A career in Salesforce offers multiple, fulfilling career paths. It’s a community that inspires Salesforce Trailblazers to go the extra mile, educate themselves, and inspire others.
We’ve put together the “Salesforce Bucket List”, to give you an idea of what can be possible in the Salesforce ecosystem. Not all these activities will be easy, and some of them could majorly push you outside of your comfort zone – however, remember that the best opportunity to grow often lies beyond your comfort zone.
1. Attend a User Group
Attending your local Trailblazer Community Group, either in-person or virtually, is a great way to meet other Salesforce professionals, share knowledge, and have some fun.
There are thousands of groups all over the world, hosted by other Salesforce professionals – so, there’s bound to be a group that shares your Salesforce interests. Find your nearest user group here.
2. Find a Mentor
Most successful Salesforce professionals can name a mentor as one of the reasons they are where they are today. A mentor can guide you to the fast path to success by supporting your skills development and offering valuable advice.
It’s not always easy to find a mentor, however Trailhead has a fantastic service to match mentees with mentors.
3. Learn Flow
Flow is Salesforce’s ultimate automation tool. While tremendously powerful, there is a learning curve , so it’s a good idea to start learning Flow at the first available opportunity.
4. Complete a Superbadge
Trailhead Superbadges take badges to a whole new level. Take the skills you’ve learned, and apply them to complex, real-world business problems. Superbadges can help you show employers that you have completed complex projects that bridge the gap between Trailhead and the real world.
Check out the Superbadges that Trailhead has to offer.
5. Join a Slack Community
As the Salesforce ecosystem evolves, so do the online communities where people gather to ask questions, advise, and have fun in the process. Slack communities provide a fantastic, intuitive, and engaging platform. Our top picks for Salesforce Slack communities to join include Ohana Slack, Wizard of Ops, Salesforce Discord Community, ISV Slack Community, Pardashians, B2C Commerce Cloud Unofficial, and RevGenius.
6. Attend a Community Event
While Trailblazer Community Groups and larger conferences are affiliated by Salesforce themselves, there are a growing number of community events organized independently by members of the community. Some of the largest include London’s Calling and Midwest Dreamin’. You can find community events listed in the guide below:
7. Create a Portfolio Project
For those that want to get as much Salesforce experience as possible, why not create your own project in a Developer Sandbox?
This great way to push your knowledge further involves thinking of a potential business application for Salesforce, creating the requirements, and then implementing the solution.
You could create an app for a gym to manage memberships, or a recruitment app to manage the applicant pipeline. You can iterate the solution over time, giving you a fantastic playground to test new features and functionality.
Not only does this give you another project to talk about in interviews, there’s a great opportunity to showcase the skills, experience, and projects you’re working on or have completed – even demo ones – through a portfolio.
8. Get Salesforce Certified
Salesforce certifications are a seal of approval that you have knowledge around a specific Salesforce product or discipline. The exam outlines can help fill in knowledge gaps around features you may not have come across yet.
With 40+ certifications out there (and more added every year), how do you decide which path to follow? While it may be obvious in some cases, other times you need a full view of the Salesforce certification landscape to take prerequisites into consideration, in other words, certifications you may need to gain before sitting your target certification exam.
Our Salesforce certification map outlines where you can take your career. You’ll find the recommended experience and prerequisite certifications you will need to progress to the next stage.
9. Get an AppExchange Certification
Aside from Salesforce certifications, did you know there has been a rise in the number of Salesforce AppExchange partners (ISVs) offering certifications for their products?
Certain types of apps are becoming increasingly popular, and so are a definite asset to add to your CV or LinkedIn profile. Our selection from the Salesforce partner landscape features document generation, accounting packages, DevOps credentials, and more!
10. Explore DevOps
DevOps has been one of the most exciting trends in the Salesforce ecosystem in recent memory. The rise in different tools and a change in mindset is evolving how Salesforce professionals look to deploy changes from one environment to another.
Everyone involved in Salesforce implementations – product owners, business analysts, admins, architects and developers – need to understand the core principles for driving change. Delivery/release management using DevOps tooling is core to this.
With the arrival of Salesforce DevOps Center, DevOps is becoming increasingly mainstream. DevOps Center is the place to manage releases, with low-code and pro-code development team members working with a single set of configuration and code.
11. Achieve Trailhead Ranger Status
Trailhead is for everyone; it covers topics and learning modules for anyone using Salesforce. Learn about every Salesforce product using hands-on challenges, as well as discovering softer skills.
Trailhead is based on gamification; users achieve badges (etc.) in order to level up through the ranks, with “Ranger” being the highest level (100 badges). It’s a great achievement for those professionals who have dedicated time and energy into achieving badges.
However, since 2022, for every 100 badges you achieve past 100 (Ranger), you can progress up through the Ranger “Star” ranks. Trailblazers will no longer “hit the ceiling” after 100 badges, but with levels that now recognize 200, 300, and all the way up to 600 badges.
You shouldn’t aim to become a Trailhead Ranger quickly – instead, give your learning a direction to head in, rather than just ‘cherry-picking’ the easiest modules.
