Amy mentions the key trends other trailblazers should watch out for in 2022, highlights the importance of the community in increasing diversity and inclusion in the industry, and offers her advice to others who are aspiring to become an MVP.
You can watch the full video at the link below!
Salesforce Republic (SR): To start, could you talk us through what inspired you to pursue a career in Salesforce?
Amy Oplinger Singh (AOS): My start in Salesforce was like a lot of other people in the ecosystem, in that it was quite by accident. I had worked in sales for many years and as such, used many different CRMs. When I was working at a company that used Salesforce, I really loved it and thought that it was an amazing piece of software. Then when I went to work for a different company that didn’t have Salesforce, I realised what I was missing, and convinced my manager to look into it. As the only person at the company who had used Salesforce before, I was asked to help the implementation consultant. Initially I thought ‘what did you just agree to, you’re not technical.’ But luckily for me, it worked out and I really loved it. This was back before Trailhead existed, so I learned on the force.com workbook, which was very famous back then.
Fast forward, and I put my resume online which a recruiter saw and because of the lack of talent in my area at the time, I got picked to do a training project at a big company in Cleveland and trained 200 AEs on how to use Salesforce. So that was my leap into the ecosystem, and I haven’t looked back since.
SR: How has the Salesforce world changed during your time in it? Do you have any advice for others in the ecosystem on how to keep up with evolving trends?
AOS: The Salesforce world has changed immensely. I think one of the biggest changes is the number of trailblazers now looking for jobs, which is a good thing because the market is very hot. More people now about Salesforce and are considering it as a career option. People who discovered this ecosystem by accident are spreading the word. Salesforce is spreading the word. And of course, Trailhead democratizes all that learning for everyone, giving people free tools to get trained on the system when they don’t know it.
But using that also as a piece of advice. One misconception I am noticing is people thinking once they have Ranger status and maybe their first certification that they will immediately then get a job. Which might not be the case. The barrier to entry is a little tighter I think, than when I started, the competition is tight. You know the jobs are there, you just have to network and maybe exercise a little bit of patience.
SR: Are there any trends that you think people should watch out for from Salesforce in 2022?
AOS: Dreamforce made it perfectly clear that Slack is the place to be. If you don’t know Slack, you should get on board. I think this would be an excellent skillset to go after and curate, especially for the new people coming into the ecosystem, because this is a new venture for Salesforce.
The second trend to watch out for would be Flow. Salesforce are moving away from Process Builder and Workflow rules, so you need to know Flow. Not just how to use Flow and create your own flows, but to really understand the best situation for it because it’s not the answer for everything. There are still some situations where Apex would be more appropriate but putting your learning cap on and understanding Slack a little bit better, how it goes with Salesforce and then Flow as well.
To learn more about both, I would definitely start with Trailhead. Alongside that, I would personally recommend going through and watching the Dreamforce sessions on Salesforce+ to make sure you understand what their goals are, what the roadmap is, and then connecting with those product owners via the Trailblazer community or Twitter.
SR: As a Salesforce MVP alumna, what do you think are the key things that have helped you to achieve this? In your opinion, does the title come with any added responsibility?
AOS: This is probably the most asked question anybody that’s ever been an MVP gets, and I’m going to tell you, I have no idea. The parameters and how MVP is chosen is not something that I can tell you; ‘do ABC and you’ll get MVP.’ What I do tell people is not to make becoming an MVP your end goal.
One of the most beautiful parts of this ecosystem is that you can make your own path, and that’s exactly what I did, and that’s exactly what I encourage everybody to do. Be authentic to yourself. Do things that make you happy, that fill your cup, and the accolades will come. There is no difference in my career from before becoming MVP to after being an MVP, because my career is what I make it.
SR: Do you have any advice for others who are looking to become an MVP?
AOS: Have the best career you can; that’s the real MVP title in my opinion. You’re in a career that is going to change your life. It changed my life, I’m from a small town in Ohio and I’ve visited countries and made friends all around the world. It’s an amazing thing to just relish in this career.
Don’t get yourself burnout because it can be very overwhelming and easy to do. Just make the most of it. Don’t let those three little letters stop you from living your best life. I know that sounds like a cliche, but you really can.
SR: You have also co-led/organized multiple groups and events around women in Salesforce, how important do you think the community is to increasing diversity and inclusion?
AOS: Whilst Salesforce is doing a good job around this, there is still a lot of work to be done and the community is a part of that. There are a great many people who have made this their jobs, literally their passion. As I mentioned previously, you have a lot of opportunities in this ecosystem, if your passion is diversity and inclusion, there is a huge bunch of trailblazers that you can connect with.
SR: Finally, what are your top tips to other women navigating a career in the ecosystem?
AOS: Get connected to women you look up to, that’s what I did when I entered the ecosystem and it’s been the women over the years who have been my support system.
Just connect, connect, connect, and build your network because these women are going to be not only your mentors, but your sponsors along the way, helping you to improve and get to that next level.
If you’re a Salesforce professional and would like to join Amy in our Q&A series, please get in touch with us today!