The Salesforce Career Show

Protecting Your Career During Layoffs: Insights from MuleSoft Delivery Leader Mark Baker

June 27, 2023 Josh Matthews and Vanessa Grant Season 1 Episode 15
The Salesforce Career Show
Protecting Your Career During Layoffs: Insights from MuleSoft Delivery Leader Mark Baker
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever wondered how to navigate the challenging world of consulting, deliver exceptional services, and still maintain your sanity? Join us in a captivating episode of the Salesforce Career Show, where we have the pleasure of hosting Mark Baker, the Delivery Leader for MuleSoft at Salesforce. Mark shares his fascinating journey from starting out with a TRS-80 to leading a project management team at Salesforce, along with valuable insights into the realities of succeeding through layoffs.

We delve into the challenges of delivering Salesforce services during times of transition, and the cycle of pain and panic that comes with it. We discuss the importance of taking a long-term view and maintaining equilibrium, as well as the realities of burnout and overworking staff. 

Finally, don't miss Mark's recommendations on the best learning path and training for future MuleSoft developers, as well as the importance of customer self-discovery and getting to know their own processes before engaging with consultants. We wrap up the episode with Mark's personal story of leaving his IT job to pursue music and travel in a band. Get ready to be inspired by this incredible journey of success and the importance of taking risks!

Speaker 1:

And now the number one audio program that helps you to hire, get hired and soar higher in the Salesforce ecosystem. It's the Salesforce career show with Josh Matthews and Vanessa Grant.

Speaker 2:

And the crowd goes wild. Pretty awesome. Welcome everybody to the Salesforce career show. This is a live show that we host on Twitter Spaces And we release it on our Buzzsprout channel and it goes to every single podcast platform out there, including Spotify, which is, i think, number two in the world. It goes to Apple Music, number one in the world. It goes to Google, but you can find us at the Salesforce career show. What is it? Ford slash buzzsproutcom? I don't know. It's something like that. Just Google us, you'll find it pretty easy.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so today I'm very excited about in fact, it's not just me, i'm going to speak on Vanessa's behalf here. We are both very excited about having Mark Baker as our guest, and for those of you who don't know who Mark Baker is, he is the delivery leader for MuleSoft at Salesforce, and he kickstarted his tech journey back in the day with a TRS-80. I did too, except my tech career stopped with the TRS-80. He kept going So good for you. He's rocked the stage with his band and now he's leading a project management team at Salesforce. His story is truly inspirational. He has so much insight not just into the mothership, but into how to develop and nurture a career And really just develop yourself into the kind of individual and the kind of employee that you want to be, and with that of course comes a tremendous amount of fulfillment. So let's do some quick introductions. I just kind of gave you an intro Mark, but let's hear it from Vanessa. Vanessa, welcome back from your sojourn to England and Brussels.

Speaker 3:

Thanks, i'm happy to be back.

Speaker 2:

If someone's a first-time listener, tell everybody who you are and what you do, if you can.

Speaker 3:

My name is Vanessa Grant. I am currently an associate principal consultant at Salesforce partner SIPLIS And I am also a clicked coach. I've been a clicked coach for the last year. Clicta is being funded by Salesforce to provide kind of safe, free experiences for folks that kind of want to get their feet wet without actually, you know, possibly botching a real project.

Speaker 2:

I love it. Yeah, vanessa is actually amazing. What she's not saying right now is she was just at London calling in London of all places, and while there, not only did she make a lot of new friends, reinforce some fantastic relationships and friendships established online, but she also got to be an invited speaker And we're going to hear all about Vanessa's journey, her trip, her experience at London calling, some of the things that she learned, some of her key takeaways, as well as answer everybody's questions that they might have, whether it's for Vanessa, me, any of our esteemed speakers and panel that you might see at the top of your screen here, and then me myself. I am Josh Matthews. I run the Salesforce from Trudercom, aka Salesforce staffing, and with that we're going to go ahead and just dive headlong. Mark, welcome to the show.

