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Congratulations to Orkideh Margagliotti, December’s Salesforce Woman of the Month! Orkideh works in our Switzerland office in the payroll department, and her incredible work ethic along with her kind and supportive nature earned her this month’s honor.

We sat down with Orkideh to hear her take on fostering a genuine and well-balanced life. But she didn’t stop there. She offered up real insight into how she’s able to succeed at work and at home — even in the face of doubt.

 

Start with a goal.

Before I started working at Salesforce, I lived in Iran, where women are often oppressed. Even my family didn’t believe I could have the career I wanted. But despite my circumstances, I believed that I could do more. So, I set my mind on becoming a director at the oil company where I worked. I achieved my goal, and I became the only woman director in the company. I needed that goal and the experience of achieving it to understand the depth of my power and knowledge. I always have those in my back pocket whenever I doubt myself or encounter naysayers.

 

Just say no.

Sometimes saying no to something that crosses a personal boundary is scary, but it’s so worth it to stand up for your own values. After working so hard to become a director at my previous job, I suddenly faced a problem. It came time for me to take my maternity leave — which was available to me by law — but the culture of the company was such that I was expected to work during my supposed leave. If I wanted to compete with the men in the top positions, I was going to have to forgo some elements of my family life. In the end, though, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I said no.

In contrast, the open and flexible spirit of Salesforce encourages those human elements (like a family and interests outside of work). I’ve found that to be rare in my career. And, I’m grateful for every single minute as part of the #SalesforceOhana. I’ve learned that I can still love my work, but it doesn’t have to negatively impact other aspects of my life.

 

Believe in yourself.

I think women often feel the need to prove themselves. And it’s totally understandable. But I’m here to tell you that, at least in my experience, proving myself wasn’t as critical to my success as I thought. The opinion of other people isn’t the most important thing. Just do your best work, stay as healthy as you can, surround yourself with family and loving people, and believe in yourself. Your achievements should be for you alone. You are worth it; you don’t need to prove that to anyone — especially not to anyone who doubts you.

 

Be proud of your work.

I think it’s important to be proud of what you do. Since I moved to Switzerland and started at Salesforce, I’ve been proud to be able to improve the accuracy of our payroll system. There are complicated rules and regulations for each country in the EMEA region, and it takes knowledge and a thorough understanding of the laws of each place to do this job well. And my team and I have achieved near-perfect accuracy in our payroll processing! I couldn’t be more proud.

 

Draw energy from our Ohana.

In my current role, I am surrounded by my dream colleagues. Our small team of five is very close, and we’re always helping each other. We believe that every one of us is part of an important chain. If someone needs something, we help out to make sure that person gets what they need, and we are constantly checking in on each other. That’s the nature of our team. And it’s what makes me want to come to work every day. I think it’s so important to foster those close work relationships and be energized by the people around us. Yes, it makes us better at our jobs, but it’s also just part of what makes us human.

The Salesforce Woman of the Month campaign turns the spotlight on the amazing women who help make Salesforce one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies according to Forbes and one of Fortune Magazine’s Best Companies to Work For. Honorees are nominated by fellow employees and selected by a dedicated committee that works to ensure a variety of roles and regions are honored.

To hear more from Orkideh, make sure to connect with her on LinkedIn. And stay tuned for more insights from our next Salesforce Woman of the Month, coming your way in January.