Salesforce - an unconventional career path?

With 3.3 million jobs projected to be created by 2022, opportunities in the Salesforce ecosystem are both vast and varied. And the beauty of choosing a career in Salesforce is the power it gives you to design your own journey - there isn’t one set way to get ahead in Salesforce. 

So, why does Salesforce steer away from tradition and offer the potential to choose a more unconventional career path? Someone who can offer their thoughts on this topic is Lucy Mazalon, a freelance marketing automation consultant and editor at Salesforce Ben and The DRIP

Meet Lucy 

Lucy is a freelance marketing automation consultant who has been working in the ecosystem for almost five years. Her experience is diverse and her CV shows off a great deal of versatility across Salesforce. So how did it all begin for Lucy? 

“I kind of fell into Salesforce to be honest. After graduating, a friend of a friend told me there was an opportunity to join a hypergrowth team – and that took me from London to California within a few days of receiving the offer!”

Lucy’s start in Salesforce

After arriving at Silicon Valley, Lucy’s Salesforce career kick-started at a fast pace, “it doubled up as a bootcamp in how to sell a Salesforce SaaS product, and a crash course in Salesforce itself!”.

One year in, armoured with a grasp of the partner landscape, it felt like the right time for her to get into how Salesforce works technically - the real nuts and bolts, “I had this fascination with how all the features knitted together into solutions, so I started studying for the Salesforce Certified Admin exam.” 

This became the starting point into a sales role at an implementation partner, “Not only did mapping solutions from Salesforce products interest me, I decided to move into a sales role to satisfy my competitive nature!” Working daily with prospects that needed guidance when purchasing and implementing Salesforce made getting certified a priority - by the end of the year, she was 5x certified.  

It wasn’t long before Lucy stumbled upon her next opportunity at the London World Tour event, which would eventually lead to a move to Poland! After they got chatting, her soon to be new boss was so impressed with her skills (or intrigued by her love for Poland), that he asked her to pick from a list of roles at the hypergrowth Salesforce consultancy, “He sent across a spreadsheet of more than 30 roles that I could choose from. I was surprised at how fast they were hiring. Marketing automation stood out to me as I was scrolling through as something that would complement my creative personality – I was eager to stretch myself”.

This move into a marketing automation role meant learning rapidly - and learning on the job. Lucy found herself working in larger, more corporate environments, “This was a big test for me professionally and personally – I was dealing with a new product area, handling a different type of stakeholder, and I also learned how to speak ‘corporate’. It was challenging, but hugely beneficial to how my career panned out - being prepared to continuously upskill is important and forces you to ramp up fast!”

Switching to freelance

After establishing a range of experience across sales, marketing, and of course, marketing automation - Lucy decided to take a new step, “Pairing my sales experience of managing a project pipeline with what I’d learnt on the corporate projects, proved to myself that I could go freelance - even if I didn’t believe it at first. That’s one of the great about the Salesforce industry, it’s not a linear path you have to follow, you can design your own career path.”

Clearly no stranger to the world of travel, Lucy fully embraced the flexibility Salesforce offered, “It gave me the ability to work anywhere in the world, and so I decided to travel as I worked. It’s not without its own challenges, though, and I made sure to hold myself accountable for project delivery and quality”. 

Debunking the job-hopping myth

The stigma attached to job hopping is also a topic that Lucy finds interesting, “Yes, I am a job hopper by definition, and this label does scare people - for example, my Dad constantly reminds me I’m ruining my CV - in a caring way, of course! However, I think that in today’s world, and especially in Salesforce, clients and hiring managers care less about the length of time you’ve stayed at a company and more what you have to offer. Your knowledge is your product, and this transferable knowledge is what they want to ‘buy’. Every project is different, and potential clients or employers want a sneak-peek into how other businesses have overcome their challenges. In my opinion, a diverse CV shows the breadth of projects you’ve worked on and I think this makes you more attractive.”

Grabbing new opportunities in Salesforce…

In our next chat with Lucy, she’s going to offer advice to those starting out in Salesforce – whatever your path may be up until now, and going forward: “Ultimately, I think it’s key that you take the time to upskill yourself - that’s one of the things Salesforce’s ‘Trailblazer’ movement signals. Also, having the mindset to think through problems, make bold decisions, and have the courage to stand by your choices.”

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