A Certification Does Not Guarantee a Job

2020 has been a very unnerving year, the job market is changing, and people have been switching to this new cloud-based structure. A lot of the people I know have jumped into web-based technologies that focus on certifications such as web design and development, Salesforce, and Azure based technology. But let me break the fantasy real fast, getting a certification does not mean you are guaranteed a job because it’s a little bit more complicated.

Knowledge of a system vs experience with a system are two vastly  different things. Going through a boot camp and gaining a certification is not necessarily experience. Instead what that is is knowledge. Experience is gained from having done something  with that knowledge you have gained. Let me explain with an example.

Some of you might not know this but I use to teach, and I would remind my students that the courses I taught does not guarantee them a job, unless you go further than the homework. I had some students come to me asking  about stuff they would build outside of their schoolwork, or ask for help with an issue with a custom site they built themselves, or ask how they could improve a design further. Others would only do what was necessary to pass the class but never do anything outside of the homework or ask questions about anything to further their knowledge.

I have also seen this in the Salesforce world where people ponder about why they don’t have a job even when they have gained several certifications. They want to gain experience but yet still haven’t been able to get their foot in the door. It comes down to building their own experience. I have asked them “Have you uploaded fake data into your org? Built a custom lightning web component? Managed it with Git? Worked on an open source project within Salesforce? Designed a new dashboard? Even blogged about it?” I have talked to quite a number of leaders within the Salesforce community, and they have told me they will hire for experience over certifications even if that experience isn’t in a job due to one’s determination.

Currently I have 1 Salesforce Certification and that is the Email Marketing Specialist. Some of my peers have quite a number more than me, but what I focus on is becoming a resource on all things within Email Marketing Automation ranging from Salesforce to Marketo to Mailchimp. How do I do this? I have built email templates and learned the scripting language for a lot of the systems. I have sent out mass emails and set up journeys in Hubspot that catered to a few thousand sends a week. I also read the litmus newsletters on things that are changing within the Marketing Automation world. Will I be getting more in the future? Well my focus is to get certifications in something that I will use and not just because I want another one on my LinkedIn.

In Conclusion

Gaining your own experience and applying that experience to real world scenarios can help companies notice your skillset especially if your adding things to a portfolio or a collection of component development. Determination and the improvisation in building your own tools can create experience that reflect real world situations.

see you space cowboy…