Supportive Group Provided Salesforce Hands-On Volunteering Opportunity to Demonstrate Accomplishments at Interview

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Supportive Group Provided Salesforce Hands-On Volunteering Opportunity to Demonstrate Accomplishments at Interview

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Michael Camilleri and I worked a bit with Salesforce for the past four years at my former job in center city Philadelphia. My company used Salesforce in-house, and I worked with customer relationship management (CRM) software, though it was never my main focus. When I lost my job, I intentionally moved in the direction towards Salesforce and wanted to continue pursuing this path.

Why were you looking for a job?
I was laid off due to budget cuts and restructuring.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I started going to Salesforce user groups and their events in Philadelphia. I met Bill Apostolacus and discovered that he helped the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) with building Salesforce from the ground up. I was interested in assisting PAGCG with Salesforce administration, so I connected with Bill in between meetings to see how I could help out. I ended up working on the volunteer applications for Salesforce shortly after that.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
This organization gave me a lot of hands-on experience. This group helped me a lot when I was interviewing because I could point to the work I was doing for PAGCG. I did learn about how to use Salesforce through their Trailhead online modules and received certifications that looked good on paper, but the real-world experience gave me an edge during my job search.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
During my career transition, I had a contract role helping a marketing client with Salesforce, and I was still volunteering with PAGCG. A few months of going to networking events, volunteering, and improving my LinkedIn profile led to me meeting the right people. A friend from an event before finding PAGCG referred me to an opportunity that became the job I landed.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
The main things that kept me going were improving my skill set and being around a supportive group of people. People, like Bill, were on my side and wanted to help me build my skills in a practical sense. Having a supportive community helped me do better for myself, from building an online presence to getting that next certification.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Don’t rest on what you have. Pivoting to a different career wasn’t my first inclination, but when I saw that my resumes were not getting a lot of traction, I realized that I needed to reinvent myself. I learned that it was essential to keep moving and learn new things that could improve my landing a job.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Just put yourself out there and meet people. Whether it is through PAGCG or any industry-specific events, it’s essential to meet people because people do better with job searches if they have a connection to someone. Being able to push yourself in that capacity is vital, and I still plan on staying involved with user group meetings and volunteer work. It’s also essential to expand your online network because I got this job through LinkedIn, my last job through LinkedIn, and the one before that through LinkedIn as well – three in a row!

What will you do in your new role?
I will be a Salesforce marketing cloud consultant.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
It’s never too late to try something new that I was thinking about throughout the years as I’ve gotten older that it’s key to continue learning to achieve long-term success.