Last Friday evening I was winding down my work week and getting ready to watch some Netflix when I heard my phone go off. I looked down and saw it was a direct twitter message from a new friend that contacted me because she read one of my blog posts. She was looking for some advice. She is currently a secretary doing both secretarial work as well as Salesforce Administration work. I really wasn't doing anything that exciting so I sent her my phone number and told her to give me a call.
A few minutes later my phone rang and I could hear the sadness and
frustration in her voice. I asked her what was wrong. She started to
tell me that her manager told her that her secretarial duties were
more important than the work she was doing with Salesforce. They
were also not going to give her a raise this year even though she
took on a substantial amount of work by maintaining and configuring
their Salesforce org. Her manager isn't willing to pay for training
or help her get her certification. She has been going to a free
certification class on her own time in the evenings through her local
user group. Her dreams of attending the Midwest Dreamin' event were
also crushed. Her manager gave her the famous line of “you're just
a secretary.” I tried my best to provide some words of wisdom, but
I knew I had to help her, I just wasn't sure how. I promised that I
would get back to her if I figured out a way that I could help her.
Once I hung up with my new friend I started to think back to when
I was a secretary. I remembered being a distraught twenty-four year
old hiding in a stall in a ladies room crying my eyes out. I had
just finished my first Salesforce project and my manager had promised
if I did that successfully he would put me on track for a promotion
to Salesforce Administrator. I had worked so hard on this project,
sales reps as well as sales management loved it. I had over a dozen
emails from various people within the sales department thanking me
for their new way to track customer visits and interactions as well
as all of their new dashboards.
The week after we rolled out the new functionality to Sales, my
manager put a meeting on my calender to discuss my “career”. I
was sure he was going to tell me that he was going to promote me or I
was going to be moved into another department to focus on Salesforce
Administration. Unfortunately I was completely wrong. My manager
told me that I was “just a secretary” that completed one small
project and that didn't warrant a promotion. He was also having
trouble grasping why I even wanted to do anything other than get him
coffee. He told me since he started managing me a few months prior he barely gave me
any hard work like my previous manager and I should be grateful that I have an easy job.
I felt so betrayed, like my whole world was crashing down around
me. All I wanted was to be a Salesforce Administrator. I held in my
tears until I left his office. I made a bee line for the ladies
room, locked myself in a stall and just cried. After I had no more
tears to even cry, I came out of the stall, dried my eyes, washed my
face and made my way back to my desk. I sent my manager an email
that I wasn't feeling well and was going home.
When I arrived home, I decided to call one of my heroes from the
Salesforce User Group I mentioned in my previous blog to see what
they thought. I was so happy that he took my call. I explained to
him everything that happened with my manager and how betrayed I felt.
I will never forget what he told me. He said “Just because this
jerk said you're only a secretary doesn't mean you are. In my mind
if you completed that project on your own, you already are a
Salesforce Administrator. You should look for a new job.” I felt
so much better after speaking with him. I remember thinking that he
was right, I should look for a new job.
I decided at that very moment that I was going to fully build my
whole career on the Salesforce platform regardless of what anyone
told me. I knew what I wanted and I was going to go after it. I
won't lie, it wasn't easy. I had several “no's”, but I finally
did get my one “yes”. That one “yes” changed my life. I no
longer had a Secretary title. I was the company's Salesforce
Administrator with business cards and everything. I am forever
grateful for someone taking a chance on me.
If you're reading this and you're in a similar situation to where
I was or where my new friend currently is, I'm here to tell you that
I believe in you. You can do this and if you're doing things like I was doing in the Salesforce platform, you indeed are already a Salesforce Admin. I'm going to do my best to try and help you. I
want to see you get your “yes”.
I wasn't exactly sure until today how I was going to help the people reaching out to me. I decided today that I was going to share
more of my story, so I can help the community understand what it was
like for me as well as others in a secretarial type role that aren't
being mentored or compensated for their work, knowledge or skills. I'm
reaching out to the Salesforce Community with hopes of you helping me
help people that have a similar story to mine. If you or your
company are hiring for entry-level Salesforce Administrators please
send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll connect you to the people that have reached out to me.
Let's help these people get their “yes”.
Some people maybe reading this post wondering why I'm even trying to help these people reaching out to me. The Salesforce Community has given me so much over the past almost 10 years that I'm just trying to "pay it forward" a little bit. If I can give back 1/10th of what this community has given me through the years I will be a happy person.
I would also like to be clear that in no way am I looking for any
compensation, as I do have a full-time job. My compensation will be the first phone
call I get from someone that I helped that is able to quit their job
and live his/her dream of being a Salesforce Administrator.
As always, thank you for reading!