If you are a reader of this blog, you’ve seen me go from 0 to 11, burn out, then go back to 11 again. Since I started in this ecosystem i’ve held multiple roles including business owner and independent contractor.
Now, my career has come full circle. As of July, i’m a Salesforce Admin again. And frankly, I love it.
So why did I go back to being an admin? Didn’t I have my own consulting company? Did that fail? ARE YOU OK BILL? ARE YOU ALIVE????
Actually, i’m just fine. Better than ever, actually, but thanks for asking and caring.
As you may have read in a previous post somewhere, I started my own consultancy Tiny Feet Cloud Services in 2020. I was working for a Partner and there was some uncertainty in job security due to the pandemic, acquisitions, etc, so instead of being a statistic I decided to create my own destiny and start my own practice, going independent.
Know what? It worked out great. I picked up some great direct clients, I did some fun work as a sub-contractor for some notable partners, and some well….not so notable whom i’d never work for again in any capacity (but thats another story not for public consumption). As time went on, I got better at a lot of things. I learned how to Flow with some help from a few friends who are experts, I learned how to more efficiently deploy things, I learned a lot of what NOT to do as an independent, and a ton more. I had a great time, met some amazing people, and was able to work a LOT less hours and make a lot of new memories with my family with the additional time. After all, time is a finite resource and I had found a way to get more of it.
So why did I close up shop? It wasn’t really a financial issue. There was plenty of work opportunities out there, especially someone like me that is CPQ fluent and can implement it. Sure, there was the RIDICULOUS cost of healthcare (medicare for all someday…hopefully), but also the opportunity cost at stake, if you want to call it that. I did, in my opinion, a good job of forecasting my utilization and availability so I never took on too much. And what I started realizing was I was at a crossroads with the business. Either I could hire someone and need to ‘hit the street’ to sell more business to support this persons income in addition to delivering work I had assigned myself to make ends meet, or, keep the status quo and keep contracting with other companies and doing my own direct client work. But, if I sacrificed the time to grow the business, i’d be giving up time with my family that I enjoyed so much (hence, the pseudo opportunity cost), and if I continued doing contract/direct work, id not really be growing and hit an income ceiling.
So after about 18 months I decided that I wanted to try something new. But, what did that look like? I loved being independent, even with the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with it, so how could I POSSIBLY transition from this?
I started poking around again to see what was out there. What kind of roles did I want? Did I want to stay in Salesforce? Did I want to go learn another platform? The opportunities were out there, it really just depended on me. I interviewed with a few places, but wound up being more of the same types of consulting roles. They all say “we are unique”, but ultimately its still meeting a utilization goal and delivering monotonous projects. Bleh. I also chased a role at the Mothership, but was kind of tossed around a bit in one vertical, then was passed to another vertical which meshed VERY well with my background and experience (and the manager and I hit it off nicely), but they went on a hiring freeze, and I took it as a sign that it wasn’t going to work out anyway. So I moved away from the mothership.
I wanted the runway to learn, expand my horizons a bit more, learn about a new industry i’ve never touched, and challenge myself as a Salesforce professional, and that opportunity came from a network connection. A CPQ peer of mine heard I was testing the waters and had recommendations for me with a Cybersecurity company. I was skeptical at first because they are typically VERY high skill roles (and im always doubting myself), and there was NO possible way they’d hire me…right?
I had a few interviews, and was offered a role, yes, I was quite shocked. This role checked a lot of boxes for me. I was doing something im familiar with focusing on CPQ, I get experience in the Cybersecurity industry that I previously knew almost nothing about, I get experience working in large Enterprise on a large internal Salesforce team, and have a little freedom to learn more to better contribute to our team success. Oh, and the compensation and benefits was competitive too, so thats a plus.
So I took the jump and im now a Salesforce Admin again, focusing strictly on CPQ.
Admin (small business) -> Consultant -> Partner/Independent -> Admin (Enterprise)
Full circle. What a ride it’s been.
So what now? Well, other than my day to day duties, I set pretty clear boundaries. I dont overwork myself, so I can still have that solid work/life balance I built as an independent, I still make sure to take advantage of my time off for family activities and mental health, and i’ve started the journey of learning to be a Salesforce Developer. Will I be a code ninja at some point? Doubt it. But it can’t hurt to try getting that last cert for Application Architect, right?
Oh, and its REALLY nice to have a paycheck again, with 100% consistency. Not gonna lie, thats nice.
The only constant is change! I read Latin and Greek up to leaving school and haven’t looked back. I think so long as you are still learning and earn enough to be comfortable, then you should choose a path that continues to have a slight uphill incline. I am sure there will be more twists in the road ahead. Best of luck from Manchester, Paul
Thanks Paul! Im always considering what the next step is, I wish for once I could just be content and rest on my laurels for a few years. But I did that when I was a sales rep and found that my life got stagnant too. If you’re ever in a constant state of change and movement, things are always exciting and life is worth living 🙂