If you’re in your 20’s, these can be some of the most pivotal years of your life. Your may have just left, School, College or University and are now seeking the career path to go forward for the first good chunk of your life. This is obviously such a crucial decision that can have a huge impact on your later years.
Do you go for the career you have talked with your parents about over the past 10 years? The career that can give you stability and respect from your peers? Or simply the career that is your true calling in life and where you will have the most fun?
From my questions above and from others I’ve talked to, it really does seem like you have to choose between a decent amount of money, fun and happiness. Since I left University 4 years ago and landed randomly in an industry that I had never heard of before, I’ve managed to achieve all three.
NB – Although the title may seem this way, I’m not going to sell you the secret to happiness for $9.99 with a money back guarantee
The industry that I’m referring to is SaaS or Software as a Service, or more commonly known by the broader term, Cloud Computing. SaaS refers to internet services that are usually offered through the browser, where they were before downloaded to your desktop computer. Think companies like Netflix, Spotify, Dropbox, Gmail and Salesforce (bear with me). These types of companies have enabled a whole new wave of products, services and also ways of working (I’m sure we’ve all seen pictures of Google’s offices). Not only that, but the majority of them completely support fun, happiness (work/life balance) and pay very well.
Although we’ve covered the Industry, the career that I’m referring to in my title is pretty niche in terms of the entire SaaS industry. The career I’m talking about is a career in the Salesforce Ecosystem.
Salesforce is a company that helped invent and pioneer cloud computing back in 1999 along with their co-founder Marc Benioff. Salesforce primarily started out as a cloud based CRM (Customer Relationship Management), which is essentially a tool that helps businesses manage their customers and their contact with them through an internet browser. Now they completely dominate the CRM & Business systems marketplace.
But why have you never heard of them? If you do not own a business, work in the tech industry, or work for a business that uses Salesforce, there is probably no real reason you should have heard of them. But they are one of the fastest growing software companies ever along with Apple and have a ton of awards under their belt.
Earlier on I referred to the “Salesforce Ecosystem”, this is because although Salesforce sell the product and started this revolution, they are tiny in comparison to the Ecosystem they have created. For every product that Salesforce sells, these businesses will need people to implement, customise and train users on the software. To give you an idea of how large the Ecosystem is, Salesforce has around 20,000 employees, by 2020, IDC predicts that there will be 1.9 Million net new jobs created in the “Salesforce Economy”.
Happiness, Fun & Ohana
Before I go onto talk about the actual jobs that you can land yourself in the ecosystem, I’d like to talk about the type of community that Salesforce have created. They have created this amazing community where people want to help each, progress the industry and to not sound too cheesy, the world. When you’re around people like this day in day out, it’s very hard to not feel a sense of achievement and happiness.
Salesforce promote this with one word, Ohana. Which directly translates to Family in Hawaiian, but to give it a more specific definition..
“Ohana is more generally used to describe any group of people with a common bond; people in Hawaii have a community ohana, a friends ohana, even a work ohana.”
This is even further demonstrated with one of the largest software conferences in the world that Salesforce host in San Francisco every year, where 170,000 people attend.
Now we’ve had a look at the industry and particular career you could be involved with, let’s have a look at some of the potential jobs you could have within this ecosystem. As mentioned above, the people who are needed are the ones that can customise, consultant, train and generally run Salesforce for their business. The amount of users within a Salesforce Org can range from 1-20,000+ so the amount of people needed inside the business can vary massively.
Salesforce Administrator – Based inside the business they help the Salesforce system run on a day to day basis, they also help to customise it based on users requirements and needs.
Salesforce Developer – Based inside the business they customise the Salesforce system more heavily using code based on users requirements and needs.
Salesforce Consultant – Working for an external company, they help their clients to implement and better use Salesforce through consulting and requirements gathering
From my descriptions here, these jobs probably don’t seem too exciting, but please go over to the Trailhead “Trailblazer” section to read more about how people have advanced their lives and careers through Salesforce.
Being on the cutting edge of the technology industry and being able to save companies huge amounts of money through the use of Salesforce, means the jobs are pretty well paid. In fact, after around 3-4 years of experience in the world of Salesforce, you can look to make an average of £60,000 in the UK and $114,000 in the USA. You can read more about the salaries in this Infographic I’ve put together after compiling data from various sources.
Sign me up!
Sound interesting? Well you’re in luck! Salesforce along with the community have now made it easier than ever to grab yourself a job in this incredible industry and the barrier to entry is becoming lower and lower. This does not mean that it’s a breeze to get a job and anyone can just walk in, but the resources and tools are out there, you just need to put in a little groundwork. Salesforce Partners & customers are always looking for young, dynamic, hardworking individuals that have the right attitude to train up to become superstars. Here are a few pointers that you can start doing straight away..
1. Start reading up on everything Salesforce, absorb yourself in what the product, the company and the industry is trying to achieve. Use blogs like this one among many others to fine tune your knowledge.
2. Sign up for a Developer Org & Salesforce Trailhead. In combination, you can think about these two services as a free training course/environment. Trailhead will teach you about so many aspects of Salesforce whilst testing you with real life scenarios along the way to reinforce learning. This blog post covers why Trailhead is so powerful.
3. Become the community. The Salesforce community has become extremely widespread and exists in a lot of forms. From active members of the community on Twitter & LinkedIn, to online forums and in person user groups. You can find all about these in the Power of the Community blog post.
As a side note, if you are really interested in pursuing a career in Salesforce, please sign up to your nearest User Group to learn more about the community, and if nothing else, free beer and pizza.
4. Salesforce offers Certifications for professionals that wish to prove their knowledge to current or prospective employee’s. These are usually multiple choice based questions taken in a test centre. If you wish to place a goal on your path to become a Salesforce professional, the entry level Administrator or Platform App Builder certifications might be a good way to go. Demonstrating that you are already certified to a prospective employer looks very good.
This blog post was written to hopefully bring light to an amazing “emerging” community that is actually not that well known to the broader scope of university students, graduates and people early on in their careers. I use the word emerging in jest, as although the general public probably haven’t heard of Salesforce before, the community is thriving with 2,400,000 people currently contributing to the community.
If you’ve found ever the slightest interest in what’s been written in this article, dive in and explore a few of the links posted. This could be the start of a prosperous, successful and long career.