Gain Hands-on Experience and Join the Community
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- List ways to get hands-on experience to build your resume.
- Describe how connecting to the Trailblazer Community helps you in your career journey.
- Share your story as a mentee.
Acquire Project Experience
You’ve skilled up with Trailhead, aced your credentials, created a great resume that highlights your key skills, and now you’re being interviewed by great companies that fit your goals. All that’s left is negotiating your start date, right? Well, not exactly.
Employers are looking for people who have on-the-job experience, in addition to credentials and badges. So, how do you get on-the-job experience without being on the job? It’s a common conundrum for many job seekers.
Here are a couple of ideas you can discuss with your mentor to help you get practical project experience, bridge the skills gap, and build a rock solid resume:
- Build an app. Sign up for a Developer Edition org (they’re free!) and build an app to manage something that matters to you. Do you have a wedding coming up? Are you having a baby? Do you need to manage the most awesome baseball card collection in history? It doesn’t matter what you track in the app. The skills you learn will be great resume builders and will wow employers. The Build an App to Track Your Trailblazer Journey project on Trailhead is a great place to get started.
- Take on contract work. Remember that companies often need help with small, short-term projects that don’t warrant hiring full-time staff. The key here is for you to look for interesting projects that you can complete successfully with your skill set and that will highlight your strengths. Mentees can find project-based work by searching sites such as Upwork, Indeed, and LinkedIn—but remember that the best way to get connected to experience-building projects is through the Trailblazer Community! And that’s where your mentor comes in—helping you network within the Trailblazer Community.
- Pro bono mission. You can suggest partnering with your mentor on a pro bono mission. While you will not be paid in a pro bono mission, you can work on the project while your mentor leads the relationship with the customer and reviews your work. This way you both help a nonprofit in need.
The Trailblazer Community
We’ve mentioned that the Trailblazer Community plays an important role in the Salesforce ecosystem—and your success. But what is the Trailblazer Community? Well, it’s a group of passionate people (like you!) who come together to foster Salesforce learning and help each other succeed. The community provides those seeking jobs in the ecosystem a perfect forum for asking questions, collaborating on projects, and even having a little fun. When you plug into this community and share your story, you get that much closer to making your dream job a reality. And your mentor is a great resource to help you get acquainted with the community. Ask them to help you make some initial networking connections. Who does your mentor know that you would love to meet? Is your mentor connected with someone that works at a company that resonates with you?
Maybe your mentor personally knows someone who shares a passion or interest with you or who specializes in the same career path. Or maybe you and your mentor are looking to get better connected—make a list of folks in the Trailblazer Community that you both would like to know. Facilitating personal connections whenever possible can make all the difference in your career. Even if you don’t have a specific connection in mind, you can check out your local Trailblazer Community Group.
Share Your Story
Telling the story of your journey to becoming a Trailblazer is part of our culture. We call it #MyTrailblazerStory. You can ask your mentor to share their #MyTrailblazerStory with you and listen for a few key things.
- What are they passionate about?
- What inspires them?
- What are the pivotal moments for them?
Now, it’s your turn. You can practice your story with your mentor. Try to convey what you are passionate about and describe your pivotal moments. And then continue to share your #MyTrailblazerStory—whether it be with a friend, colleague, small group, or the social media universe. You never know who might need to hear it to spark their own journey. You can also use your story as inspiration for your personal pitch, which will be essential when you are interviewing. One of the most common interview questions asked is, “Tell us about yourself.” This is where practicing your story now can help you answer that question.
Alright, you’re ready to meet your match! (And we mean that in the best possible way.) When you apply for the Trailblazer Mentorship program, you make a commitment to building a better you. We can’t wait to see your story unfold.
- PDF: Mentor Guide
- Blog Post: Introducing the Dreamforce ’19 Trailblazer Theater
- Trailhead: Build an App to Track Your Trailblazer Journey
- Salesforce: Trailblazer Community
- Salesforce: Trailblazer Community Groups
- Trailhead: Trailblazer Community Groups
- Blog Post: The Life-Changing Power of Mentorship: 5 Reasons to Become a Trailblazer Mentor