Kati is a mom of 3 from Atlanta, GA with a background in Sales & Marketing within the hospitality sector. Her husband told her to check out Salesforce and she gained her first cert via Trailhead. With a taste for Salesforce but the need for more hands on learning, she discovered Supermums during the Stronger Women Summit in June. This gave Kati the tools to reevaluate herself, her strengths and how just because she was a mom, she was still the same person, but now with more skills and experience to bring to the table in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Supermums courses taken or in progress:
- Consultancy Course
- Accelerate Coaching Skills course
How did you get into Salesforce / find out about the Supermums courses?
About 2-3 years ago, my husband, who is a SF SuperUser with his firm, suggested that I look at Salesforce as a way to upskill as I was looking to re-enter the workforce. I started by dabbling in Trailhead and quickly became addicted to the gamification of the learning. Having had a Sales and Mktg background in the hospitality industry, customer relationships were something that was ingrained in me early on. However, back when I entered the workforce out of college, CRM mainly involved a paper rolodex! I quickly realized the potential available with the modernization of CRM technologies. I loved the unlimited possibilities for improving sales and service processes. I achieved my SF Admin certification in Nov 2019 and began helping a company on a probono project to get hands on experience. I realized I loved the variety of project based work and playing a role in solving the puzzle of business requirements with Salesforce functionality. COVID hit and I used it as an opportunity to fine tune my learning relative to more project mgmt. and consultancy skills. I was interested in tackling the SC Consultancy Cert and Heather’s name and Supermums consistently showed up in all of my searches related to Salesforce training. I took the plunge in June and have never looked back! With the wealth of knowledge and support from the cohort, I passed my cert in August!
What were you doing before transitioning to a Salesforce career / starting a Supermums course?
I am what the job market calls a “re-launcher.” When my first daughter was born, I was working in a fairly new marketing role for a B2B consumer products company. However, my husband and I had always planned that I would stay home when we started our family. As they began to enter school, I was considering re-entering the job force however my father’s health began to decline, and I shifted my focus to caring for his needs for almost 5 years before he passed away in 2013. Six months later, I faced my own health issues when I received a cancer diagnosis. Fast forward and my children were entering high school by the time I shifted my focus to re-entering the workforce again.
That being said, I have never been one who was good at “being still.” I had been consistently involved with leadership roles and fundraising efforts within non-profits. Whether I was planning a health fair for the community or creating an after-school program and athletics program for my children’s school, my passion to serve kept my skills fresh, even outside of the paid job market.
How was the process of making that change / career pivot? Where there skills and knowledge that transferred particularly well? If you feel you can, include anything you found challenging and how you overcame it.
Again, as a “re-launcher”, workforce re-entry is no joke! It stirred up every fear and insecurity I possess. Imposter syndrome has been a huge hurdle. Likewise, even though I kept my skills current by learning Salesforce, I still had to navigate the world of LinkedIn and rekindle my networking skills. Thankfully, Supermums has not only been given me the practical consultancy skills and resources, they have also exposed me to priceless career coaching sessions. We tackled many of the issues related to imposter syndrome as well as fine tuning our LinkedIn profiles. All of this combined has begun to strengthen my confidence again and I have a newfound energy that I didn’t realize was missing for so long. Even my husband has commented that I was bubbling with a new energy!
Can you share a little about your experience of the course(s)? What was the best thing about it and what was the most challenging?
There are so many positives to the course. The cohort is phenomenal! Everyone is so friendly and sincere and resourceful and encouraging. It’s really epitomizes the Salesforce Ohana. And given the context of the consultancy course, it has also opened up great opportunities to network and collaborate with others in our course.
The only draw back has been the volume of content. It is all equally valuable however I have to stay disciplined to get through the various modules and complete the relevant assessments.
What do you think is great about the Supermums programme and why do you think people should do it?
Again, Supermums epitomizes the bigger SF Ohana. It is filled with support and resources and sharing and collaborating. There’s no competition for jobs or projects. Everyone is completely genuine and encouraging. We all share ideas and wins and brainstorm about challenges. I also love the diverse make-up of the group. There are men and women of all ages from ALL over the world! In a day and age when the world is facing the consequences of division in our communities, I whole heartedly believe the SF Ohana and partners like Supermums are helping to broaden perspectives and bridge the gap towards success and solutions.
Where do you work now?
