Ask An Admin: How to Create a Career in Salesforce

From the outside looking in, Salesforce can be an intimidating career to dive into. However, with the tech industry employing over 12.1 million people (source: CompTIA ) and Salesforce being the #1 CRM, there are limitless opportunities!
Ask An Admin: How to Create a Career in Salesforce

From the outside looking in, Salesforce can be an intimidating career to dive into. However, with the tech industry employing over 12.1 million people (source: CompTIA ) and Salesforce being the #1 CRM, there are limitless opportunities! When beginning a career in Salesforce there are 3 steps you need to take.

3 Steps to Build a Successful Career in Salesforce

Create a Plan

There are many ways to get into a career in Salesforce. However, putting a plan in place ahead of time gives you a roadmap to follow. One best practice is to research what other specialists in your field have done. According to our youngest Salesforce Consultant, Patrick Amis,

“I started learning about Salesforce through trailhead and worked my way up to the ranger rank. I studied for my Salesforce Certifications with focusonforce and superbadges . I gained 3 certifications pretty fast and landed my first role as a Salesforce Consultant.”

While many people believe you have to go to college to achieve a successful career, Salesforce has shown itself to be an easy starter. As our CEO Sara Baayoun has said, “No particular college degrees dictate a successful admin.  However, someone with a business or software background will find the certs easiest to achieve.”

In fact, Patrick Amis, who joined our team right out of high school, confirms that there are some skills learned in high school that can be helpful in the Salesforce space.

“High school helps a lot with time management, learning about new topics/subjects and memorization skills for small functionality that helps with the customization of a Salesforce org.”

There is no one way to become successful. In fact, many professionals have switched careers into competitive Salesforce roles, and have found their previous skills to be useful in the Salesforce environment. Our System Analyst, Khadija Bennani Smires, holds a master’s degree in Strategic Management and worked in the digital marketing field. Here is what she had to say about her journey coming from a different industry,

“I continued working in the digital marketing field and got passionate about marketing automation, which made me eager to expand my knowledge of CRM platforms. I started studying for the Salesforce Certified Administrator (Admin 201) certification and practicing a lot to sharpen my skills. After earning my first certification, I felt so passionate about Salesforce and knew I wanted to become a Salesforce System Analyst. Over the last 6 months, I earned 4 Salesforce certifications … My background is in digital marketing/public relations and it taught me so much about managing projects in client-facing environments. Through these experiences, I have learned about the importance of human contact and the benefits of growing with a team… ”

Whether it’s joining right out of high school or getting a degree, one thing we all agree upon is the importance of certifications.

Collect Certifications and Expand Skills

From taking Trailheads to collecting one of over 35 certifications, Salesforce has created a knowledge base to equip you for your journey. With the variety of certifications, which ones should be prioritized?

Patrick Amis, Salesforce Consultant at Abelian says:

”I believe that everyone should start with the Salesforce Admin Certification no matter what direction they want to go with their Salesforce career just because it’s the basics for how Salesforce works. From there it kind of depends on where you want to go but if you really want to be an Admin I would get Platform App Builder and then Advanced Admin.”

Across the board, professionals believe that the Salesforce Administrator 201 is the most important. This certification gives a broad understanding of the Salesforce environment and customizations. When starting out, professionals should begin with the 201 certification.

After getting the 201, there are a number of directions that can be taken.

“... It depends on your areas of interests and the type of Salesforce professional path that you want to take. Salesforce offers so many possibilities so I would definitely recommend researching and reading about the different Clouds.”

- Khadija Bennani Smires, Salesforce System Analyst at Abelian

If you need help figuring out which direction to go after the 201, visit Salesforce for recommendations.

Along with certifications, professionals should prioritize their soft and intangible skills as well. We asked our staff what makes a successful Salesforce Professional, here is what they had to say:

“A successful consultant sees the strategy needed for a profitable solution for the client while being efficient with their time internally.  Also, someone who is driven by executing processes and understands the importance of agile.”

- Sara Baayoun, CEO of Abelian

“A successful Consultant has great communication skills with their clients and is able to translate requests/issues into a Salesforce functional solution.”

- Patrick Amis, Salesforce Consultant at Abelian

“... Empathy, attention to details, and critical thinking will contribute to the success of a Salesforce System Analyst. Approaching every case and client with empathy is at the heart of my work. Attention to details and critical thinking are also very important because of the endless possibilities of configuration and solutions in Salesforce - you have to think about: Is this the right solution for this business goal? How can I customize it to help the company?”

- Khadija Bennani Smires, Salesforce System Analyst at Abelian

Grow Your Network

Just like any other industry, it is important to network and grow your community. With over 12.1 million people in the industry, there is no shortage of help you can receive! You can find Facebook groups for everything from Salesforce admins to Salesforce developers. These groups allow you to hear what the industry is talking about, share tips and even jokes, just to further integrate into the Salesforce ecosystem.

“I believe that networking is definitely beneficial to enrich your skills and start a Salesforce career. In my case, I started to build my place in the Salesforce ecosystem by following Salesforce bloggers, reading Salesforce forums, and joining groups on LinkedIn. I love the fact that there is high-quality knowledge sharing made available by Salesforce users. Then, I was able to engage in conversations with people by posting about my Salesforce certifications on LinkedIn. Sharing information on LinkedIn has definitely been a key factor for my personal networking.”

- Khadija Bennani Smires, Salesforce System Analyst at Abelian

In addition to Salesforce groups, follow your favorite consultant firms. Here at Abelian, we make it our mission to educate and entertain on all things Salesforce. We share our Release Note highlights, eBooks, and best practices. We host all of our resources on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube). You can also find helpful webinars, eBooks, and success stories to help you discover new ways to use Salesforce.

Ask An Admin: What is some advice or encouragement you would pass down to someone looking to start a career in Salesforce?

“I would advise people to find someone with experience to help guide them because someone with no software experience could get easily overwhelmed with all of the new knowledge that will come their way. Figuring out the steps to achieving your goals will help with creating very manageable progression.”

- Patrick Amis - 3x Salesforce Certified,

Salesforce Consultant at Abelian

“Salesforce is a resourceful eco-system with plenty of possibilities, there is a path for everyone, and if you haven’t yours yet it’s okay! Keep experimenting and learning about its different tools and Clouds, and find the area that you love. Most importantly, try to remember your goals in the moments you feel discouraged, and always believe in yourself.”

- Khadija Bennani-Smires - 4x Salesforce Certified,

Salesforce System Analyst at Abelian

During the pandemic, the US witnessed an unprecedented unemployment rate. As we meet the light at the end of a tunnel of an era, we encourage more people to push for careers in tech. Though it is a large industry, there is plenty of room for more. In fact, here at Abelian, we are always looking for new perspectives and innovative minds to join our team. View our available job postings at or you can always aplly on our Careers page, and follow our social media for much more.


Kenia is the Visual Producer and Social Media Specialist at Abelian. She holds a versatile  skill set in graphic design, photo & video, and other areas of Digital Media. With diverse experience in the creative space, Kenia’s focus is on creating captivating content that converts.