Day in the Life: Zainab, from career break to Salesforce Admin

After taking a 5 year career break, Zainab was ready to get back to the grind. She is now 2 x certified with her eyes on her 3rd. Who said you can't be a mum and have it all?

By Jennifer Wood

October 27, 2020


  • Course: Salesforce Admin Course
  • Region: EMEA
  • Sector: Information Technology
  • Job Title: Salesforce Admin and QA
  • Works: Lightful
  • Lives: Harrow, England, United Kingdom

Zainab is a mum of two and after taking a 5 year career break to start and raise her family, she was ready to get back to the grind. After finding Supermums on Facebook, she decided to take the plunge and take her knowledge and career to the next level with Salesforce. Zainab in now 2 x certified with her eyes on her 3rd. Who said you can’t be a mum and have it all? 

How did you get into Salesforce / find out about the Supermums courses?
My husband is a Salesforce Consultant and Developer and he first introduced me to Salesforce and Trailhead. I actually learnt about Supermums through Facebook and had my first call with Abigail and Vicki to know more about the course.

What were you doing before transitioning to a Salesforce career / starting a Supermums course?
I’m a Computer Science Graduate and worked in IT as an End User Computing Engineer for US based clients for 4 years . When we started a family, I took time off and after 5 years out of the workplace, it was time to kickstart it again. 

How was the process of making that change?
It was overwhelming at the start as I had a 4 year old, a house to run and switching on to learning again was a challenge. I started with the Supermums Admin course and with every week, the more webinars I attended, it got better everyday as my knowledge was growing. When I visited Trailblazer Community groups in Barcelona and won a voucher for presenting use case scenario, this really gave my confidence a boost.

Can you share a little about your experience of the course?
The best thing was our weekly webinars with Vicki and sharing ideas with the cohort group. My cohort had a Whatsapp group of mums where we used to motivate each other everyday and that is how we managed to do our certifications and Trailhead superbadges. Not forgetting that I won my Supermums Hoodie when I reached Ranger status!

The most challenging part was the weekly homework and also the work experience project where we learnt those small things which are so useful but you only gain knowledge off though working on projects.

What was it like having a mentor?
My mentor was Samuel and we had weekly catchups on zoom or would discuss things on email if we weren’t able to catchup. He was so helpful and I found learning through my mistakes and small errors, having a mentor helped with these. It really made such a difference!

Please share share a little about the work experience element of the course.
Although it was a short project with a non profit there was still lots to learn.

The Admin course is not only about technical things, it is also about Agile Methodology, Business Analysis, User Requirements etc and you get to implement all of this in the work experience project.

I worked with my project manager, Debbie, for a brain injury day care centre in Swindon and we developed the whole Salesforce org from scratch.

We would gather the client requirements, have weekly calls to discuss what needed to be implemented or check on the progress, building an app, adding fields & relationships, details of medication, client care information, long term and short term goals, flows, Daily Attendance and goals processes, permission sets and sharing rules, reports & dashboards and User training for Users and System Admins.

What do you think is great about Supermums and why should people do the programme?
Supermums itself is a brand name know and knowing that Heather had got it so far while juggling kids and family made me think that nothing in this world is impossible……..especially if you have chosen a career in Salesforce!

Where do you work now?
I work at Lightful, which I based in London, as a Salesforce Admin and QA. I currently work full time from home.

Lightful’s digital products and services are designed for charities and nonprofits to simplify their work and amplify their impact. It’s the #1 social media tool for charities.

What do you do in a typical day?
I always start my day with some stretching exercises, a war bath followed by hot water and lemon and breakfast with the family.

My work usually starts with standup calls for the different projects that I am working on and the I try finish at 5.30pm so I can have dinner, family time, do some housework or our new love during lockdown has been gardening with the children. I try to watch a Netflix series once they are in bed but anyone with kids knows that doesn’t always happen!

What is the most challenging thing about your role?
Working for different projects as I get to learn new Salesforce functionalities. Development and testing on the user stories are both fun and challenging, and once you are able to do those successfully, you feel like a superstar.

What is the best thing about your job?
As it is not a very big company, its great that the whole team can get together on a Tuesday for our meeting and we also have showcase events on Fridays with lottery wheel and presenting new features built for the clients.

Even though it did not seem possible, our HR department manage to organise a summer garden party via zoom with fun and games. We have all learnt to cook together and have story times for the kids.

What certification do you have and what are you working towards next?
I did my Admin certification during the Supermums course and completed my Platform app builder cert last month which was an online proctored exam.

Currently I’m working towards giving my Community Cloud Consultant cert and it will make more sense as I have done quite a lot dev and testing on Salesforce communities.

What are your top tips for studying for Salesforce certifications?

  • Complete all your trailheads related to what you are preparing for.
  • Do exam prep sessions where you also get vouchers which you use for discount off your cert.
  • You can also sign up to Focus on Force to do practice exam questions and exams. 

Who are the best people to follow on Twitter?
Follow MVPs like David Liu,
Follow Supermums and Heather Black
Follow Gemma_e

Are there any groups / networks you would recommend joining?
Join WIT groups, Trailblazer community groups in your location, RAD women group, signup for the Trailblazer mentorship programme if you are looking for a mentor or searching for a role in Salesforce.

Is there anything else you would really like to tell people who are considering a career in Salesforce?
You would have your learning curve ,like at one point you feel you have started achieving things and other moment you will feel ,you would never overcome it ,my advise would be ,do not give up , if you don´t feel like doing a certain trailhead badge ,do something else ,watch some salesforce videos or new releases,come back to that particular badge where you were stuck and try to do it again,get help from trailhead and other salesforce group.

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Written By:

Jennifer Wood
Jennifer's role is to look after global marketing, PR, events and all things social media. She also look's after the Supermums Brand Ambassadors to help grow and share the love of Supermums.
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