Wed, 14 March 2018
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we have Erin Peterson, VP of Customer Experience at Mintigo and Salesforce User Group Leader in the Bay Area. We’ll hear her powerful story about mentorship and the community in the Salesforce ecosystem, which is how she’s gotten where she is today. It’s a bit of a break from Productivity month, but we think it’s worth the trip.
Join us as we talk about mentorship, the power of being voluntold to do things, and the importance of making your intentions clear.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Erin Peterson.
When you get voluntold.
“I was, like many, ‘voluntold’ that I was going to be working in Salesforce, and then voluntold that I was would be Admining, and later voluntold that I was going to run a User Group, which has been the most delightful journey,” Erin says. She came from a marketing background and was grateful for the help and support of consultants and colleagues over the years.
People fall into the Admin role a lot because “When you get hired for a position, and even when I hire, I feel really lucky if someone has 80% of the things that I’m looking for,” Erin explains, “and if they had 100% they probably wouldn’t want the job anyway.” She came from a marketing background but once she got started using Salesforce she wanted to learn more. “I don’t like sweets but I really love graphs, so I used to go Trick-or-Treating as a kid and then graph all my Halloween candy before I gave it to my parents.”
Hiring for the future.
“Salesforce is not just a platform, it’s a philosophy,” Erin says, “you build a philosophical perspective about what you want to accomplish and how you want it done, which shapes everything that you build.” When it comes to hiring, you’re not just hiring a set of skills, you’re hiring a person with their own set of passions and curiosities. When it comes to “voluntelling” someone to pick up some new skills and jump in, you need to recruit not only for baseline skills but also for cultural fit.
Erin ended up working with a Salesforce Admin consultant named Geraldine Gray, a founder of the Women in Tech User Groups and sometimes considered the godmother of the AppExchange (“which she’ll kill me for saying,” Erin says). She taught her a process that she uses now with her own team and with her clients, which is to not just do work for them but involve them in the journey. “I always ask them to help me understand what they’re doing— don’t just show me the work product but help me understand how you built the report.”
The voluntoldee becomes the volunteller.
Geraldine started to send more and more opportunities Erin’s way: “I feel like I’ve been given so much opportunity and so many gifts, it’s just overwhelming sometimes, and if I can pay that forward that’s the best way that I can thank the people that helped me.” Erin’s now an AppExchange All-Star and runs a User Group. She tries to get around and do all the things, “but anytime that I can’t I always try to find somebody else that has that same level of desire and hunger not just to do the work but to pay it back and pay it forward,” so she’s ended up doing some voluntelling of her own.
“There’s something really unique about the Salesforce ecosystem, which is this utter commitment to giving it back, utterly holistically, from individuals in a User Group to the Ohana Floor at the Salesforce Tower,” Erin says. It’s important to remember that there are so many ways to learn and grow in this work, so we need to get over our anxiety and reach out. As Erin puts it, “It’s not asking a favor, it’s giving someone an opportunity.”
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