Speaker 4:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited to be here.

Speaker 2:

I've been really wanting to get someone who is intelligent, dynamic, from the mothership to come join us When they get here we'll let them be. So, yeah, i'm still up. We still have vacancy, but we settled for you, yeah exactly. That's okay by me. So, Mark, I kind of did a mini intro talking about your TRS 80. And I think that you actually insisted that it was a color one, So you know it was.

Speaker 4:

It was a color computer to start. I had an IBM PC with dual five and a quarter floppy that I took apart and put it back together wrong a few times. I mean, i was luckily for me. my dad was an early adopter, so that's where I got my start.

Speaker 2:

Terrific, and were either of your parents, in technology.

Speaker 4:

Not even close, not at all, not remotely. My dad loved tech but he was like he was one of those people who's cursed. He had early cordless phones that never worked. He could never make a computer work. His car radio constantly died. But he didn't pass that on to me. I got a lot of gifts from him And luckily not that Well.

Speaker 2:

how was he with the VCR?

Speaker 4:

He was terrible with a VCR And he offloaded to me. Maybe that's where it started. I never thought about that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the real key to success. And you know we hear it all the time from folks like Malcolm Gladwell when he's talking about outliers He never really talks about that whole core of technologists that got their start with programming but not computer programming, VCR programming, programming Yeah, What do you do when you faced with that blinking light, that blinking 12-oh-oh?

Speaker 4:

do you freeze or do you move?

Speaker 2:

forward. That's really That's right, and you know most people back in the day, they weren't just challenged once, they were challenged every time the power went out, because you were faced with it Every single time, because you had to rely on it, exactly. Well, we're all very excited about having you here, and one of the things that we discussed I think we were talking about a month ago about you coming on to this show And we were sort of discussing some of the different topics that we could cover And, of course, one of those topics is going to be Mark Baker. But I'd like to start, if it's okay with you. I want to start with the elephant that was in the room last December and January and has sort of stayed a little bit in the room. Maybe just a snout here and there, maybe just a big giant foot, and that is the layoffs at Salesforce. So I hope I'm not putting you too much on the spot, but if I am, you'll be all right. I'm sure you'll get over it. Yeah, it'll be all right.

Speaker 2:

From an insider's perspective. Now we've all seen we've talked about this. Vanessa and I and other folks up on the panel, we've talked about this extensively And the reason we've talked about it a lot is because it's important. We're talking about people's lives, careers, their income and a lot of hurt and pain, but sometimes some things have to happen for the survival of a company. What, if you can? you know, i understand, we understand that you work there, but we're really curious what you can share with us. What was the experience like watching this happen from the inside?

Speaker 4:

Well, that's, that's, that's a. That's quite an interesting question. I'll tell you. I'll start and I'll talk about you know what I tell my teams about layoffs? because it's, it's nerve wracking, there's no other way to put it. It's terrifying And in the nature of layoffs and the nature of a business, right, you don't know when they're coming, you don't know if it's going to be you.

Speaker 4:

I went through a period a couple months where I was waking up in the. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I would do before I did anything else is I would grab my phone and I would check Slack and make sure my account was still on, and that's true And I had, luckily, some work. But it is what it is And it's, and it's not fun to live underneath that, but it is a reality. And you get in the services business. If you've been around it, it's cyclical, it is, and the best you can do is stay close to the billable work, stay close to the bookings And and you'll be the most protected. but you know, i've been laid off in my somewhat storied career. I think it's it's three total times, it might be four. I actually have to count it. You know it happens and it's just something.

