I did a thing: Becoming a Salesforce Admin Story

This is kind of awkward for me, which is weird because I’ve acted and spoken publicly, and I don’t get really bad stage fright. This feels different, though.

I did an #AwesomeAdmin video. I was truly honored/humbled to be asked in the first place because, seriously, what do I have to tell people that better smarter other folks in the community can’t say better? But then if I can help someone find their way to a great career or something, then I should do it. (Right, Spiderman?!)


One of the questions they asked me was how I became a Salesforce Admin…and why. I gave an answer that was suitable for a short video. There’s more to it, though, and since I’m way better at writing than speaking out loud, I figured I’d take this opportunity to share that story.

Skipping ahead a bit because I’m not about to sit here and write out all of the random things I’ve done to make money before. So many things. None of them illegal, just to be clear.

I first got a job at Lean in 2013. It was a big deal. I had been working at Geek Squad, which meant some weekends and nights and a bit of a drive. Lean was Monday to Friday, 9-5, and 3 miles down the road.

I started as a Logistics Coordinator, managing inbound freight for one of our clients. It was good work, sometimes stressful (Snowmageddon, I’m looking at you). But as might be evident, I was also doing other stuff in the company because I can’t keep well enough alone. More specifically, I was working with the HR team on an Emergency Response Plan because I had experience with that sort of thing (see unlisted list of jobs I’ve done).

In that work, I was told that there was a data analyst spot opening in Marketing – was it something I’d be interested in? Uh, well, yeah.

I applied when the job opened, interviewed, and I got the job. Hooray!

“You’ll also be the administrator for Salesforce and Marketo.”

“Sounds great!” What is Salesforce? What is Marketo? Cue frantic Google searches, video watching, and standard Hollywood meet-cute.

And thus, I became the admin for my little org. There was an agreement that if I could get certified in one of those systems within a year, I’d be compensated for it. Cool! (Spoiler alert: I got certified in both! Go big or go home!)

Enter Salesforce Community, stage right.

I went to Dreamforce that same year. It was a little overwhelming, really. I had been using/administering Salesforce for less than 6 months when I went. But it drove me to the online community. The online community drove me to learn more about regional things – user groups, and even better, regional events like Midwest Dreamin’.

I’ve talked about Midwest Dreamin’ before. Like…a lot. But it’s because it’s important to me. So, so important.

I took the job offered because it sounded interesting. I took it because there would be fewer late nights trying to find trucks to cover loads. I took it because I really liked the manager.

I stuck with it because of the potential, the community, the people.

I am so proud to be an #AwesomeAdmin. I am so happy to know the people in this community. They always surprise me. There’s always someone else I have to meet that is going to be delightful in a completely unexpected way. Or someone I know but learn eventually that we have even more in common. Or a group of people that are playing D&D for a good cause, and I get to play D&D related to my job. WHERE ELSE DOES THAT HAPPEN IN LIFE?

All of this just to say thank you.

Thank you to the community. All of you out there doing what you do. You’re all inspiring.

Thank you to the Awesome Admin team. How amazing is it that we have an entire team at Salesforce devoted to promoting what we do?!

Thank you to Salesforce in general. So much promise and opportunity for people because of the culture that Salesforce promotes.

Thank you to Marc Benioff, obviously, for getting the whole show started.




April was a strange month.

I think of a roller coaster – stillness and steady humming to the top of a precipice that I know is coming, but then cresting the top and looking down at the drop on the other side and feeling like it’s completely unexpected. Freefalling, excitement, and terror, then being flung into a turn before catching my breath.

May will likely be much the same.

It has never been easy for me to leave something behind, especially if I poured much of myself into it. Even little things – easter eggs nestled in out-of-the-way places or ideas that I carefully brought to reality. Leave things better than you found them. I strive for that. I hope I succeed.

It is also difficult for me to accept my adulthood sometimes. I’m not old. But I do adult things now; I have a mortgage, a 401k. Every job I’ve ever taken has been accompanied with a feeling of am I actually grown up enough for this?

But it’s bittersweet now to get something sweeter. I’ve put in time (less than I thought I’d have to, admittedly) and I’ve put a little bit of heart and soul into all of this, so no one can say I didn’t earn it. I’m happy.

And I’m tired.

There is still so much I wanted to do, to finish, and there isn’t the time. I have to let go, hand over the keys, step aside and cede the stage to someone else. I have to trust that they will put the time and care into things the way that I did. I trust my manager to find that person.

I just need to pause for a moment – a moment I haven’t allowed myself yet. Pause and sit and consider the path behind me, prepare for the path ahead of me. Breathe.

Amazing things are coming, and I am excited and terrified. But definitely happy.