I am currently working on some freelance work with another member of the cohort. I am still interviewing as well and have made great strides as of late through networking on Linked In and engaging in groups like iRelaunch. (update – Kati successfully landed a job as a Business Analyst at Liberty IT Solutions)
What does the business do?
I am looking to strengthen my experience in project based work with the SF platform. The options are limitless when it comes to SF! Given my previous background and natural mindset towards marketing I would love to learn more about and dive into Marketing Cloud and Pardot.
Do you work flexibility?
Currently, all of my project work is happening at home thanks to COVID.
What do you do in a typical day?
My typical day continues to include both networking and engaging in opportunities to learn. If I am working on projects, it could be anything from collaborating on proposals, researching solutions for business requirements, executing on solution recommendations and continuing to find ways to keep the project funnel active J.
What is the most challenging thing about your role?
Project based work requires you to balance many hats.
What is the best thing about your job?
I love that there is never a shortage of things to learn with Salesforce. At first, it would overwhelm me because I felt like every time I’d learn something new, I’d realize how much more I needed to learn. But now I’ve just embraced the process and try to learn a little something new each day but not expect myself to know everything.
To that point, marrying SF solutions with business needs gives me great satisfaction. I have always loved a good puzzle, especially when it results in brainstorming and working with others to uncover a solution.
What certification do you have and what are you working towards next?
I am 2 x certified with Salesforce Admin & Sales Cloud Consultancy. My goal long term is to look at either Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Pardot.
What are your top tips for studying for Salesforce certifications? (you can be specific to those you have taken if you like)
I love the resources on Focus on Force and Mike Wheeler.
However I am a very hands on learner. Therefore, I had to practice concepts in Trailhead Playgrounds to solidify concepts, especially because I was not actively working in a position using SF every day. I have notebooks from studying for both exams which are FILLED with notes! I typically started out watching Mike Wheelers trainings on Udemy, section by section. I would then look at the corresponding questions on Focus on Force and identify areas where I needed review. Then I would do the Trailheads relative to the topics. Superbadges were a great way to apply concepts to a real life scenario. I did not feel ready to take the actual exam until I was scoring @80% on the FonF tests.
What has been the biggest challenge in your Salesforce career so far?
I have often been heard saying there is an interesting dichotomy when pursuing SF work. It seems you have to have experience to get experience. It takes a lot of creativity and networking to get hands on experience. This is where Supermums can really ad value because the admin course provides that project-based experience. As do the assessments from the Consultancy course. My understanding is that the Marketing Cloud is even more valuable from that standpoint because you cannot access Marketing Cloud playgrounds to get hands on experience however the Supermums course gives you that opportunity.
Who is your favourite Trailhead Character?
I’ve always had a thing for Einstein…..but I also have a soft spot for Koa because I love my two own pups.
Who are the best people to follow on Twitter?
I know I should be more present on Twitter but I’m just finally getting the hang of things with LinkedIn
Are there any groups / networks you would recommend joining (online or in real life!)
- iRelaunch has fabulous resources for anyone re-entering the workforce.
- Salesforce for Everyone Facebook page is very active and supportive and engaging.
- Mike Wheelers Facebook page and podcast are insightful.
- I also have attended the BA Summit by Tony V Martin the past two years and have gotten tons of great information from her interviews.
Is there anything else you would really like to tell people who are considering a career in Salesforce?
When I started down this path, I thought the main opportunities were to be an Admin or Developer. However, Supermums has opened my eyes to so many different roles within the ecosystem. There is a place for all skill sets. Ultimately, plugging into the SF network via LI or Twitter is the best way to get your feet wet. Just dive in and don’t be afraid to ask questions. As I mentioned above, the Ohana is a special community.
Anything else about your experience that you think it is important / useful to share:
Salesforce is an excellent way for parents re-entering the workforce to upskill. Or for individuals who may have been affected by COVID to pivot and upskill. Again, there are SO many ways to specialize and apply it to various skillsets. However, I think my biggest piece of advice would be to not rely on online job sites to find jobs. Yes, they can be helpful but you have to really optimize your resume to trickle to the top of a pile and even then, you are one of many. I truly believe networking has always been and always will be the best way to find work. Job searching is an active process. It can be tiring and discouraging as well. But keeping talking to people, learning along the way, tap into career coaches and let SF be a way to find your purpose in the workforce.