Speaker 2:

I love it. It does happen. but that stress, I mean people manage that stress differently, right, And so I love what you had to share just now about sticking to the billable work First. sometimes we have people listening. They're really unfamiliar with the Salesforce ecosystem, So maybe you can just describe to them briefly what what you mean by billable work.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, you know. are you a billable resource Meaning in a services business? are we sending you out to to bill hours to the customer? Or the booking side would be. are you selling services? Are you bringing money in? Essentially, are you bringing money in in some way, and every business, even the service services business, has to have a certain amount of infrastructure that is not billable, in fact, a lot of infrastructure that's not billable. However, you know, when you're in a services org, that's the, that's kind of the dividing line Are you bringing the money in or not. And that's what I mean. If you're somehow related to bringing money in the door, you're going to be as protected from layoffs as you're going to get it Not perfect, but it's as good as it gets.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a very real thing. I'm curious, vanessa is this something that you've seen in other industries or businesses during layoffs in the past?

Speaker 3:

I mean, i think that's pretty normal. I mean, when I used to work in operations, gosh operations got shredded every time there was a transaction with the company or there were layoffs. It really is what is your value to the company? at least in my experience.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we always joke in the world of recruiting. The economy gets a cold and recruiters get pneumonia and die right, because they're generally the very first people to go. Well, if we're laying people off, that means that we're not hiring more people. But with that in mind, i mean Salesforce is hiring right now. I mean they have a number of open positions. What's your take on that, mark?

Speaker 4:

Like I said, the business is cyclical. That means the whole business is cyclical. Hiring services people is a long-term prospect When we need people. It's going to take six months to fill those positions. End to end from identifying the need. Okay, we have more business than we can deliver based on our staff, so we need people. It's going to take six months And it's going to come around at some point And the layoffs happened because we were looking ahead and we were wrong about the future and the business went down And so we may be overhired And that's a gross oversimplification, but that's kind of how it works.

Speaker 4:

And then at some point it's going to turn the other way And so we do have open positions. I think you're going to see, over time there's going to be more and more And the next year or two I just have these things go we're hopefully going to you know, fingers crossed get back to the situation where we have more business to deliver than we have staff to do it and we're just going to be hiring and it's going to be exciting And you know those are the wonderful times.

Speaker 2:

So they are. They call that spring Right exactly. And, by the way, everybody, today's the first day of summer, so happy summer solstice to all of you pagans out there and all of you, everyone else Right, everyone, everybody. Mark, in addition to aligning yourself closely to billable hours, what are some potential behavior modifications or ways of thinking that you either have adopted for yourself or you've seen other people at Salesforce or other companies during layoffs adopt to help them to manage some of the anxiety and negativity that comes with seeing people that you care about having to leave the organization and manage that fear of potentially losing your own job?

Speaker 4:

So hard, it's so hard. I've been doing this a long time. I've been managing people a long time. I have helped a lot of people through a number of different round of layoffs and you know it never gets easier. I admit that this recent round, when I was like I said I was waking up and checking Flak first thing, it really took a toll on me emotionally. I definitely don't feel the same way that I did on January 1st, going into the year. It kind of is what it is.

Speaker 4:

But what can people do? I think it's you just got to take the long view. You always got to be prepared to talk about, to know what your value is, to have a plan. You've got to have a long term plan. You've got to think about, you know, the future, regardless of layoffs. What am I? where's my value? what's my value proposition going to be for an employer in the future? And just try and stay out of the really emotional stuff because there really can be a lot of negativity natural, understandable negativity, but it's kind of toxic And you kind of got to stay out of it. The modern social media we have like Fishbowl, you know, even Flak to some degree it can become kind of toxic And, just you know, keep out of it as best you can so that you, you know kind of retain your equilibrium. Does that make sense?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. It makes a ton of sense to me. I mean, like it's not my first recession either, right, and I've seen layoffs. I remember losing 50% of our staff at Fortune 500 company. I was working, at least locally. We lost 50% of our staff.

