Passion and tenacity should probably be Tamara Klink’s middle names. Both qualities have travelled with her on an extraordinary journey from elite sport to professional circus performance, and then through a major sea change into tech recruitment and now, senior campaign management.
Tamara just celebrated her first year anniversary at Salesforce and is already well on her way to accomplishing her next wave of professional and personal ambitions as a young female leader.
Find out for yourself…
I have moved a total of 23 times; the most recent move being from Melbourne to Sydney in February this year. However, most of my upbringing took place in Queensland. A lot of my younger years were spent participating in state and regional level sport - specifically, swimming, waterpolo, sprinting and cross country. I was invited to be part of Brisbane’s ballet company full-time, but instead found myself drawn to join Australia’s leading youth circus, Flying Fruit Fly Circus. As the circus was based in Albury - and I was enrolled at a Catholic boarding school in Brisbane - it took some serious persuasion to get my parents on board with this teenage dream.
I determinedly researched local schools, living arrangements and part time work and presented it to my family who eventually agreed to let me go. To cut a long story short, after three years of juggling studying and performing, I injured my back on a teeterboard during rehearsal. Thankfully it wasn’t a critical accident but enough of a shock to take heed of my step dad’s advice that the circus wasn’t a secure career and I would need a back-up plan.
I was accepted to both RMIT and Bond University in Business Management and Accounting, and selected Bond to be close to my family again. I studied part-time and worked four part-time jobs (at Boost Juice, Cue Clothing, a local golf course and as an assistant tax accountant) to pay-off my university debt. At the time I wanted to be an accountant, but by the end of my degree realised it wouldn’t be the right career choice for me. Like many university graduates I felt lost. I had no idea what I wanted now that accounting was no longer my trajectory. Thankfully two different job opportunities arose; firstly a recruitment consultant role in Melbourne and secondly, a Graduate Change Manager at KPMG.
My parents advised me, “At KPMG you will be a small fish in a very big pond, working long hours in a specialist field with zero prior experience.” They encouraged recruitment, believing I would learn how to sell, negotiate, manage stakeholders, develop a ‘thick skin’, get first-hand knowledge of different organisational cultures and learn different business processes, which would all help me to identify what industry I might be most interested in. They were right. It absolutely did!
As fate would have it, I was assigned to a new start-up division called Mason Frank, which specialised in recruiting for Salesforce. I started with no contacts and no idea what Salesforce did or who Marc Benioff was but in my first week I was required to present on the company - explaining its offering and outlining the type of candidates I would be placing. The more I learnt about Salesforce the more I loved it! I set myself a goal of being an employee within 5 years - and I’m proud and excited to say I made it here in two.
I had always dreamed of living overseas and was offered two roles as a Marketing Cloud Specialist, one at Accenture in London, and the other at Deloitte in Hong Kong. They were both very tempting, until I saw a Campaign Manager role advertised at Salesforce.
My heart was racing, I could not believe it. Initially I thought it could be a step-back from what I was doing as a Developer at Kalido until I read the requirements and didn’t meet half of them. Imposter syndrome immediately kicked in and I was full of doubt.
I sent the job advertisement to my partner for advice, hoping he would tell me to go for it. Thankfully he did, saying “The worst thing that could happen is you don’t get it and you learn what you need to upskill in to get the job next time - plus at least you’ll be on Salesforce’s radar.”
Three interviews later I was offered the job; I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
One of the many things that has thrilled me is the Ohana Groups that have been created directly from a social cause, such as Earthforce, Asiaforce, Outforce, the CSG Ohana Equality Group, and the Salesforce Women’s Network.
I really believe this is the glue that makes our family stick. It offers opportunities to collaborate on issues you care about with like-minded people from different departments you may not otherwise meet and work with. The energy and enthusiasm in these groups is like nothing I have ever experienced anywhere else, as is the sense of belonging. When I moved to Sydney I had three calendar invites from people I’d never met inviting me for coffee or lunch, which really helped me feel at home here.
I am officially a Senior Campaign Manager (CM) in the Marketing Cloud Services team, although in reality it’s more of a hybrid role. I look after Deliverability, Social Studio, Ad Studio as well as Campaign Management project work.
I absolutely love being client facing and having the opportunity to change the client’s perception of digital marketing and 1:1 communication, as well as enabling them to use the Marketing Cloud to its fullest capacity.
The customer success stories that come to life after a project is something I’m really proud of, especially AirAsia’s Social Studio enablement.
One of my passions is supporting Women in Tech. At the moment I spend a lot of time outside of work developing my own brand - FIIT Collective (Females in IT) - to promote and participate in this movement.
The mission is to inspire, support and empower females to live a balanced and purposeful life through a career in information technology, and will cover overall health and wellbeing, technology, career advice, training courses, conference, stress management and work / life balance.
Salesforce is a great advocate for females in IT, and it’s something that really attracted me to join. I am involved with a lot of internal initiatives to support women in Salesforce, including our celebration International Women’s Day throughout the whole month of March.
It also encourages us to pursue such passions through volunteer time off. Last year myself and two other colleagues designed and built new email templates for Girls In Tech Australia.
I predominantly do this through “self-care” and demonstrating that everyone has time to invest in themselves, it’s just about making it a priority and dialing up your worthy-o-meter.
We all need to silence the inner critic who says “you don’t have time for yoga”, or “who do you think you are indulging in a morning swim when you could be getting into the office even earlier.” I try to lead by example - working full-time at Salesforce in a demanding role while building my own business and being a ‘bonus’ mum to my partner’s son.
I attribute a lot of my career progression to self-care; without it I wouldn’t be buzzing with as much energy, nor be able to summon laser focus attention to tasks. I try to be as disciplined about important personal practices as I am with my professional ones - they depend entirely upon one another.
My big picture vision is to become a leading female in tech and a key contributor to a balanced workforce of 50% men and women. I also have a goal to be a Director at Salesforce by the time I am 30 years old.
As for the immediate future, I'd like to grow my FIIT Collective website and brand, which I've recently launched. Check it out and watch this space!
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Tamara Klink is a Senior Campaign Manager, Marketing Cloud at Salesforce.