Review: The Salesforce Career Playbook by Martin Gessner

All opinions represent my own, even though I am featured in the book noted below.

Salesforce Career Playbook

During 2019, I was interviewed for a book that recently came out called The Salesforce Career Playbook by Martin Gessner. You may otherwise know Martin as the man behind FocusOnForce. His book is a deep dive into the different career paths that Salesforce offers, alongside case studies and insights from people worldwide in different Salesforce careers.

I want to start this review with an acknowledgment and thank you to Martin for being kind enough to include me in his book. I have a featured case study and a day-in-the-life feature in the book.

If you are starting your career in Salesforce or are considering Salesforce as a career option, this book is definitely for you. While there are aspects of this book that I found to be a tad clunky, overall, it is an excellent reference book for understanding the different options in the Salesforce ecosystem. It also acts as a guide to the information and personality traits one might need to pursue each of the different options.

The book is broken up into four parts: Overview of Salesforce Roles; Career Paths; Technical Skills and Certifications; Soft Skills. While this book’s structure does seem to have an order, I would not recommend sitting down and reading it cover to cover (albeit that is what I did for this review). Instead, I would advise finding the sections or topics that pertain to you, first review those, and then revisit other topics as they seem relevant.

In part one, Overview of Salesforce Roles, the book does a deep into five different roles. Each role contains a description, average salary, technology-based job requirements, soft-skills required for the position (ones that are specific to it, not general business soft-skills), tips for those looking for this job, and finally, a day-in-the-life from someone who has the role in real life. I think this portion of the book does a great job defining the roles and highlighting the key features through the day-in-the-life view.

In part two, Career Paths, the chapters are broken up by different career paths that Martin has flushed out from his years of experience and the countless interviews that went into making this book. I will admit that this section of the book I did find to be the most clunky, mainly when a case study or day-in-the-life appeared, as I did not always feel it connected with the rest of the content of the chapter. Just as Martin calls out in his disclaimer, I think it is important to reiterate that no two pathways are the same, and job titles can be called a myriad of different names. Jobs with the same name can have very different responsibilities, so please take this part of the book with a grain of salt.

Part three and four of the book cover both the technical and the soft-skills required to do the various careers laid out in the book. In the technical section, many different avenues are presented to gain both knowledge and experience. If you are new to the Salesforce ecosystem, you do not want to skip part three. Part four of the book may, in fact, be my favorite part of the book. I tend to get a bit put off when people try to have me read about soft-skills as I believe that practice in real-life is required to acquire or improve soft-skills. However, Martin does a fantastic job of calling out some important soft-skills and presenting tips that can be applied in real-world scenarios to strengthen those skills. The chapters are laid out by skill and are presented with many different thoughts and opinions from those interviewed.

Overall, I would recommend this book to those either entering the Salesforce ecosystem or to those who are looking to do a dramatic shift within the ecosystem. If you have been in the Salesforce sphere for a while, you may get some tidbits here and there as I did, but you will likely not walk away with a lot of new-found knowledge.

To check out The Salesforce Career Playbook, head on over to FocusOnForce!

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