Speaker 2:

And you know, i'm kind of curious, and I'll talk about that in a second. But I'm kind of curious because one of the things that happens when an organization lets a number of people go whether it's 10%, 20%, 50%, and sometimes even just letting one person go some of that work falls on other people, right, and then we run the risk of potential burnout. I have, yeah, sorry, go ahead. That very thing that I just mentioned is this company. Right now They let a bunch of people go. That's making people scared. They're scared for additional stability, right, yeah, there's very little of that in technology, ok, but you know, i mean, tell me, like, have you seen any effect from that sort of the? OK? now the workload has just been taken from these 10% of the employees and put on the shoulders of the other 90%. Has that happened? Have you witnessed that?

Speaker 4:

You know I've been in services for a long time And it's funny I think my perspective is a little different, because we're billable And And the fact that a lot of everyone is focusing on this you can get burned down and overworked or be a situation a billable situation where you're burned down and overworked can happen on any given project, no matter what the conditions are at the company that you're working for. Like it's kind of unrelated And in fact what I see more often is in the growth times. So one of my previous employers it was actually Gidead from Silverland who taught me what he called it the pain panic curve, and it's the cycle that services goes through that when either you have more business to deliver than you have people to deliver it, or you have more people on staff than you have business to deliver them, and so when you don't have enough people, you have all this pain, and when you have too many people, you have panic because you don't know how you're gonna make payroll. The pain is, we have all this business to deliver and I don't have enough people to deliver it.

Speaker 4:

That's really in services when we see people getting burned out, because then as a manager I have to ask people to work more projects than I normally would, to work sometimes more than 40 hours, which is a really I don't wanna do that. It makes people ineffective. But when I'm moving people around to try and cobble together the tetris of resources to handle the business, because if I can't service the business we sell, that's gonna hurt our reputation, it's gonna hurt our position in the marketplace, it's gonna hurt our brand and it's gonna hurt us long term. So does that make sense? It's an interesting conundrum but it's kind of an opposite to what the normal story is.

Speaker 3:

Can I ask a question? Yeah, so I know it's For years-.

Speaker 2:

Can I just say, vanessa, for years I don't know why you always ask you're the host, you're the host, you're the host, you're the host. You're not the host, you're the host. Sorry.

Speaker 3:

It's my meek, subservient nature, josh, i do.

Speaker 2:

I know We love you, love you.

Speaker 3:

So, mark, i will say I think it's probably an industry wide issue, especially in Salesforce consulting. That kind of consultants get burned to the ground generally And I know that you've worked at Silverline and you've worked at Salesforce for a while in delivery, i would say, especially post-pandemic, when there were so much work because everybody was kind of doing their digital transformations all at the same time in a panic. There were so many consultancies just kind of throwing bodies on projects. How do you find the culture is different as far as deliveries concerned in Salesforce versus other consultancies that you've either worked with or worked at?

Speaker 4:

That's a good question. So my recent experience is on the MuleSoft side and MuleSoft delivery and this is the last three years. MuleSoft is a different product And delivery. Mulesoft is a different cadence. It has different process than delivering the core Salesforce product And the two organizations. Mulesoft was acquired I think three or even four years ago No one fact-checked me, i don't know, but it's something like that. The integration of the services organizations, it's still ongoing. It's going to be a long story. So but I would point being my recent experiences on the MuleSoft side.

Speaker 4:

I think with the core product, salesforce, professional services is in a unique position in the ecosystem in that for a long time they existed to really only take down the riskiest parts of the portfolio. We really had a posture that we were trying to support the creation of PSORGs for implementing Salesforce at our partners. We wanted our partners to implement Salesforce because if especially the big five or can implement Salesforce, if they can make money on Salesforce, then they're going to be recommending the software And that's our ultimate goal. So Salesforce services is really about the riskiest parts of the portfolio. It was for a long time It was the parts that were cutting edge or new technologies or the parts that our partners didn't want to touch, or our customers who wanted a single sheet of paper with software and services all bundled together, so that in and of itself, made it a little bit different.