12. Contribute Content to SFBen
Salesforce Ben exists for Salesforce professionals to read, learn, and grow. We are a community of 500+ authors sharing our ideas and advice for 400k+ monthly readers.
We welcome content from the Salesforce community, from those who want to give back to the community, share their knowledge, and boost their personal brand.
Feel free to submit your ideas here.
13. Create an Idea on the IdeaExchange
The IdeaExchange is the open feedback platform that uses a points-based system to rank ideas for Salesforce product enhancements. 3500 ideas were delivered from the IdeaExchange from 2007 to 2021*.
Have an idea that you’d want to see on the Salesforce platform? Submit an idea! Other Trailblazers, who also see the need for your idea, will upvote – and you never know, it may make it onto the platform one day.
14. Attend Dreamforce
As Salesforce’s flagship conference, Dreamforce is the highlight of the year for many professionals in the ecosystem. With countless workshops, networking opportunities, and parties – not to mention a famous musical headliner – Dreamforce is a much-loved event that attracts tens of thousands of Trailblazers to San Francisco every year.
Unfortunately with tickets costing upwards of $2,000, plus travel and accommodation costs to consider, funding the trip by yourself may not be feasible. However, being sponsored by your company or speaking at the event, keeps costs down.
Alternatively, it’s free to attend virtually. Dreamforce has adapted to cater for a virtual audience, launching Salesforce+ (Salesforce’s very own streaming service), to offer a combination of live-streamed and on-demand events. Now that in-person events are back in business, Dreamforce has adopted a hybrid approach to reach an even wider audience.
15. Speak at a User Group
So, you’ve been attending your local Trailblazer Community Group, and know it’s a great way to meet other Salesforce professionals, share knowledge, and have some fun.
Community groups rely on volunteers to speak at the events, so why not put ‘your name into the hat’? It’s one of the most effective ways to boost your personal brand, practice your public speaking skills in a non-judgmental setting, and is highly rewarding to ‘gift’ your knowledge and insight to others in the community.
16. Volunteer Your Time
Salesforce pioneered the Pledge 1% model, giving back 1% of its time, product, and equity – and this has trickled down to the whole of the Salesforce community. There are two main reasons to volunteer your time and Salesforce skills:
- To give back: Whether it’s paying it forward or #DoMoreGood, there’s a huge benefit here, and you can still learn from it.
- To gain experience: Employers look at candidates’ experience. Yet to gain experience, most of the time you need a job. It’s a catch-22. The solution for many is to volunteer to gain that all important hands on experience.
Before you dive in, there are considerations to make. You don’t want to leave the organization in a worse state than when you started. Considerations include finding out about the scope of the project before you agree to it, being realistic about your availability, and more.
17. Mentor Someone
You’ve reached a point in your career where you have been helped by many others’ advice – now, you’d like to ‘send the elevator back down’. Why not consider mentoring someone?
Don’t be scared to mentor, even if you’re still relatively early in your career. For example, with one year of Salesforce experience and one certification, you may not realize that you have a huge amount to offer someone who is just starting out.
18. Become a Community Group Leader
So, you’ve been attending your local Trailblazer Community Group, and know it’s a great way to meet other Salesforce professionals, share knowledge, and have some fun. You’ve also had a great experience speaking at a community group, and think you could do this more often.
Not only do Trailblazer Community Groups rely on speakers to volunteer, they are powered by amazing people who give their time to organize and promote the events. Becoming a leader is a well-respected position, and (speaking from experience), you learn so much from consistently attending meetings and lining up presenters.
19. Become a Champion
20. Speak at Dreamforce
Dreamforce is the crème de la crème of conferences, attracting huge audiences. It’s a real honor to be chosen; submissions to speak at Dreamforce come thick and fast – but nail your session title and abstract, and you could be accepted.
The bar is set high, so be sure you are up to the challenge and have the time to dedicate to preparation. You’ll certainly learn plenty from the experience! Plus, you’ll get a free ticket to the event, saving you $$$$s!
21. Start a Salesforce Business
With so much activity happening in the Salesforce ecosystem, it has never been easier for those that have that entrepreneurial itch, to start their own business.
- App developers: Many of the apps on the AppExchange have been created by Salesforce professionals who witness real-world challenges that could be solved with a handy app. While many of these apps remain free, many turn over $1M+ in annual recurring revenue.
- Consultancy: Starting your own consultancy or going out into the world as a freelancer are fantastic ways to leverage your skills, and take control of your working schedule. For those interested in starting their own consultancy, Ben McCarthy has a fantastic resource that shares his journey growing a consultancy from $0 to $2.5M in revenue, in 4 years.
22. Take a Selfie With Marc Benioff
To tick this final item off the bucket list, you definitely need to be in the right place at the right time. The Salesforce CEO & Founder, Marc Benioff is often found at conferences. Check out some of the photos below!
Over to You!
How many have you ticked off the “Salesforce Bucket List”? Not all these activities will be easy, and some of them could majorly push you outside of your comfort zone. However, remember that the best opportunity to grow often lies beyond your comfort zone. Are there any we’ve missed off?