This year, myself and my co-worker/work wife, Danielle Ahmed, took a brave step into the unknown and applied to talk at London’s Calling 2019. We did this because we wanted to share our knowledge of the Salesforce job market. After being accepted, we spent numerous nights creating our presentation, and after a few dress rehearsals we were feeling confident! When the day came, we were all set. And aside from accidently turning up in matching green tops (not planned – I promise!), we were ready to go.
‘When YOU look for your next Salesforce opportunity, how are YOU going to stand out?’
In our talk, we covered everything from the most in-demand skills, salary guides, maximising your LinkedIn profile, CV tips, references, case studies, and Computer Futures’ accredited professionals programme.
I’ll cover some of the key points, but if you want to see the full talk, you can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9g5P4qdNAE
Be ready for when YOU are ready
Over the next three years, Salesforce is expected to grow significantly – it’s expected the ecosystem will create 3.3 million new jobs by 2022, with the UK as the second largest ecosystem growing by 114,545 jobs. So, as a Salesforce professional, just how will you stand out against everyone else?
Understand what you are looking for.
This is a time for self-reflection, and you need to set yourself targets. You need to be SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely)
When you’re looking for a new job, try asking yourself the following questions:
- What are my strengths?
- What are my motivations?
- What am I passionate about?
- What job do I want in the long term?
- What’s the path for me to get there?
Next, get ahead of the curve! Always keep one eye on Salesforce and what they are doing.
It’s important to be mindful of trends and acquisitions within the ecosystem. Last year we saw Salesforce push marketing automation. As a result of this, Marketing Cloud and Pardot consultants were in high demand. Professionals who saw this coming and prepared themselves reaped the rewards – they were snapped up instantly and able to demand a high salary or daily rate.
So what are we noticing this year?
- Einstein Analytics
- Salesforce Acquiring Tableau
- Partnership with Apple
- The use of Blockchain in CPQ
A useful tip – niche down
It’s important to strike the right balance here. If you can niche down in an area and become a master, that will open up a whole world of opportunities. However, it’s important not to pigeon hole yourself as this could be detrimental to your future career.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Salesforce isn’t always the answer for every business. Other products may be more suitable – why not learn them? Understanding the competitor products and learning how they differ from Salesforce will be highly valuable and can help you appreciate the Salesforce platform within a wider context.
Take marketing automation – you could be an expert in Marketing Cloud but it wouldn’t hurt to upskill yourself in other products. Learning Pardot, Marketo, or Mailchimp will make you a well-rounded Marketing Automation Consultant, which is more attractive to hiring managers. And this isn’t exclusive to marketing automation, it applies to CPQ and many other areas.
Certifications vs. Experience – what’s more valuable?
This is a hot topic that I frequently come across. Certifications are obviously important but so is commercial Salesforce experience. So, what do hiring managers value more? Well, essentially it depends on a variety of factors.
Lets break it down…
Across the board, most people either fall into Salesforce or actively choose it as a career.
Say you’re an “accidental” Salesforce Admin and you‘ve been given the responsibility of the Salesforce instance. You’ll build up your commercial knowledge by learning as you go. However, learning and achieving the ADM201 Certification will reassure you (and your employer) that you‘re following best practice.
If you’re looking to get into Salesforce but have no previous experience, then using Trailhead and achieving your ADM201 are some great ways to demonstrate your dedication to your employer.
This also works for Business Analysts and Project Managers. If an established non-Salesforce BA or PM is looking to make the move into Salesforce, then it really is important to have a balance of Salesforce certifications and strong commercial experience. Your actual experience needs to be of a high quality, but, having Salesforce certifications will put you ahead of others due to the fact you’ve demonstrated clear dedication and commitment to your own development.
If you’re already a part of the Salesforce eco-system, certifications are a great way to niche down into a specific area of your choice if your current role doesn’t offer such opportunities. However, when it comes to Salesforce Technical Architects and Chief Technical Architects, certifications are essential and non-negotiable.
If you’re looking to move into an End User, we’ve found that having certifications is often a form of reassurance for these organisations. However, if they have Salesforce professionals on site already then certifications aren’t usually as important as these individuals can test your knowledge and help you to upskill.
Consultancies love certifications! The volume of certifications is very important within a Salesforce consultancy as this impacts their Salesforce partnership status. So, if you’re looking for a role within a consultancy, the more certifications the better!
Let’s sum up…
The debate between certifications and experience differs from company to company and from role to role. Many companies hold quality experience in much higher regard then certifications. They like people who’ve come across real life problems in the workplace. Real life experience shows that you’ve used initiative, dealt with awkward stakeholders, handled unhappy users, and really worked on some difficult implementations. Most importantly, experience shows that you’ve failed, learned, and grown from your mistakes. And this can’t be experienced by completing a certification or taking a test.
Essentially, we believe that certifications should complement experience, but not act as a substitute.
Every situation is different, and we believe it’s really important to get to know you and work out the best avenue for your Salesforce career. To find out more about how Computer Futures could help you, you can get in touch with us.