COVID-19 has fundamentally transformed our economy and reshaped the workforce, creating a defining moment for people to reimagine their careers and position themselves for success in the post-pandemic economy.
A recent Salesforce study found that 69% of people believe the pandemic will permanently change their work — and 57% say they wish they had a better or more up-to-date skill set. This underscores that now more than ever, everyone needs access to the technologies and skills necessary to land a job in today’s changing workforce, regardless of where they live and what their background may be.
We sat down with Brian Owens, a Business Analyst at Regions Bank, to hear how Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, empowered him to embark on a new career path in tech – and how he’s helping others to do the same.
Q. How did you come into the Salesforce ecosystem?
I first learned about Salesforce when I worked in sales and retail. I had used CRM systems as an end-user for years.
Then this past January, my fiance and I sat down to set our goals for the year. One of my goals was to make a career change – to do something I was more passionate about. My fiance works in IT and had heard about opportunities in the Salesforce ecosystem. She encouraged me to learn more about the platform.
I discovered Trailhead and quickly realized the learning and career potential, as well as the networking opportunities available through the Trailblazer Community. I began preparing for my first admin certification exam using Trailhead and joined several Community Groups in Birmingham and Atlanta to connect with people on a similar journey.
Q. How has Trailhead helped you transform your career and how did the Trailblazer Community support that journey?
Trailhead changed what I believed I was capable of and could accomplish in my career.
The Trailblazer Community and Community Group meetings gave me a brand new network of hardworking professionals. Being around like-minded people with similar goals was extremely influential during my transformation into a tech career. It made me even more determined to succeed – and it ultimately helped me land a new job with my Salesforce skills at Regions Bank!
Q. How are you helping others follow in your footsteps?
I was lucky to connect with Tiffany Spencer when I set out to find a mentor. We immediately hit it off and she became like a big sister who always looked out for me to ensure I made the right decisions to succeed on my journey.
Together, we started an 8-week admin certification study group for individuals who were looking to pursue their first Salesforce certification. Tiffany and I now host weekly study groups where we explore Trailhead, new modules, and work through complex questions together.
In addition, we’ve connected with HBCUforce to help spread the word to students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities interested in pursuing careers in tech. We’re giving back to a community that has already given us so much, simply because we enjoy it!
Q. What has inspired you most while giving back?
I worked closely with a Trailblazer who impressed me with his grit and passion to learn Salesforce. We spent hours on the phone solving problems – one challenge in particular took us a day and a half to work through.
The Trailblazer Community is always there to support someone with that kind of determination and to help them succeed. The best advice I can give future Trailblazers is to set deadlines, reach out for help, get involved in the Trailblazer Community, don’t be afraid to fail and never give up.
Q. The economy is changing rapidly. Why is now an important time for people to consider reskilling?
Thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy, I think it’s a great moment to self-reflect and consider what you want to accomplish in your life – personally and professionally. What do you want your life to look like?
Over the last few months, we’ve seen companies across all industries leverage technology in new ways they never before considered, creating new opportunities for people with non-technical backgrounds to learn new skills and transform their careers and earning potential.
We’ve all been experiencing something unusual this year, but there’s never been a better time to improve your career – and don’t forget to give back along the way.
Join us at TrailheaDX on June 25 to hear from other Trailblazers and customers who are building solutions for their businesses to succeed in our new normal.