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Episode 7: Org Admin (Solo or Team) vs. Consultant

Join Kristi Campbell and Aleksandra Radovanovic as they discuss consulting versus being an org admin!

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Episode Description

As someone who has been on both sides of the relationship, Aleksandra Milcic Radovanovic, a Salesforce MVP and product manager at Okta, may know it better than most: org admins and consultants need each other. 

When they use their respective expertise to come up with the best solution for the company, it can be “a really powerful combination,” she says.

At the end of the day, org admins and consultants use similar sets of skills to find solutions. So what are the major differences between the two roles, and how can you know which one is best for you? 

If you’ve ever considered transitioning to the world of consulting, you won’t want to miss this episode of Serious Insights for Salesforce Admins, as Host Kristi Campbell, Senior Salesforce Admin & Salesforce MVP, sits down with Aleksandra to talk all things org admin vs. consulting.

Listen to this episode to learn: 

  • Why org admins and consultants need each other
  • The biggest differences between admin and consulting roles
  • How to transfer your skills between roles

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Episode Summary 

Admins and consultants draw their expertise from similar skills. But they have different priorities and levels of control, especially when it comes to project and timeline management.

That’s why it can be so difficult for some admins to make the shift into the consulting world, and vice versa. For Aleksandra Milcic Radovanovic, the differences were enough to push her from consulting back to the admin space. “I'm kind of a nurturer,” she says. “So I prefer investing into one org and having good growth and having some sort of control.” 

But as someone who has been on both sides of the relationship, Aleksandra knows better than most that org admins and consultants need each other. And when they use their respective expertise to come up with the best solution for the company, it can be “a really powerful combination,” she says.

So how can org admins and consultants improve that relationship, and what’s it like to have worked on both sides? If you’ve ever considered transitioning to consulting, you won’t want to miss this episode of Serious Insights for Salesforce Admins. Tune in to hear Host Kristi Campbell, Senior Salesforce Admin & Salesforce MVP, chat with Aleksandra as they discuss the differences — and the pros and cons — of org admin and consulting roles.

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Key Takeaways 

Org admins and consultants can be a powerful team when they work together. 

Consultants are often brought in temporarily to create or build a solution for the company. They’re experts in what they do, but admins have the specific industry and company knowledge that should be viewed as a huge asset to the consultant. 

 

As someone who has been on both sides of that relationship, Aleksandra understands how important that collaboration can be. “[It’s] a really powerful combination,” she says.

 

Consulting has its pros and cons. 

As an org admin, your work and potential for expertise are often limited within your own industry and its needs. Consulting allows you to be more flexible with projects and explore different Salesforce features based on your interest and skills. Many consultants thrive on that freedom.

 

On the other hand, being a consultant removes your personal attachment to a project. “You build the ship, you send it, and then you don't know if it's stuck in some rocks or flowing perfectly,” Aleksandra says. The separation was enough to push her back to the admin world.

 

Diverse experiences are valuable for future roles.  

You don’t need to limit yourselves to consulting jobs if you want to be a consultant, or to admin jobs if you just want to be an org admin. In fact, Aleksandra’s experiences as an admin prepared and informed her for future consulting work.

 

“I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't had a variety of different projects to work on and get my skills,” she says.

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Featured Guest: Aleksandra Milcic Radovanovic of Okta

 

💥 What she does: Product Manager of Business Technology at Okta, an identity and access management company.

 

💻 Okta on the web: Twitter | LinkedIn 

 

🔗 Aleksandra on the web: Twitter | LinkedIn | Trailblazer | Medium

 

🧠 Aleksandra’s big idea: “I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't had a variety of different projects to work on and get my skills, and decide what I want to be and what's the best use of my experience and my knowledge, and where I want to grow when it comes to the knowledge and certification part.”

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Episode Highlights  

Key excerpts from the episode transcript

 

💡 Being an org admin in a small organization can be a bit like consulting.

[09:17] “[A small organization] is a very fast-moving environment. So sort of like a startup. There is no large organization and the decisions are [being made] much more frequently, and in a faster way. And priorities are changing much faster than in a large organization, which is kind of what you see in the consulting world, right? You have a budget, you have a project and then priorities can change depending on what's being delivered and how the constraints are happening. So it was a good prep for the consulting world.”

💡 Org admins working together with consultants can form ‘a really powerful combination.’

[11:23] “We just talked about admin versus consultant, but there is a really significant perspective that we should mention as well, and that's admins collaborating with consultants. Because I was, like you mentioned, I was on both sides. And it really means a lot when you come as an external consultant, coming to work on a project, if you have an admin to collaborate with — somebody who actually understands the business, the business requirements, the depth of the system, that you can collaborate your wide knowledge of the industry and different experiences — that's a really powerful combination.”

💡 Consulting allows for more subject and project flexibility.

[16:12] “You can't know everything. Salesforce is huge, and it keeps growing and adding clouds and new features. So being an expert in the platform is great. But then at the same time, at one level, you can't really just go with the technical knowledge, you have to bring some of the industry knowledge because you can’t really design a solution without actually knowing how the business works, business principles, or what are the KPIs for the specific industry. So I think consulting allows [for] that part of career growth. Because as an admin in one company, you just learn that part of how that company is doing within that industry. And if you move to a different company, as an admin, in a different industry, you might not have a lot of transferable knowledge […] So I think consulting is forcing us to do that, like jumping from project to project so we finally have to choose like, Okay, this is the part that I'm interested in. This is the part that I'm good at, I'm going to just specialize in this industry.

💡 But consulting requires more distance from your projects.

[22:19] “In a smaller company, you get to do a lot. […] I had much more control over the projects. But at the same time, because we were this small company, we couldn't take a large project for a large company, because we just didn't have enough people or resources. And what really bugged me is, I would build the project, we build a solution, the project is delivered, we're done with the customer — we did something custom — and then six months later, there is a new out-of-the-box feature coming out of Salesforce, and I'm thinking oh, we should redo that. But we don't have the project, we're done with the client. And that was killing me. You build the ship, you send it, and then you don't know if it's stuck in some rocks or flowing perfectly. So that's why I decided to say goodbye to the consulting and go to internal work again.”

💡 Every role is a valuable learning experience.

[31:44] “I'm kind of a nurturer. So I prefer investing into one org and having good growth and having some sort of control — maybe I’m a control freak — how that thing is going to happen, and how it's going to grow, and constantly investing in the same thing. Although I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't had a variety of different projects to work on and get my skills, and decide what I want to be and what's the best use of my experience and my knowledge, and where I want to grow when it comes to the knowledge and certification part.” 


Top Quotes: 

[11:42] Aleksandra: “If you have an admin to collaborate with — Somebody who actually understands the business, the business requirements, the depth of the system, that you can collaborate your wide knowledge of the industry and different experiences — that's a really powerful combination.”

 

[23:09] Aleksandra: “You build the ship, you send it, and then you don't know if it's stuck in some rocks or flowing perfectly. So that's why I decided to say goodbye to the consulting and go to internal work again.”

 

[26:27] Kristi: “I think whatever you decide, getting a sense of the team that you're going to work on and understanding if you are the kind of person that wants to manage your own life — figure everything out yourself and wear all those different hats — or if you want to join a team.” 

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