Thu, 16 June 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to David Nava, Lead Solution Engineer at Salesforce, Host of Military Trailblazer Office Hours, and 20-year Navy veteran.
Join us as we talk about what to do after you pass the Admin cert, how to decide what role in the Salesforce ecosystem is right for you, and how David used the apps he built for his personal life to make an impact at a job interview.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with David Nava.
How David transitioned from the Navy to a Salesforce career
When last we spoke to David, he was wrapping up his career with the Navy with an eye toward transitioning into a role in the Salesforce ecosystem. On the day that he retired, he jumped right into his new career feet-first as a Junior Solution Architect at a consultancy on one of their largest projects to date.
David was recruited by Salesforce, but the story doesn’t quite go like you think it might. They turned him down at the end of the process, citing his lack of experience. However, they offered him a different role as a Solution Consultant after he pulled out his org during the interview and showed them the apps he had been creating. Most of all, they were impressed by his passion for the platform and were willing to give him a shot.
“Building apps in a dev org helps you focus on all the fundamentals,” David says, “but it also helps you really apply what you’re learning in Trailhead to specific business challenges.” He built apps to manage his workouts, track his finances from the road, and manage his tasks. He built them and rebuilt them to make something he liked, and they really made an impact when he showed them off in the interview.
Paying it forward
8 months later he was recruited internally for his current role, as a Lead Solution Engineer to replace legacy systems for the Navy and Marine Corps. He’s now in a position where he can draw on his years of experience as an officer and replace all the systems he didn’t like using.
David’s always been serious about mentorship, and now he’s in a place where he can give back. He teamed up with Bill Kuehler and Resource Hero to be a part of Military Trailblazer Office Hours focused on career and branding. Since then, he’s helped almost 2,000 people earn certifications, choose career paths, and get hired with his live sessions and YouTube videos.
How to test-drive career paths
So once you get your Admin certification, now what? David advises several people in exactly this position. He recommends you start by “test driving” the career path options by conducting informational interviews with professionals in those roles. “You need to learn about the role’s requirements, responsibilities, challenges, and joys so that you get a sense for what it’s like to work in that role,” he says.
David’s also a big fan of the Salesforce Admins Skills Kit. It gives you a framework for how to think about your skills beyond just the technical aspects. “You can apply your different work experience in the context of these skills to demonstrate its relevance to the Salesforce Admin role,” he says.
Be sure to listen to the full episode for all of David’s great insights, and especially make sure to catch his five tips to help people transition into a new Salesforce career.
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