SG: Let’s get started. Why don’t we start from the beginning? Please tell us about your education/ career before entering the Salesforce ecosystem.
DK: My name is Diana Koshedzhiyska. I live in Sofia City, Bulgaria. Before I jumped into the Salesforce ecosystem, I spent almost 7 years as an independent consultant supporting small businesses in their business and marketing automation journey. I’ve worked with businesses on 5 continents to help them streamline their CRM software, build digital experiences, and provide e-mail marketing solutions. My background is in marketing, but I quickly discovered that working with technology is what makes it fun for me.
SG: That’s awesome. Now we would love to know what was the tipping point when you said, “I want to make this change,” and what was the trigger for that?
DK: I like challenges. At one point, I felt the challenging part was missing from my work life. I was open to new opportunities and was wondering what would be the next thing for me. Then I discovered Trailhead – it didn’t exist the previous time I checked Salesforce! I was hooked in a day – I loved the functionality. It made so much sense to me based on what I had previously done. I quickly decided I wanted to be certified and find my place in the ecosystem.
SG: You achieved many certs along the way. Can you share three things with us?
- Why do you value certificates?
- What are the challenges associated with the process?
- What are your top tips for being successful in cert exams?
DK: It is very easy to lose track of why you’re taking yet another exam. But gamification is a strong incentive for all Trailblazers. My strategy is always to identify a certification that will allow me to showcase my existing skills – like B2B Marketing automation, e-mail marketing, CRM management, etc.
In addition, the certifications provide a common understanding of what you need to know in order to pass the exam. In the end, the value is what we together assign to it – that we hold common knowledge of how the platform works and what we can do with it. There is no need to go on a lengthy explanation about your experience with Salesforce – you can share what certifications you hold, and they tell the story for you.
One of the main challenges when I’m preparing to hold an exam, is to find the time to focus on the topic – as well as finding reliable and up-to-date sources (like saasguru) to support my study. Gauging when you’re ready is another hard step when you’re unsure what to expect. If I can share one tip for those preparing to hold a certification exam, it would be to dedicate a month (or two) when you can spend an hour or two per day and focus solely on the preparation. This allows you to become familiar with all the concepts and answer questions with less doubt.
SG: What do you enjoy most about your work as a certified Salesforce professional?
DK: I work as an Enablement consultant, which means we bridge the gap between the end user and the solution built for them. It’s always exciting to meet people with different Salesforce expertise and experience on the project. It is a wonderful feeling to show people how to use Salesforce and make their job easier.
SG: Time for gratitude!! Finally, is there anyone (individual or company) that you would like to take this opportunity to thank for their role in helping you along your journey? If Yes, what was their role in your success?
DK: Early in my Salesforce journey, I signed up for the Trailblazer Mentorship program (https://trailhead.salesforce.com/trailblazerconnect/mentorship/). It took a couple of months, but then I received an e-mail saying I had got a mentor. That made a huge change in the way my career proceeded from then on – he could answer my burning questions about the possibilities in the ecosystem that fit my interests, guide me through the next steps, and support me when I was not sure if I’m ready to take the exams yet. I’m happy that we’re now friends (and colleagues) and keep each other motivated to grow our skills.