10 Ways to Future-Proof Your Salesforce Career
There’s a global skills shortage in the world of Salesforce right now. The 2021 Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report from 10K confirms that demand for Salesforce professionals is up 364% year on year, but the growth of talent slowed from 29% in 2020 to 23% in 2021.
In theory, if you want a Salesforce job, it should be easy to get one… right? But once you’ve got a Salesforce job, where’s the incentive to keep developing professionally, since there’s no one else to take your job?
Despite the global skills crisis in the Salesforce ecosystem, we hear constant reports of people unable to get a Salesforce role, or people who are stuck in their current roles having been unsuccessful when interviewing for new positions.
However, there’s a certain type of Salesforce professional who can snap up every job they interview for. In fact, they’re not even applying for jobs anymore; companies and recruiters are going to them, desperate to get them onboard. These Salesforce professionals tend to have something in common – they’ve all taken steps to future-proof their Salesforce career.
Read on to learn ten ways you too can future-proof your Salesforce career and stand out from the crowd during the global skills shortage.
Stay Up to Date With Salesforce Enhancements
This one ought to go without saying, but it’s important to stay up to date with Salesforce enhancements to ensure you can confidently use the latest and greatest features.
A perfect example of this is Salesforce Flow. Workflow Rules and Process Builder have been retired and the official line is that from now on, you should build all new automations in Flow.
Check out our Introduction to Flow to get started. You can also find all our Flow articles here.
There’s more than Flow though… you’ll want to keep up with other features that are rolling out over time such as Dynamic Forms or Dynamic Related Lists.
Become a Specialist in Niche Products
There are certain Salesforce products with a real shortage of skilled professionals that can administrate them. Becoming a specialist is a niche product could increase your chances of securing employment. Examples include CPQ and Marketing Cloud.
And as Salesforce continues to grow, don’t forget that employers will be looking for candidates able to administrate and configure additional products such as Slack or Tableau.
What better way to prove you know your stuff when it comes to niche products than by getting certified…
I know you already know this! Getting certified is a great way to demonstrate a certain level of expertise. I’m not saying it’s an alternative to hand-on experience – you need both. But recruiters and employers typically want a level of assurance that you know what you’re doing, and having certifications can offer this.
Don’t stop at the admin certification. Think about what type of roles you want in the future and start working towards the relevant certifications.
Why not explore skills that complement your role, for example, the User Experience Designer is a great certification for any Salesforce professional.
Explore Salesforce DevOps
DevOps for Salesforce is increasing in prominence and popularity as Salesforce orgs grow in scale and complexity.
The term DevOps has been around since 2009 when it was first coined. It is defined as the following…
“DevOps is a combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that aims to shorten the development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality.”
Salesforce DevOps, then, is meant to help Salesforce professionals release faster with more quality, security and control.
There is a high likelihood that many roles will soon call for an understanding of DevOps, so get ahead of the curve and start learning about it now.
Learn Soft or Transferable Skills
Salesforce is not simply all about technical skills – soft skills are incredibly important too. Need proof? The concept of “Accidental Admins” demonstrates that technical skills can be learned by almost anyone, and making the move into a technical role from a non-technical role is entirely possible.
As an “Accidental Admin” myself, I have a professional background in Project Management and Sales Support Management. These previous roles gave me many important, transferable skills that I used as a Salesforce Admin all the time. Whenever I was interviewed for a Salesforce Admin role, it was often very evident that the hiring manager was reassured that I understood sales, business processes, and reporting, and that I would be able to manage a project on my own.
One area I always felt I was lacking was in business analysis. Business analysis can be a role in its own right when it comes to Salesforce, or a very useful skill when you work as a Salesforce Admin or Consultant.
Trailhead offers a wonderful Build Your Soft Skills Trailmix.
Find a Mentor
Most successful Salesforce professionals will be able to name a mentor as one of the reasons they are where they are today. A mentor can help you on the fast track to success by supporting your skills and offering you valuable insight and advice.
It’s not always easy to find a mentor, but Trailhead has a fantastic service to match mentees with mentors.
Get Involved in the Community
There’s a lot of truth in the sayings “right place, right time” and “it’s not what you know but who you know”…
It’s not uncommon for people to land that #DreamJob through their connections in the Salesforce ecosystem. How do I know? That’s exactly how I got my job here at Salesforce Ben. The more people you meet, the more things you say “yes” to, and the more you put yourself in the public eye, the more likely it is that people will think of you when an opportunity becomes available.
There are many ways to become involved:
Attend a User Group
Attending your local Salesforce User Group is a great way to meet other Salesforce professionals, learn, and have some fun. There are over 1000 user groups all over the world, hosted by other Salesforce professionals who love to connect with others.
Find your nearest user group here.
Attend a Community Event
Community events, often called Dreamin’ events, are organized by independent groups of Trailblazers. Created by the community, for the community, these events are smaller than Salesforce-hosted events and are perfect for meeting fellow Salesforce enthusiasts!
Attend a Salesforce Event
Before the days of COVID, Salesforce events were a highlight for all Salesforce professionals. They exist in various forms and sizes, but all have three things in common. They are amazing for learning, networking, and most importantly, they are great fun.
Follow Your Favorites on Twitter
If an in-person event feels like too much, why not get involved on Twitter? The Salesforce community LOVES Twitter and it’s a great place to stay up to date on all things Salesforce. Start following, liking, and commenting!
