Ready for the Salesforce ‘Side Hustle’? 7 Unexpected Benefits of Upskilling on the Side.

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When speaking to people in the Salesforce Ecosystem, it’s common to hear “learning Salesforce is my passion”.

It’s amazing that the motivation to develop Salesforce technology skills is intrinsically set. The uptick in upskilling for ‘fun’ was no doubt fostered also by the ’Trailblazer’ movement, which celebrates professionals who go above and beyond to develop their Salesforce skills.

I recently read a piece about ‘Weekend Warriors‘; people who continue their day job while working on their passion in the evenings/weekends.
As always, I thought about how this could relate to the Salesforce Ecosystem – the people who invest time and energy into Salesforce skill development as their ‘side-hustle’.

A side hustle is an additional work stream without giving up your full-time job. In this context, a side hustle would be developing Salesforce skills outside of your day-to-day role.

I related closely to the Weekend Warrior author, being Salesforce and Pardot self-taught through pure determination, and only later honing my skills consulting. While I am in no way condoning workaholism, I think it’s noble to juggle commitments for the sake of bettering your future self. It’s very clear that there are many other Salesforce professionals who are also ‘weekend warriors’. The hundreds of evening-time User Groups organised globally, and now ‘Salesforce Saturdays’ meet-ups, both prove that Salesforce professionals tend to be people who need to scratch an itch when it comes to learning.

The article raised some interesting points, which I will springboard off in this post. I will go on to talk about how learning outside of scheduled working hours has more benefits than we initially suspect – and even advocate this routine becoming the driving force behind success. Hear me out!

Try Before You Buy

The Salesforce platform grows broader each year that goes by, plus new sub-skill sets crop up as products become more technically complex. What this means is that you are spoilt for choice when choosing your Salesforce niche.

Part-time learning on a particular product could bring helpful realisations to you early on. Like dating, a product that seemed a good fit for you on paper, may not have the chemistry you were hoping for. It’s wise to ty or ‘get your hands dirty’ with a technology before ‘investing’ further, for example, committing to a job role working with a specific product every day.

Proves Your Passion

I already marveled at how common intrinsic motivation is in the Salesforce Ecosystem, motivation driven by internal rewards, such as personal satisfaction.

The opposite is extrinsic motivation – which governs why the vast majority of people do their day jobs (for money, an external reward).

Studying outside of working hours is a good indicator of whether you are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to learn. You may even learn something about yourself.

Don’t Kill Off Creativity

In addition, when forced into something (eg. studying because your boss is pressuring you), often kills drive and creativity. Yes, creativity is highly important as a Salesforce professional. The Salesforce certification exams deliberately make candidates solutionise toward the best solution, not just a solution. Ensure you are intrinsically motivated to keep your creativity intact.

Don’t Give Up The Day Job

Keeping your day job despite being dead-set on learning Salesforce intensively has benefits not obvious at first glance.

Salesforce is the market leader in many areas, which means its technology solves traditional business problems. Learning about ‘best-of-breed’ technology can open your eyes to business challenges, or how to pivot into business transformation if your industry is being disrupted. You can easily develop this ‘future-forward’ thinking.

New Value of Time

There’s a well-known paradox about time – when there’s plenty, one begins to value it less. This follows the laws of supply and demand.

When working a job during the day in addition, your after-hours study time is restricted. Perhaps restricted is the wrong word – ‘compounded’ is much better. Compounded time implies that you can be more focused, efficient, and have a healthy sense of urgency. That time becomes invaluable.

Agile Knowledge Application

The word ‘agile’ immediately pulls up associations to agile project management. Just like the agile method of software development, you too can benefit from short phases of study, with frequent application and assessment.

Simply, you learn something, go to work the next day, apply it either literally or play out the scenario in your head. It’s a cycle of learning reinforcement that prepares you for real-world knowledge application that will ultimately earn you ’trailblazer’ status.

Brain Digestion

Agile knowledge application is a nifty maneuver to deepen the impact of your study; however, short phases of study are preferable because your brain can only absorb a certain amount of new information in one session.

Just like suffering from indigestion when you eat too much too quickly; you should avoid stuffing your mind effect on your brain.

Remember, the certification exams are not about regurgitating information, but instead about applying the concepts to solutionize; so cramming is an ineffective method that loses in the long term.

Only the Owls Are Out

An obvious point, but one worth mentioning. Evenings (or early mornings in my case) are quieter times of the day, which means distraction-free periods to get into the flow.

Referred to as ‘flow’ or ‘deep work’, you are fully involved in the activity, and produce quality output. An efficient way to get the most out of your time.

Just as well owls don’t email.

 

Summary

It’s amazing how common “learning Salesforce is my passion” is heard around the Salesforce Ecosystem. Salesforce careers offer reward, variety and are roles you can be proud of working in, making a visible impact. This is why the motivation to develop Salesforce technology skills is commonly intrinsic motivation, versus extrinsic motivation.

The ’Trailblazer’ movement celebrates professionals who go above and beyond to develop their Salesforce skills. I intended to write this post to how a study schedule that slots comfortably between other commitments has unexpected benefits you may not have considered.

Evidently, workaholism, stress, and burn-out are all diseases of the professional workforce of today, and no-one should exceed working to dangerous levels. Life experiences should enrich one another, not compete for your attention and precious time.

Try before you buy, and prove your passion first. Following this, don’t give up your day job even if you are convinced you will switch roles or move on from your current employer. Be grateful for the learning reinforcement your day job can bring.

Finally, take note of other community Trailblazers that find joy in attending user groups and ‘Salesforce Saturday‘ sessions – they invest time and energy into Salesforce skill development as their ‘side-hustle’, with a social element too!

Looking to Upskill?

Are you looking to upskill in Salesforce this new year?

Professionals, like yourself, usually take the certification route to ensure their knowledge covers key concepts.  Join Salesforce Ben Members to gain access to practice certification exams, that are designed to prepare you, and hopefully get the “first-time pass”.

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