Administrative Support to Salesforce.com Administration

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Welcome to my first post introducing the Admin to Admin Academy series! It is dedicated to people interested in making the move from an administrative support role to a Salesforce.com Administrator.

As administrative support staff, we are constantly asked to wear many hats. It is in our job description to figure out the impossible and make it easy for others to understand. We are the detective and the teacher. The beauty of this type of role is that we are used to making things stick for our team, holding the pieces together and ensuring the show goes on. The traits that are found in people that are good at this type of work lend themselves to salesforce.com administration perfectly, this is why so many administrative professionals end up being the default salesforce.com admin, whether or not they have any prior experience in the role.

My Background: 

In 2006 I was an administrative assistant trying to figure out how to use MS Dynamics as a legal document creation tool. In 2010 I was an executive assistant working to roll out a brand new instance of Salesforce.com (which I had never used before!) to an entire business development team on my own, without consultants! In 2012 I was a global coordinator spending every extra second I had in my day to figure out how to leverage salesforce.com to create more efficiencies for the global team.

Now I work on a team of three and we work full time on implementing SFDC projects every single day! I am also dedicated to documenting my experiences in an effort to try and help other admins that are interested in bringing their career to a new level.

Getting started tips

First, read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. This book changed my life, and millions of other readers have said the same thing. I re-read this book every year and get more from it each time I read it.  Here is a pdf summary I found online, it is a good overview of what you will get out of the book!

Next, check out these resource options that are available to help you step up your salesforce.com skills, whether you are already certified or not these resources are fantastic.

  • The Admin Hero blog by Brent Downey! This is the best place to go to get some great experience and guidance when you are just getting started. His “Zero to Hero” series is dedicated to professionals looking to be an awesome salesforce.com admin and his style is easy to follow and very fun!
  • This specific lesson in the Zero to Hero series will walk you through creating your own free developer account and then using it to carry out the activities in the post. This is real hands on experience!
  • Get started with Trailhead! These free tutorials provided by salesforce.com walk you through how to customize and administrate the system, all you need is a free developer org to get started (and you earn points when you pass a module!!) 
  • Check out these great affordable courses at Udemy.com!
  • Finally, Rakesh Gupta (a Salesforce MVP) offers live training if you are interested in this route, check out his website for details.

Up next on Admin to Admin: A shift in perspective

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle