- When do you know you’ve found your #dreamjob? It usually takes a few tries (at least!) to find the right company and the right role for you.
Just ask Sarah Roberts. Our July Woman of the Month worked at six (six!) other software companies before she found her perfect fit at salesforce.com. As Director of Sales Engineering, Roberts combines her passion for customer success with her drive to mentor and develop Sales Engineers, and along the way has grown her team from two to 10 employees.
We chatted with this month’s honoree about where she’s been, where she’s going, and her best advice for successfully growing your career. Check out her top 10 tips for making your #dreamjob a reality.
1. Recognize your skills
My first job was as a software developer, and while I loved the problem-solving aspect, I constantly found myself walking around talking to people in other departments and not getting my development work done until the wee hours of the night. That’s when I realized I needed a role where “talking to people” was actually part of the job! This led me to fall in love with sales engineering because it allows me to help companies understand technology and how it can impact their business. You know you’ve found the right role when a CIO gives you a standing ovation after a presentation!
2. Take initiative
Don’t be afraid to take on new responsibilities or go after different opportunities. If you see room for improvement or a gap—in your knowledge, on your team, in your department, or even at the company—speak up, jump in, and get involved.
3. Invest in yourself
Invest in your personal and professional growth. Whether that means developing your technical expertise or public speaking skills, always be willing to learn something new and enhance what you bring to the table. This will enable you to contribute more to your team and to your company.
4. Showcase your leadership qualities
Look for chances to spearhead new initiatives. The more you help out your managers, the more people will see what you’re capable of and appreciate your dedication. I believe good managers lead from the front, practice what they preach, and don’t shy away from challenges. Remember this saying: “Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”
5. Be a team player
A former manager of mine once told me that she worked for me (not the other way around). I remember laughing it off at the time, but her attitude has always stuck with me. She was really there for us, to help us in whatever way we needed, and our success was her main priority. That philosophy has become a key part of how I manage.
6. Face challenges head-on
If you’re worried about taking on a new role or having a hard conversation, I’ve always found it’s best to tackle the issue head-on rather than trying to avoid it. You’ll grow stronger and more fearless every time you do it!
7. Use your time wisely
Try to read most of your emails on your way to work and on your way home. Spend your daytime hours executing on what needs to be done.
8. Stress less
Do whatever it is that helps you manage your stress levels. Making relaxation a priority will allow you to stay focused, productive...and sane! For me, working out in the morning, being part of a social virtual fitness community and laughing throughout the day do the trick.
9. Make your personal life a priority
Finding that work/life balance is not easy. In sales, our workload ebbs and flows, and I know that some weeks are busier than others, so I make it a point to really enjoy my weekends. And I always make sure to take time off for vacations!
10. Ask questions
One of my favorite things to do is learn about people: their backgrounds, experiences, challenges, and fun facts (for instance, I’m an identical twin!). By asking questions, I believe you can spark incredibly interesting conversations and make connections that can help you both personally and professionally.
Stay tuned for more career tips and tools for success from our next salesforce.com Woman of the Month, coming your way in August.
By Sarah Hanft