Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we check in with Cheryl Feldman, Assistant Vice President at Alliance Global Investors, MVP, User Group Leader, and “master connector of great people” (according to her Twitter). We simply can’t do a series about Innovation and Careers without talking to Cheryl.

Join us as we talk about the power of mentorship, why finding the right mentor is a lot like dating, and how you can build a career from concentrating on just getting from point A to point B, for now.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Cheryl Feldman.

Why finding a mentor is like dating.

“Mentorship, at a high level, is when you find someone who believes what you believe and understands what you want and what your goals are and is going to try to help you come up with a plan to achieve those goals,” Cheryl says. Over her career, she’s mentored a lot of people and been mentored as well, and that experience has made her realize that it’s a two-way street. “I learn just as much about myself when I mentor other people,” she says, “no matter how junior you are, everybody has something of value and something they can add.”

Cheryl’s first experience was approaching the Salesforce Product Owner at her company, who she admired, to essentially ask: how can I be you? While they tried to help, they essentially said that the certifications and background necessary made that dream impossible. “It quickly made me realize that I needed to find a mentor who believed in me as much as I believed in myself,” she says, “and it’s OK if you find someone and have a mentorship session where you realize that it’s not a great match.” It’s a time commitment on both sides, so treat it like dating and make sure that you’ll be willing to put in the work.

Sometimes you have to change the way the world works.

You’re not always going to have the qualifications that someone is looking for, in fact, Cheryl doesn’t have a college degree, but that’s why “learning how to sell yourself and sell your ideas is really important,” especially when you have other experiences or another perspective that they might not realize is applicable. “That first mentor I had told that this is just the way works, but one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to change the world and change the way the world works.”

For Cheryl, forging her own path means that she’s paving the way for others to follow. “I feel really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish because now, someone else out there who maybe is starting out in their Salesforce Admin career, who sees somebody who’s a Product Owner but maybe doesn’t have a traditional background in technology, can say, ‘You know what, Cheryl did it so I can do it too.’”

Focus on getting from point A to point B.

We probably all want a chance to get mentored by Cheryl but, if you’re not one of the lucky few, we got her to give us her advice on what it takes to build a career in Salesforce. “You have to define what a career in Salesforce means to you. Think of it like managing a project, you want to go from point A to point B, so what is point B? What does that look like for you?” You’re not going to be able to succeed if you don’t know what success looks like because it’s different for everyone.

“Everybody’s career path is different, I really like working in large-enterprise financial services but not everybody likes that, not everybody wants to be a Product Owner. There’s so many different jobs or roles or industries you can work in doing something with Salesforce,” Cheryl says, “so you need to understand what you want out of your career at this point in time while understanding that that’s going to change.”

Building the right career for you.

“When I start mentoring someone we talk about what their point B is for now, and we talk about what it will take to get there and put achievable timelines around those things,” Cheryl says, “and my job as a mentor is to hold them to those timelines and hold them to those things that they have agreed they are going to do for themselves for their career.”

“People really aren’t sure what they want to do in the ecosystem,” Cheryl says, “so what we talk about is what do you really like doing?” If you like spending time with your headphones writing formulas and flows and loading data, that’s a very different career path than a manager personality where you’re helping people get things done. “I would say to try different things,” she says, “because I had people convince me about five or six years into my career that I should be developer but I’m a terrible developer.” You have to know what you like and understand that your career path is going to take off based on what you actually want to do.


  • Career Development Planning module on Trailhead -


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Direct download: Interview__The_Ripple_Effect_with_Cheryl_Feldman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:58pm PDT