Advice for the Accidental Admin

Many Salesforce Administrators start out in a different role at their organization. Then, when the company chooses to adopt Salesforce, they end up becoming the de facto Admin.

People in analyst roles looking to leverage the data within the platform, or various administrative positions who spearhead a variety of initiatives can all get called on to do this job, as their skill sets and interests align with that of the platform. In some cases, even salespeople even become super users so they naturally transition to be the Administrator for their team.

While learning by doing can be one of the best ways to ramp into a new position, the role as a company’s Salesforce Admin changes all the time, so it is important that all the #accidentaladmin’s seek out training and development to make them successful in the role!

Here are a few tips you can use to go from accidental to Awesome Admin. . .

Explore Self-Learning Tools

Salesforce has a massive community surrounding it with plenty of self-learning tools. One of the best starting points is Salesforce’s online, gamified learning platform, Trailhead. This guided learning platform gives you resources straight from Salesforce itself. You can go through an Administrator track, create your own learning path or explore other areas of interest to earn badges, and become knowledgeable in all things Salesforce including the soft skills that are used as an Admin.

Along with Trailhead, Salesforce released Trailmixes in August of last year. Similar to creating your own playlist, Trailmixes allow you to build custom learning paths from your favorite Trailhead trails, modules, projects, and superbadges. Not only can you create your own but you can utilize the different mixes created by other “Trailblazers” in the community, and it can help you network with like-minded individuals in your field.

Get Your Certifications

In addition to earning badges with Trailheads, go for the official certification!  There is a lot of preparation and studying involved to ensure you pass the exam, but there are so many resources within the Salesforce community that you can utilize.

Taking the time to go through the certification process can be super important so you can act as an authority figure on the platform, especially for newer or Accidental Admins. You may even find that being a full Salesforce Administrator is a career path that really meets your needs.

Don’t be afraid to get your company onboard and see if they will even cover the cost of the exam as an investment in your role and the success of your team’s Salesforce platform.

Head to Dreamforce

Do you have an easier time learning in a conference setting? Dreamforce is Salesforce’s premier event for everyone in the ecosystem. The bulk of this annual convention includes workshops and sessions specifically for Salesforce professionals – to increase learning, demo new products and releases, and hear from like-minded individuals in similar situations.

Ask your company to sponsor you to go and even seek out other people within your organization who you want to go as well. It can be super powerful to bring executives from your company to get them onboard to adopt new Salesforce technologies and to gain better visibility in the work you do every day.

You can also get in touch with your Salesforce AE while you are there to discuss the direction of your instance and get advice on what sessions to attend.  

The key to attending Dreamforce is to start planning your trip early and really hone in on where you want to spend your time while you are in San Francisco to take the most away from the conference.

Be Active in your Salesforce Community

Learning from your peers is another way that you can strengthen your Salesforce skills and expand them. So, if you are not already, be sure to join the Salesforce Trailblazer Community. This online community acts as a forum to increase collaboration amongst users, and also inspire those going through similar challenges and changes in their organization.

The Salesforce ecosystem has also created regional User Groups for local Salesforce professionals to meet in person to discuss hot topics. User groups allow you to learn, share ideas, and network with others in your field as well as your local MVP’s. There are hundreds of groups around the world, including several different types such as General Knowledge, Developer, Product, Nonprofit, and Women in Tech.

Many areas even have local meetup groups for Salesforce users. In some cases, you may be the person with the most Salesforce experience in the room. You can help others by teaching them more about the software and translate that into training modules for your team.

Be sure to take advantage of these events and forums not only to expand your own network but to ask a lot of questions. You can discover many tips and tricks that you’d otherwise only find through lengthy trial and error.

Leverage Your Responsibility

Keep an eye out for areas where you can take more responsibility on the team. Being the #accidentaladmin puts you in a position where you can be a decision maker in critical parts of projects and initiatives. Take advantage of your position, as you grow to become the subject matter expert and your role will inherently become more strategic for the company.

Use your knowledge to optimize processes for the team to improve efficiency.

You may not have chosen the Salesforce Admin life, but it chose you.

Spend some time exploring these skills, learning more about what you can do as an #accidentaladmin, and begin your journey in this new role.

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