Check out our list of influencers to follow to get you started.
Become a Recognized Salesforce Expert
If you want people to start remembering you as a Salesforce expert, it might be time to step up and start showcasing your skills and knowledge.
We’ve explored attending events, but now it’s time to get serious about speaking at events or delivering content via another medium such as blogging.
Start by creating a compelling title and abstract, then put yourself forward to speak at user groups, community events, or even Dreamforce.
Blogging is another great way to get your name out there. At SalesforceBen.com, we are thrilled to be a community-powered news site. The majority of our content is written by Salesforce authors around the world who want to give back to the community and share the knowledge they have built up over the years.
If you would like to join the 400+ authors that we have on the site, you can submit an idea here.
Personal Branding and Social Media
Once you start networking and connecting with the Salesforce ecosystem, people will be more likely to take a look at your online profiles. In addition, you can always expect recruiters and potential employers to take a look at sites such as LinkedIn to get a better idea of who you are and your experience.
It’s time to start thinking about creating your personal brand and polishing your social media profiles.
If you’re thinking about hiring someone, where do you go to find out more information about them? If you’re like me, you’ll head straight over to LinkedIn. Assume that every potential hiring manager, company, and recruiter is going to look at your LinkedIn profile; it needs to clearly demonstrate why someone should hire you!
Check out our article from Bradley Rice, as he explains how to build a LinkedIn profile that will have recruiters reaching out to you, your notifications overflowing, and your next career move at your fingertips.
So, you don’t think Twitter is important to your Salesforce career? Hate to break it to you, but that recruiter who just took a peek at your LinkedIn is also checking out your Twitter right now.
Why is this? It’s not uncommon for companies and recruiters to take a look at potential candidates’ social media in general, but Twitter is incredibly popular amongst the Salesforce Community, so it’s even more likely that they’ll see if you have a Twitter profile.
This is another fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your Salesforce expertise and why you’d be a great fit for a company or role.
Here are a few ideas to supercharge your profile:
Add Salesforce Related Pictures to Your Profile
I include an image of myself speaking at the Salesforce World Tour as my banner image. You could also use this space to include a banner image that displays your Salesforce certifications (or similar).
Create a Snappy Bio
Twitter bios are only 160 characters in length, so you need to convey essential information that people can take in at a glance.
This is still enough space to put plenty of useful information about yourself.
Include awards such as Salesforce MVP, any programs you are part of such as Marketing Champions, user group leadership, job title, and any additional Salesforce community involvement like mentoring.
I use a “|” separator between each bit of information to make it easier to read.
Note: I have a heart emoji on my Twitter bio… would I use this on LinkedIn? No. Would I have this (or a variation of this type of emoji) on my Twitter bio if I worked outside the Salesforce ecosystem? Probably not. Personal branding is important, but so is authenticity, and I think we have a unique culture in the Salesforce community where displays of love and appreciation for Salesforce are generally accepted.
My bio is not just a list of professional achievements – these are things I love and feel passionate about. So personally, I feel comfortable with my little heart emoji, but it’s quite possible that not everyone will agree, and that’s ok.
Make Use of Your Pinned Tweet
You can pin a Tweet to the top of your profile – use this to save a special or impressive moment. I pinned my Tweet about receiving the Salesforce MVP award in 2020.
You could also pin a Tweet with a link to your latest blog post, a Tweet about passing a Salesforce certification, or perhaps being accepted to speak at an event!
Craft a Stand-Out Resume
It can be hard to stand out when applying for that perfect role. Your Salesforce resume is the key to landing a job and is your first impression on a potential employer or recruiter.
You’ll want to spend some time crafting a resume that will clearly show you have the experience, qualifications, and skills recruiters and hiring managers are looking for.
Check out our complete guide to writing your resume. Bonus: It comes with four FREE templates for you to use!
We’ve covered ten ways you can future-proof your Salesforce career and stand out from the crowd. It seems evident that Salesforce is here to stay, growing over 25% YoY and on track to hit $26.4 billion this fiscal year. Achieving these numbers means selling more licenses and products, and finding new businesses to adopt Salesforce.
For the ecosystem, this means more and more roles and an ever increasing skills shortage. Now is the time to skill up, future-proof your career, and take advantage of the opportunities available to you.
I would totally agree that it is hard to stay motivated to keep training. I’ve found signing up for things that have a limited time on them very helpful. It means I’ve got to get it done before the year (or whatever period runs out). AND because I’ve usually spent money on it that helps motivate me too.
I’ve struggled with the mentor, some of that has been where I’ve worked, but finding “study buddies” has been really good and kept me motivated.
Thanks for the great article Christine!
Thanks for reading!
Hi – can you provide link to your resume post please?
Oops – our mistake! We missed out the link. I’ve updated the article now to include it. Thanks for letting us know!
Really amazing blog. Thanks a lot for sharing
Great post – but do have one thought – as we all know we aren’t getting any younger 🙂 – I’m 56 for example 🙂 – and would love to know some careert tips for someone in my age backet – thanks again for the info!
I don’t think age needs to be a barrier to a Salesforce career. There are many professionals making the move to Salesforce later in their career. You’ll have a ton of transferrable skills and experience that will be valuable. Check out this article from Thijs, that may be reassuring! https://www.salesforceben.com/how-to-become-a-salesforce-consultant-at-any-age-my-trailblazer-journey/