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Graham Dix Talks Surfing, Salesforce Adventures and Work/Life Balance

It was surfing that brought me to Australia, Salesforce has made it my home.

My Australian journey is very much intertwined with my journey at Salesforce, and I’m proud to say that it has made me the person I am today.

Of surfing and Salesforce

I grew up in Buckinghamshire in the UK and was lured to Australia 11 years ago because of my passion for surfing.

That interest in surfing came a little later in life for me than it has for some. I was a grommet — a learner surfer — in my 20s. That situation is best captured in one of my most enduring memories: standing unsteadily on a board on Queensland’s beautiful Currumbin Beach with a group of fellow surfing wannabes — all half my height and less than half my age!

Around this time, I had been working in software sales and marketing, and implementing project management solutions. I had a friend working at Salesforce, and mentioned to them I was eager for a change and a step up in my career — they said “why don’t you come and interview?”.

I joined Salesforce at the start of 2013 as a Senior Sales Engineer. I was lucky enough to be part of a team of 10 awesome people and I learned heaps.

Since then I have had three roles in six years at Salesforce. It’s great to have such career mobility at such a big company.

I spent almost three years as a Senior Sales Engineer before I saw an opportunity to become a Service Cloud Account Executive in November 2015. It was out of the frying pan and into the fire, working with mid-size businesses on customer service transformations, but I loved it.

After two years in Sales, I followed my passion for Customer Success and joined the ANZ Success team. This represented another great opportunity and challenge to work with our customers to help them achieve the best possible business outcomes.

After a year and a half I still love this enjoyable and challenging work. Working with customers to find their own unique ‘secret sauce’ for success is extremely rewarding!

My adventurer’s career path

I wanted to get a deeper understanding of how our business works so, guided by the same adventurous nature that brought me to Australia, I’ve worked in different functions of the business and taken on different challenges, rather than ‘deep diving’ to specialise in one function.

Each step forward at Salesforce has built on the past, and allowed me to better understand and appreciate everything Salesforce can be. Such a career path has allowed me to diversify my skills, and work with a number of very talented people and teams.

It has also enabled me to be better at my job every day. If you are thinking of taking a similar approach to your career, I can definitely recommend it.

The great thing at Salesforce is this opportunity sits before everyone as they develop their career plans, as does the potential to travel to other regions to expand your professional skills and personal experiences.

The next adventure

My next adventure is parental leave. The incredible support I have received from our leadership is a testament to our culture and our commitment to equality in the workplace.

My wife also has a pretty full on role within her company. We do our best to balance our careers while equally sharing our parental responsibilities. Sometimes, it’s hard to do all the things you have to do while making sure you get quality time as a family and as a couple.

With a new baby on the way, we decided I was best placed to take up the primary carer role for our family. I am very grateful to Salesforce for making this possible — for providing a parental leave policy that best meets the needs of all employees.

It really highlights Salesforce’s recognition of the importance of family, in whatever form that takes.

One in 20 Australian dads take primary parental leave. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be given time to bond with our new child and enjoy what is such an incredible time of life.

I’m really going to miss my teammates while I’m away. Things move fast at Salesforce and I’m sure I’ll have a lot of catching up to do when I get back. Equally, I’m sure I will also learn some new skills during my time away that I can build into the way I work to make me better at my job as well.

My manager and the rest of the leadership team have been extremely supportive of this decision, and I can’t thank them enough as I embark on this journey.

If you’re ready to transform your everyday, join the Salesforce team.

Graham Dix

Graham Dix is a Customer Success Director at Salesforce, a surfer, mountain biker and technology evangelist. He tweets @GrahamjdixJohn.

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