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Episode Info: Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re coming with the first of a special two-part episode, live from TrailheaDX. We sit down with LaRon Butler, Technical Account Manager at Litify, and Kelley Babbs, Technology Director at Blue Star Families, to talk about entering the Salesforce ecosystem, how to capitalize on the skills you already have, and changing careers. Join us as we talk about the power of community supporting each other, how VetForce helped them build a career in Salesforce, and the challenges they faced along the way. You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with LaRon Butler and Kelley Babbs. Wish fulfillment through Salesforce. Growing up, LaRon dreamed of becoming a radio broadcaster, and we’re happy to give her a little wish fulfillment by bringing her on the pod. In the meantime, LaRon joined the Army in 1998, “and I pretty much spent most of my adult life working and serving in the military in one capacity or the other,” she says. “More recently, I decided it was time for a career change.” She got back from Korea in 2016 and tried to get into sales. She had a background in IT as a system admin and, because she spent a few years in real estate, she realized she needed to update her skills, and all of her research pointed towards Salesforce. “I kept calling Salesforce over and over until someone returned my call,” LaRon says, “I kept seeing courses online and all I wanted to know was if I could use my GI Bill to take the classes.” When she heard back the rep told her about a free program called VetForce. “Once I got certified in October, 2018, I went to my first job fair the next day,” she says, and also ended up connecting with the Merivis Foundation, which has supported her through forty-plus interviews (!). Building a career that can move with you. Kelley, on the other hand, always wanted to be the first female president. She also spent time serving in the Army, both directly and as a military spouse, which meant a lot of moving. “I kept trying to reinvent myself every time we moved somewhere,” she says, doing everything from teaching to being a cable installer. She had a teaching gig lined up in Massachusetts when they got orders to relocate to Texas, which meant she needed all sorts of additional training to be able to teach again. “I felt defeated,” she says, “I was like, ‘when am I going to have a career?’” Kelley reached out to someone she knew at Blue Star Families to see if they had any volunteer opportunities. Instead, she was encouraged to apply for a role where she could spend a year learning Salesforce part-time from home. She started out working with a Certified Admin, but when they moved to a different role the job fell to her—another accidental admin. She needed help, and that’s when she came across VetForce. She passed her certification in 2016 and her role just kept growing with the organization. Learning Sale...
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