Meet Shakil, proud father and PepUp Tech alum pursuing his dreams as a Salesforce Consultant. Salesforce World Tour New York Golden Hoodie recipient, December 2018.
Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Definitely network, because your network is your net worth.
How did you get started with Salesforce?
I knew about Salesforce through friends and family. While I was studying at Monroe College, I joined the first-ever PepUp Tech bootcamp. During bootcamp, I discovered the platform, met an amazing community, and decided to go all in.
Before Salesforce, what were your biggest work or career challenges?
Finding stability was my biggest challenge. I was working long hours in retail, not able to see my firstborn, and not making the money I wanted to. After discovering Salesforce, I had an opportunity to go to Dreamforce, which meant I had to quit my job (when they threatened to fire me). I made a commitment to myself to take the risk and make my future in the Salesforce ecosystem. I met my first employer during that trip to Salesforce, and I was able to land a role as a Salesforce consultant. Now, I get to do work that inspires me (remotely!). I have the balance I dreamed of. I’m building a better future for my family. And I’m able to reach back and bring people like me into this amazing ecosystem.
Has Trailhead ever taught you something you can directly attribute to a success at work or life?
When I first started learning Salesforce, I did late night learning sessions after work. I worked 10 to 12 hours a day, then came home and worked for at least an hour on Trailhead. Trailhead helped me grow personally and professionally. I gained the necessary tech skills, but other modules have helped me excel at work and in life. I learned how important it is to ask for permission to give feedback—both at work and in life. When I set out to learn something new or I’m stuck, I tend to go to Trailhead first.
Very recently, I interviewed for my next dream job. I was asked to build a solution for a tough use case. Thanks to what I learned through the Business Administration Superbadge, which I did myself and have helped others with, I was able to ace the case!
What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?
Finding your true purpose and helping others find theirs, whatever that may be.
What had the most influence on your journey?
PepUp Tech, without a doubt. PepUp Tech didn’t just give me an opportunity to get a job; they gave me an opportunity to change my life. The founders did more than give me training. They invested a ton of time and heart into helping me see my own potential and dream bigger than I ever imagined. They mentored me, championed me into this amazing community, and lifted me up as a leader for the next generation of Trailblazers.
What do you tell future Trailblazers to encourage them to follow in your footsteps?
Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Definitely network, because your network is your net worth. The people you surround yourself with will define who you are. Be open-minded. Learning something new can be scary, but if you’re not open-minded, you’re holding yourself back. Every setback is a comeback for something greater.