As we begin a new year full of resolutions and desires for personal and professional improvement, I thought it fitting to start a new series. In this 5-part series titled “Becoming a Well Rounded Admin”, we will cover topics which are key for any Administrator looking to grow in their knowledge of Salesforce, and become more effective in their workplace. The topics are based on my own learning experience, and what I have found beneficial to my own personal growth. I hope that you enjoy reading the series as much as I have enjoyed writing it!
Becoming a Well Rounded Admin: Part 1 – Volunteering
Volunteering. What comes to mind when you hear that word? I bet that most of you didn’t think “Salesforce!” There are thousands of non-profits who are leveraging the power and flexibility of Salesforce to run their organizations. But in some cases, these organizations need a little bit of help from the outside to implement, perpetuate or refine their org. Volunteering with a non-profit can open up a whole new world of opportunity and learning which can’t always be found in your normal 9-to-5 job.
Here are 6 reasons why you should consider volunteering.
1. Expand Your Network
Everyone is trying to grow their professional network and volunteering is a great way to do this. Meeting and working with new people outside of your organization opens the opportunity for building relationships which is hard to do via LinkedIn or a large event such as Dreamforce. Networks become more effective when you know the individuals personally and can cultivate the relationship.
2. Use Your Skills
Volunteering is a great way to utilize the Salesforce skills you have learned through self-training or certification. Venturing into another org helps to solidify your knowledge of the platform by challenging your perspective. Jumping into another org, especially a mature one, is like having cold water thrown in your face. It is refreshing and will keep you on your toes. Depending on the organization, you might be able to use skills and knowledge learned through your college degree program. Most Administrators I have talked to didn’t go to college to become an Admin. Volunteering could provide an opportunity to use the skills and knowledge gained through your college education. Hopefully that will make you feel better about paying those college loans!
3. Learn Something New
Continuous learning is really important and is one of the pillars discussed in the famous 7 Habits of a Highly Successful Admin session at Dreamforce. The requirements and customization needs of another company may force you to learn about features of the platform that you haven’t had to use before. Growing in your knowledge of the platform will only reap dividends in your career. Thankfully, there is not a limit to the amount of knowledge you can consume. However, unless you are a real self-starter, sometimes you need a little kick to get your learning engines started. Volunteering is a great way to do that.
4. Build Your Resume
Never underestimate the power that volunteering can have on your resume. Volunteer experience can give you a leg-up on the competition when searching for a new career. In the New York Times article Volunteering Rises on the Resume, LinkedIn explains that the new Volunteer section of the profile was one of the most requested features! People and businesses are seeing the value and importance of volunteering. Building your resume shouldn’t be the only reason to volunteer, but it is a great fringe benefit.
5. Salesforce Does It
Those who have been around Salesforce long enough know that Salesforce operates under the 1/1/1 model where the company volunteers 1% of their time, donates 1% of their income and 1% of their resources to the community. This is all done through the 501(c)(3) Salesforce Foundation. If you have ever attended Dreamforce, you know that volunteering and giving back to the community is a key part of the Salesforce culture. As a member of the Salesforce community, we should see ourselves as an extension of Salesforce and help to fulfill the 1/1/1 mission in our local communities.
6. To Give Back
Non-profit organizations do so much good for our communities; from keeping kids off the streets and encouraging their academic success, to caring for abused and neglected animals, to feeding and housing the homeless and everything in between. Volunteering is a great way to thank a non-profit for the work that they do. Plus, getting involved isn’t only beneficial to you, but to your community as a whole.
So, how can you get started?
Start by looking at online volunteer boards. The Community Corps* and VolunteerMatch are two fantastic websites for discovering volunteer opportunities in your area, or virtually. Volunteering will truly make you a well-rounded administrator, and you will feel good doing!
Do you currently volunteer your Salesforce skills? Share your experience; leave a comment!
Related posts in this series:
Becoming a Well Rounded Admin: Part 2 – Certification
Becoming a Well Rounded Admin: Part 3 – Expanding Your Role
*Special thanks to reader Ramesh Kali for recommending this website!