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7 years ago I was a building site labourer. I was an expert with a cement mixer and greatly enjoyed hitting things with a hammer: the bigger the hammer, the better. I also made (and still make) a truly lovely cup of tea. But, the winters on site were bitter and the summers were never long enough, and although I loved the atmosphere and the friends I worked with (almost family really) I knew I wasn’t pushing myself breaking bricks all day. So, I made the tough decision to change my life completely: to down tools and pick up a laptop.

Challenging times

All I knew was that I wanted to challenge myself. With this in mind, my first step was to enter higher education. ‘A degree would be a challenge’ I thought, so off to The University of Bath I went. It turns out that not reading a book, picking up a pen or switching on a laptop in five years can make you a bit rusty when it comes to academia. But after living in the library for three years, I got there and realised that I quite liked the rewards that challenging yourself can bring.

Back to Tea boy?

Although I’d had brief brushes with code at University, it wasn’t long before I managed to wrangle myself a job in marketing and persuaded my manager to let me be the Website and CRM admin for the company. I loved it. Integrating the website with our CRM opened my eyes to so many possibilities and allowed me to craft something that my colleagues really valued.

In fact, I liked my new role so much that I decided to start from the bottom at a CRM company in digital marketing, taking a role as their Marketing Assistant/Tea Boy.

The 4 Ws (World Wide Web Weekends)

Within a year I had taught myself everything I needed to build my first website from scratch and produce fully mobile responsive email templates. A few months later, I mastered SQL and got my teeth into producing JavaScript powered digital assets. Before I knew it, I was the go-to guy for web development in the company – all from knowledge I gained from guess where…. the web. It’s utterly astonishing what you can achieve with your weekend and the World Wide Web!

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

Whilst learning my new trade it was also my job to come up with new ways to compete with Salesforce – they were our main competitor. It seemed that Salesforce was the only name on people’s lips when choosing a CRM solution, so I spent a huge amount of time studying what they did and how they did it. It was during this analysis that I began to realise what all the fuss was about and when the opportunity came up to be part of the #SalesforceOhana I jumped on it. 

I didn’t know it at the time, but my tendency to push the limits and challenge the norms have made me a perfect fit at Salesforce. There is no need to persuade colleagues to try something new or motivate your manager to take on new and challenging ideas – they are expected at Salesforce. 

It’s this unique atmosphere that has led to my continued transformation. Whilst at Salesforce I’ve been voted Most-Valuable-Player on the web team, built a web-app (lifetime goal), introduced Marketing Cloud initiatives that have increased results by over 400% and worked with professionals that have changed the way I work forever. 

Plus, on our numerous volunteering days with Salesforce.org, for charity farms and forestry projects, I get to teach my colleagues how to hold a hammer – which they love.

7 years ago a bricklayer once gave me a piece of priceless career advice: “If you find a job where you don’t check your watch for quitting time, you’ve won”. Needless to say, since being at Salesforce, I don’t wear a watch!

What’s Next?

I learnt most of my most effective email marketing strategies and tips from the web – it’s time to give something back. We’ll soon be releasing a series of email marketing blog posts, each packed with utterly golden advice: watch this space!

In the meantime, please check out our careers site and see if you can find a role that matches your goals and aspirations - I bet you can.