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Plan for Success: 9 Tips to Progress Your Career

Lindsay Bernard

October 09, 2020

Itching for your next challenge? To help you transform your career, we’re bringing you the top tips from our Salesforce team. 


1. Start Prepping for Your Next Role Early

What did you do today to prepare for the role you want in five years? Seize the day! It’s never too early to start preparing. Elise Marquart, Manager for M&A Integration, says, Don't wait until you want or are ready for a job change or promotion. Anticipate six months of planning to reach your next career goal.” Start thinking about the steps you can take to move towards your next role. 


2. Remain Laser-Focused on Your Interests

Submit 99 applications and didn’t land one job? Pay close attention to what you like — and don’t — and pursue only the opportunities that align with those interests. Rather than casting a wide net, remain focused on the possibilities that you’re most passionate about and align with your skills. Be open to opportunities that leverage your strengths in new and unique ways.


3. Be Proactive in Building Your Network

We all want to work with the best and the brightest. Tap into the brilliant minds around you. “Building my network prior to applying helped me to really understand what my next role entailed and the day-to-day I would be experiencing,” commented Nancy Pham, who is a sourcing recruiter based in Chicago. Reach out to your connections to learn more before you apply. Do your research and identify what you can bring to the table to help each person you interact with. 


4. Find Mentors

While networking, consider how you can assemble your personal dream team. According to TED, you need five mentors to bring out your best self. People are willing to help! “Everyone should have a personal board of directors,” advocates Julianne Tajuba, a manager in solution engineering. “People who offer you perspective on how you run your life. My board recognized things about me that I overlooked, and pushed me beyond my comfort zone. They helped me channel frustrations with being stagnant in my career into moving myself forward.” As a reminder: Remember, in the virtual world we are living in, don't limit yourself to advisers near you geographically. 


5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Camerin Thompson, Product Marketing Senior Representative, doesn’t regret getting uncomfortable for a second. “You won't know what a potential career path looks like until you've explored and learned about multiple parts of the business. And even though it may be hard, put yourself out there! Employees at Salesforce really appreciate someone who makes the effort to learn and feed their curiosities. At a company that prioritizes innovation, find the place where you know you can make the biggest impact!”


Recruiting Manager Melanie Quandt’s experience is reassuring too. “It's not easy to get out of your comfort zone... but the reward of being able to grow both personally and professionally leads to the best work and best life you can live. Dream big and stay hungry to learn and evolve your experience.” 


6. Volunteer for Stretch Assignments

Want to dip your toes in the water before diving into a new role? In Vice President of Workplace Services, Elaine Schultz's, experience, stretch assignments give you an authentic taste of a new role and showcase your skill set to others. Raise your hand for a new project or volunteer to help with something that may be less familiar to you. Volunteering for an assignment could be through a non-profit, at a college/university, educational institute, or with your current employer. You never know where it might lead! A benefit we offer all Salesforce employees is seven paid days of volunteer time off (VTO) per year – and this starts on day one, when we bring new hires out into their communities to give back. 


7. Learn to Pivot

If you find yourself wondering what life could look life if you'd taken a different career path, then don't daydream — pivot! When Lexis Hanson, Software Engineer wanted to pivot her career, she asked a software engineering manager about shadowing opportunities. “He offered to let me work with his team a couple days a week!” she said. If you are looking to make a career switch, the resume won't always tell the full story. Try reworking an application to showcase your training, special projects, and participation in industry organizations. 


8. Build Your Personal Brand

What is a personal brand? Salesforce Director of Enablement Programs Paul Wilhoit describes a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not there.” In a world where communication is increasingly digital, how you show up virtually is critical in forming a positive impression. Take the time to polish your personal brand and professional social channels. 


9. Keep Learning with Trailhead

If the role you want requires you to skill up, then hop on Trailhead. Trailhead is an on-demand educational tool that provides an equal pathway into the tech industry for everyone. Learn the skills you need to transform your career or re-skill at your company, earn globally-recognized credentials, and connect with the vibrant trailblazer community around the world. There are so many tools and resources available. Don’t talk yourself out of a role. You won’t know until you try!


Ready to make your move? Find your next role at Salesforce. Join our talent network to learn more about job openings and the latest company news.

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