You’ve decided to pursue a career working with Salesforce – congratulations! As you start gearing up for this journey, you might want to know what a typical year will look like, and set goals to help pace yourself towards success.
This includes registering for a Trailhead account to discover and hone your learning style, finding communities to join, and learning the benefits of earning new credentials throughout your Salesforce journey. All right, let’s get you started on your way to becoming a Trailblazer!
First Day: Getting Started
The first place you’ll navigate to is Trailhead; this is where you’ll learn in-demand Salesforce skills, connect with other trailblazers, and complete hands-on projects to help implement your learning.
So let’s run through what your first day on Trailhead will actually look like. This will include exploring helpful trails to work on so you can navigate the platform successfully.
- Step 1: Register for a free Trailhead account.
- Step 2: Set up your Trailhead Profile.
- Step 3: Check out this module to help you navigate your way around the Trailhead platform.
First Week: Learning Style and Pacing
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the Trailhead platform, it’s time to start focusing on the modules that will help you study for your first Salesforce exam. Keep a steady pace and, if time allows, aim to complete 1-2 modules a day.
There is so much learning material out there, but the Admin Beginner Trailmix is a great place to start. You can also check out these other great external training resources for entry-level Salesforce professionals here.
Keep in mind that you will be re-learning how to learn. As you work through the modules, start paying attention to your learning style.
Do you grasp and better understand key concepts by watching videos, reading guides, or completing hands-on challenges? Test out all of these techniques to start discovering which learning style works best for you. Ask yourself how you retain information. You may find that it’s a combination!
As you come to the end of your first week, set some realistic study goals. Consistently completing 1-2 modules a day, along with hands-on training, is a great pace. This allows you time to retain the information and directly apply it. Think of a self-project you could create and develop over time to start implementing your learnings. I recommend creating a free developer org to build your knowledge outside of Trailhead. Remember, learning is an active process; we learn by doing.
First Month: Benefits of a Community
Now that you’ve established a self-study timeline for yourself, you can start meeting other Trailblazers. There is a global Trailblazer community of Salesforce experts out there, so it’s well worth taking some time to explore. It’s a great way to meet and learn from others with similar interests, but also broadens your own knowledge. It also helps to support each other along the way.
There are a variety of local and global Salesforce groups you can be a part of; you can even join groups with specific topic niches such as ‘Marketing’ or ‘CPQ’, depending on your interests and goals. When you walk the journey with others, you discover so much more. Make sure you check out the following sites and platforms to help find the best groups for you:
- 7 Communities to Join
- Trailblazer Community Groups
- LinkedIn Groups
- Discord Servers
- Facebook Groups
The vibrant Trailblazer community is a great resource in its own right, so be sure to make the most of it.
First Three Months: Niching Down and Exam Preparation
Now that you’ve been learning for a while, joined a group or two, and met some awesome new people, it’s time to start thinking about which path you want to take. There’s a lot to learn in the Salesforce ecosystem, and when you don’t set a learning goal based on your interests, it’s easy to start pivoting in an area you may not enjoy.
By identifying interest areas you can create a visible path to follow. Perhaps you will want to explore other niches such as Pardot, Non-Profit Cloud, or Field Service Lightning, for example. The hands-on experience will help you become more of an expert on certain topics, client work, and projects.
With time and dedication, you will be ready to explore the option of taking an exam to gain a Salesforce certification. I recommend that you start reviewing practice exams to get a feel for how you are doing study-wise. Below you can find various Salesforce practice exams to put your knowledge to the test:
- Salesforce Ben Get Certified
- Salesforce Ben Free Admin Practice Exam
- Salesforce Ben 300 Question Admin Practice Exam Pack
- Administrator Practice Exam by Trailhead
- Kryterion also offers Salesforce Practice Exams
First Year: Growing your Credential List
Now is a great time to continue advancing by adding more Salesforce certifications and broadening your credentials. This will help open up doors as you progress through your Salesforce journey. It will also help your clients recognize your skills with cross-cloud knowledge and expertise. Click here to read more about the importance and benefits of pursuing additional certifications.
As you start becoming certified in other areas, it’s important to remember that there are certification updates that happen three times a year. Keep up to date with these to make sure you aren’t missing out on any opportunities to learn and progress.
There you have it, Trailblazer! This one-year outline gives you a glimpse of what your Salesforce journey will look like. It should also help you to see the importance of time management, community building, and understanding your learning habits, as well as encourage you to explore other Salesforce niches.
Try to treat this timeline as a navigational compass to help motivate and encourage you to be as successful as possible in your new career in the tech industry. Good luck!