Meet Nitzan Ifrach. She went from having no real computer science experience to transforming her career and creating incredible impact for her company and her community. While Nitzan is a Salesforce whiz now, it didn't happen overnight. See how you can forge your own career path with her top tips.
After receiving an MBA in finance, Nitzan joined a global 3D printing company in Israel as a Business Analyst. She took note that the company was leveraging Salesforce and it piqued her interest. It was a new platform to her, and she was always looking for ways to learn and grow.
Luckily she discovered there are lots of easy, free ways to learn Salesforce — like our online educational tool Trailhead — and taught herself the platform. Before long, she was a Salesforce pro. She did such an outstanding job in her new role that Salesforce soon came knocking, and she was hired as a Portfolio Success Manager, a brand new role in Israel.
As the first Portfolio Success Manager in Israel, Nitzan had the ability to create her own path. She was responsible for 1,000+ Israeli commercial and enterprise customers, and used this opportunity to connect with them like never before.
In her new role, she worked to revive the local customer community by holding webinars in Hebrew and organising events like Lightning workshops, teaching Salesforce app development, for hundreds of customers. She looked to European and American offices for inspiration, and came up with the idea for a Lightning Booster Day in Israel. Because there was no marketing team in Israel at the time, she had to be scrappy in promoting the events. All the while, she was forming new relationships with the sales teams so they could use her as an asset with customers. Nitzan made such an impact that she was promoted after 10 months.
After a year and a half as a Portfolio Success Manager (PSM), Nitzan was ready for a new challenge. She talked to mentors, managers, and colleagues about how to grow her career. Through the grapevine, she learned there was a position for Salesforce's very first Solutions Architect role in Israel. She raised her hand.
But she needed technical experience. As luck would have it, Karin Kraus, a developer at Salesforce, was also making a switch, instead moving from a technical to a customer-facing role. Both women were able to support one another as they ramped up in their new roles.
It was a steep learning curve for each. Nitzan earned four certifications in one month while Karin had to learn the ins and outs of her first-ever customer facing role. Both were up for the challenge.
Nitzan shares “at Salesforce, the most amazing thing is that people are given opportunity. Karin was a developer – she didn't have previous customer success experience. They let her switch to a more customer-facing role and vice versa for me.”
Nitzan realised the tools created by others before her enabled a quick ramp up into a new career. And she wanted to pay it forward. Along with colleague Roni Yahav, they found a way to do it.
Roni and Nitzan developed and led the Everyone Can Become a Trailblazer program. This program prepares people with diverse backgrounds for roles within the Salesforce ecosystem. After developing Salesforce administrator skills, participants are paired up with a non-profit to apply their knowledge. The hands-on work helps them land full-time positions working on the platform.
“The most exciting thing for me was to see these people — after 8 months in the industry — talking about how Salesforce changed their lives. I was so proud!”
Nitzan says that one of the biggest benefits of working at a company like Salesforce is making connections all over the world with people who want to help each other. Not only does Nitzan have access to tremendous growth and mobility, but she also had access to a deep, global network at her fingertips.
“It's important to build your own brand — I learned this from my manager at the time, and now I recommend it to everyone. I had mentors across the globe. Every time I had questions I would schedule a meeting — I didn't care with whom! I would look in the org chart and schedule a meeting. No one ever said 'no' to me when I asked them to be my mentor. People are willing to help.”
Prior to joining Salesforce, Nitzan says she couldn't find a job that challenged her. “At Salesforce you always find a way to be better, to keep growing every day.”
So, if you want a challenge but don't know where to start, what can you do?
Nitzan says it's all about being curious. See what other people are doing, what their jobs are, and what a day in their life looks like. Reach out to people – don't be shy – and you'll get plenty of ideas. Be open to what they share, ask questions, do your homework, and you'll find your path.
Just because a role doesn't exist today doesn't mean it can't tomorrow. Nitzan has proven that time and time again. Even as we're drafting this, Nitzan has taken on a new role as Principal for Global Success Strategy at Salesforce!
To learn more about Salesforce in Israel and the opportunities to transform your career, watch our webinar, Change Where You Work. Change How the World Works. You can also apply for open positions today!