At Salesforce, Nichola Palmer works with customers to bring their stories of innovation and transformation to life. In this blog series featuring Trailblazers, Nichola introduces Ng Teck Lung, a Salesforce Administrator with Ninja Van. Teck Lung left a successful IT career to become a private-hire driver so he could spend more time with his family. Now, he’s reskilled as a Salesforce Administrator for a successful mid-career direction change.
By early 2016, Singapore-born Ng Teck Lung had built a successful IT career. He started out in the mid 1990s as a Lotus Notes programmer, and worked as a software consultant for various companies until joining BlackBerry as a technical support analyst in 2005. From 2011, he took on senior project management roles at Prudential and e-Cop.
But Teck Lung’s successful career came at a cost to his work/life balance. His busy work schedule meant he was missing time with his young family. So he decided things needed to change.
“Working as a project manager or a technical support analyst in a global contact centre often meant working at weekends, and I missed some of my daughter’s major milestones,” he explained. “So I decided to leave and partner with ride-hailing platforms as a private driver. That was when the incentives were really good, and being self-employed gave me the flexibility I wanted to spend more time with my family.”
Teck Lung says he very much enjoyed his new career choice for around four-and-a-half good years. “I was able to build a stronger relationship with my daughter,” he says. “I would drive her to school and pick her up each day. That was private time for us that I valued very much.”
Unlocking the silver lining
Then the pandemic hit. Lockdowns and restrictions heavily impacted Teck Lung’s driving business, and he and his family were soon living on their savings.
“I heard about the SSG SkillsFuture programme, and decided to reskill as a Salesforce Administrator,” Teck Lung says. “Salesforce appealed to me because it is the number-one CRM in the world and is still growing exponentially, so I felt that I wouldn’t have any trouble finding a job in the Salesforce ecosystem.”
Teck Lung participated in the SGUnited Salesforce Career Kickstarter Programme, a previous reskilling course supported by Trailhead Academy, and he used the Trailblazer community to expand and extend his Salesforce knowledge.
Teck Lung even set up Slack groups for subject modules to share study notes with his fellow students. Slack provided a place for students to ask questions and share knowledge, and was so popular that Teck Lung’s lecturer asked to participate.
This was an excellent introduction to the spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing that runs through the Salesforce ecosystem and the Trailblazer community.
“The Trailblazer community is full of friendly and experienced professionals who are always willing to advise and help. I learned together with fellow local Trailblazers, and we helped out one another by exchanging and sharing knowledge.”
Finding success with Salesforce
Teck Lung is now certified as a Salesforce Administrator, Associate and Platform App Builder. He has completed 28 trails in Trailhead, earned more than 200 Trailhead badges, and is a Double Star Ranger.
He also took a proactive approach to his employment search. He built his own Salesforce dashboard to efficiently manage the progress of more than 40 job applications, and is now successfully employed as a Salesforce Administrator with Ninja Van.
Teck Lung says his role at Ninja Van provides the flexibility he needs to continue to spend valuable time with family — thanks, in part, to Salesforce.
“Salesforce is a cloud platform, so all you need is an internet connection and you can work practically anywhere in the world,” he notes. “Salesforce gives people the flexibility to travel and work from different places.
“Trailhead works in the same way. It fits into your own learning schedule, and you can even use it to develop Salesforce skills while you’re on holiday.”
Seizing the opportunity
Teck Lung’s journey is proof that it’s possible to successfully change direction mid-career, and find valuable new opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem that can really change lives.
“My advice for aspiring jobseekers is to quickly seize this great opportunity to build a Salesforce career. Learning in Trailhead is free and the CRM platform itself is still growing strongly, so there are lots of products to learn and something to suit everyone” he says.
Teck Lung explains that it’s key to begin reskilling with a clear goal in mind, “The Salesforce platform is huge, so it’s important to set short-term and long-term goals to direct the career path you have chosen, and continue to progress with a focus on continuous learning.”
“Join the helpful local communities to expand your knowledge and networks. Participate in online discussions in professional networks on LinkedIn or in the Trailblazer Communities on Trailhead,” Teck Lung concludes. “Finally, take the opportunity to pay it forward by sharing your knowledge with aspiring Trailblazers in the future.”