so clearing roadblocks ahead of time is a helpful thing to learn.
What kind of support have you been getting from your team?
I’ve been working closely with Amber from Salesforce Training throughout my first few months on the job. It’s been great to have someone there every step of the way who you can go to with panicked calls. The induction process at my organisation has also been fantastic, specifically being able to meet people from different teams. For project work as well, I’m always comfortable with sitting down with the teams involved and walking through what they’re doing, what they want, etc, and asking questions from there. My tech team and manager are great as well. They’re always there for me to shoot an email off to and ask for help.
How did Salesforce Training help with your Salesforce career?
They helped with pretty much everything - almost 100%. They gave me all the knowledge beforehand of Salesforce that I needed to start the job. After I got the job, they were a great ongoing support. Even getting the job - they helped me prepare for the interview and connected me with my current manager. I didn’t know anyone in the industry, so having those connections through Salesforce Training was super useful. The real-world project as well was great because it gave me a little bit of experience to draw on. I wouldn’t have done any of this on my own without them!
What are some tips for remote work?
- Set yourself a schedule. Try to start at the same time every day, take your breaks at the same time every day, and get into a routine.
- Set up an appropriate workspace. Don’t just lay in bed. That’s how you take really long naps all day!
- Make sure you are checking in regularly with the team. Every other day for your close team and every other week or so for other teams you deal with less.
- I use lots of apps; Trello in particular is great for organising all the things I’m working on.
- Always have a cup of tea. Before meetings when I only have 5 - 10min (not enough time to start a task), I’ll take a break, go make some tea, and say hi to my flatmates. It’s really helpful to break up the day like that and even stand outside for 2min.
To summarise, getting into a routine and checking in regularly with your team are my top two tips.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone starting their Salesforce career in 2022?
No-one is going to expect you to know everything all at once, right away! With any position there’s going to be a learning curve of knowing where things are and how things work. Take it all in and take your time. Don’t be afraid to look things up. Figure out who you go to with your questions. Most places will have a support system - don’t be afraid to use those resources. For me it was a big step up in my career so it was hard for me to admit that I didn’t know things even though I knew I didn’t know things. Don’t worry about it, take your time, and ask questions.
What’s next for you?
I feel like I only just started! I’m going to continue on with my Salesforce learning. At some point I am hoping to move to a new country, so looking for new Salesforce opportunities overseas will be an interesting challenge. The option of remote work is really nice for when I do decide to move back home. Overall though, I’m just going to focus on gaining more Salesforce knowledge and having a great time. And keep building my career by meeting more people, and getting more experience.