The Purposeful Admin

Hi, my name is Lindsey Fivecoat, and I love Salesforce! As my dear friend Martin told me, how to succeed in Salesforce Fivecoat style: fall in love with Salesforce, never stop learning, and become a Salesforce swag hag (truth).  I’m not going to tell you an accidental admin story, I will explain to you how I purposefully chose to dive into the platform and find my way to professional happiness at a level I didn’t know was possible.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a professional singer. Instead, I graduated from The University of Texas with a Liberal Arts degree, a 4.0 GPA, and not a single clue what I wanted to do with my life. I’ll be honest, I floundered for a little while.

I first met my friend Ezra Kenigsberg 6 years ago, and that was the first time I was introduced to Salesforce. Ezra is a brilliant Salesforce architect, and when I met him, I had no idea what Salesforce or an architect was outside of building things in the physical world. We just happened to live in the same apartment building briefly, but he spoke so passionately about the platform that it really stuck with me. I didn’t see Ezra for nearly a year, but then 5 years ago, I was very fortunate to be hired on in an HR & Recruiting role at a tech company called Bazaarvoice. I walked in on my first week, and who did appear, but Ezra. I did not have the confidence at that time to even fathom that I could consider a career in the technical space.

I continued to grow in my career at Bazaarvoice, being promoted to team lead and then manager, but something was missing. I started to notice that I was happiest when I was working on technical projects: helping with large Workday HRIS projects to overhaul our onboarding and automate manual payroll practices. I came back to Salesforce. I used it as an end user, and something finally clicked that maybe I could give this Salesforce Admin thing a go.

In early 2016, I started researching how I could grasp this mystical cloud creature they call Salesforce. I stumbled upon Mike Wheeler’s courses on Udemy and I was off. I was able to go at my own pace in the evening while my then 5-year-old daughter was sleeping. Later that year, a Salesforce position opened up at Bazaarvoice, and I was determined to make the switch. I interviewed against Admins with actual on-the-job experience, but I got the job, and I felt like I had won the lottery. There was not a chance I wasn’t going to make the most of this opportunity.

I really did hit the lottery it turned out because I was given the opportunity to work with the most generous and technically savvy guys on this planet. It was intimidating at first, because each one of them had years of technical experience, and my little imposter syndrome voice was telling me, “are you sure you can do this?”. Finally, I said to her, “who asked you?”, and I just kept working away and striving to do more and know more each day. To this day, every time I understand a concept about Salesforce that seemed insurmountable just a moment before, I feel a sense of pride in myself and adoration in the platform. Even though most of us have moved onto other companies now, my teammates and I still have our own Slack Workspace where we communicate daily and have a free forum to communicate about any Salesforce questions. I truly feel blessed to call each one of them a mentor and a friend (you know who you are!).

I started this blog because I want to give back to my Ohana that has been so generous to me. If you are just starting on the platform, be patient with yourself and just do a little something each day, even if it is just 10 minutes. Consistency is the key here. You are not going to learn all of Salesforce in one day. To quote my dear Ezra, “There is no such thing as a Salesforce expert”. You could see this as intimating, but I find it exhilarating. That means I get to learn something new each day, and it turns out that was what was missing from my life, that continual sense of learning and evolving. So go get yourself a Trailhead Badge: earn one trailhead badge at a time and suddenly you’re a Ranger. #ProudSFDCRanger

A little note about this photo below. This was my first Dreamforce in 2016. My wonderful friends I mentioned above dared me to go pinch Astro’s tush, and yes, I totally did. I realize this is a ridiculous photo, but it makes me incredibly happy, so that’s why I chose to feature it. Live long and Salesforce! ~ Lindsey

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”  — Sheryl Sandberg

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