Keys to Building a Successful Salesforce Career

05/30/2018 by Larry Salvatoriello
Three key principles to follow when building a successful Salesforce career.

An IDC study published last year shared that Salesforce and its ecosystem are expected to enable the creation of 3.3 million jobs within the Salesforce customer base by 2022.  Many of these jobs will be filled by students coming into the workforce for the first time. There are a lot of resources like Trailhead and Salesforce Certifications that can prepare these individuals for the technical side of the job, which can help qualify you and get the job, but what about the non-technical skills needed to succeed once you are there?  No matter what role you play in the Salesforce ecosystem, here are some core principles to help turn a new job into a long, successful career.

Early Bird Gets the Worm

The simplest of these principles is to be on time, if not early.  After being in the workforce for more than 20 years and in the Salesforce ecosystem for 10, it is still surprising how many people show up late to work and for meetings. There is nothing more disrespectful to others than showing up late to a meeting without any proper notice.  By doing this one simple thing, bosses will notice you, and your coworkers and clients will respect and want to work with you.

If you want to impress everyone, make it a habit to show up early. This shows everyone you are well prepared and consider your time with them as important.  This small habit can bring you top of mind for important projects or promotions, even if you may not have the technical expertise yet. Some best practices to achieve this habit include avoiding scheduling back to back meetings unless necessary and blocking out time before and after for proper preparation and follow-ups.

Be True to your Word

Unfortunately, we live in a “prove it” world. Most people require you to earn respect and one of the biggest judgments of character is whether you live up to your commitments.  If you make a habit of only one of these principles, this is it. Technology has made it easy to connect, so the number of commitments you are being asked to make on a daily basis is increasing, and it is only getting worse.  How well you handle these commitments will determine whether you are considered reliable or not.

No matter how good technically you are, if you are viewed as unreliable you can stop your career growth in its tracks. A best practice to help you manage all this is to think before you commit and to monitor your progress.  Sometimes we just cannot take on another thing, so we need to be aware of it and let the person asking know we just cannot do it or can’t now but maybe later. Believe it or not, people respect that. Also, you are not going to be able to meet all your commitments, so ensure you review them frequently and renegotiate when you know you can't meet one. Being honest and proactive at the first sign of delay might get you a disappointed reaction, but you will not lose respect.  In many instances, it will increase respect.

Stay out of Negative Town

We also live in a world of negativity, and no matter where you turn someone is willing to share why they are unhappy.  Be very careful not to get sucked into this type of behavior. Communication should always be truthful, specific, and positive.  If you find yourself engaging in conversation that doesn’t fit in those three categories, you need to remove yourself.

Being labeled a complainer or a negative person is not going to get you anywhere, and it is very hard to remove that label once attached  This can happen through association even if you are not being negative yourself. If you do find yourself complaining and being negative then you should reflect on it. Maybe your job isn’t fulfilling or you have co-workers with whom you don’t get along. It’s good to become aware of it and then you can find a way to get past it and back to being happy.  

These are three key principles to build a successful career. As you can see, you do not need a Harvard education to be successful.  It's the little things that many take for granted that push the needle.

Please feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Success Community,  Tweet @Arkusincor directly at me on Twitter @Salvatoriello.