Speaker 4:

I think, other than that, the fact that Salesforce is the software company and then all the other organizations are straight services, it's a different environment. I don't know. Does that make sense? Does that resonate with you at all?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, i mean I guess. So the MuleSoft aspect, i imagine, does make it a little different, because you're very specific to this one type of delivery. I guess I would be curious more on are there certain things that the Salesforce culture does differently so that other consultancies maybe could learn from as far as not just completely burning people out?

Speaker 4:

Salesforce is. I think I'm gonna answer this with telling a story. So a lot of the, the brand of Mark Benioff is that he's fairly progressive. He is a progressive business leader stakeholder capitalism, equal pay, all those sorts of things. I can tell you because I've met the man and I've actually delivered projects and delivered fast reports to him and other business leaders on some of those projects that had that visibility. All that stuff is genuine. He is genuine. It's not show, it's real. That filters down. Salesforce is a fairly progressive place and they may be really progressive for the industry in terms of burnout. They do care about people not getting burned out. They really were some of the first with DEI initiatives, diversity, equity, inclusion, the equal pay, which has been pretty storing, and it's pretty cool. Salesforce really cares and they make efforts.

Speaker 4:

That said, services is hard, it's just hard work. It is and it's harder than other jobs that I've had. It is undeniably You've got customers and one of my things is we're going to make our customers successful despite their own best efforts. to the contrary. It's a joke, but it's not a joke. There's travel. Travel is different. I guess after the pandemic Nobody's traveling nearly as much as we used to. Maybe it'll come back. I don't know, but that was always really hard. A lot of services work is a lot more than 40 hours a week. It is what it is. The big five. that's part of the brand and the job At Salesforce. it was never like that. I don't know if I'm answering your question, but I've said a lot, so I don't know.

Speaker 3:

No, I think it's a good point of how ultimately it is just that top-down culture where it's as long as you are at an organization that really does value the personal lives and health of their people, which is sadly a more progressive type of culture, Then hopefully that does prevent some burnout. It's nice to hear that working in professional services at Salesforce does have that type of culture. I would love to just in general it's been on my mind as far as how we make change within the industry itself overall, Because we're all delivering Salesforce. You might be doing a professional services project or it could be going to a different consultancy, But it's historically just known how in Salesforce projects just people get chewed up and spit out a lot of times.

Speaker 4:

I'll say that, in my experience, services is not for the faint of heart. It's not. I find the people that stay in services as a career have certain qualities that makes it different than the people who are tourists in the role. One of those qualities is they like to work hard. It's not that they don't mind working hard. They like to work hard. As a manager for the service and the lifer, the thing that I need to guard against more than anything is the person who is going to work themselves into burnout because they can't stop themselves. They're due to themselves. Somebody who won't delegate, who won't take their foot off the gas, who won't take their finger off the pulse, who won't work in 60 hours a week. That's like a personality trait of the people that are really successful in services and stick around if that makes sense.

Speaker 3:

How much responsibility do you think it's on individuals versus management to make sure that people are taking time for themselves versus putting their all in the project?

Speaker 4:

I think we all it's on both, but for different reasons. I always tell my team it's your life, it's your career. You have to have your hands on the wheel. If your hands aren't on the wheel, you're never going to get to where you want to go. That's one of the things that I always work with my people about. Anyone on my teams, i'm always doing everything I can, having conversations and working on growth for them. Are your hands on the wheel of your career and your life? Are you monitoring your own burnout? Because, also, you're going to know what's important to you a lot better than I ever will.

Speaker 4:

But that said, as a manager, i'm a steward of the business. I don't want to get my people burned out. I want to let them burn out because once someone really honestly gets burned out, it's really hard to recover. If somebody honestly gets to the point where they are chewed up, then they're not going to be as effective. They are much more likely to quit. They're likely to turn in bad work, bad customer satisfaction, all that stuff. I think we both bear responsibility Some degree. I'm supposed to be the adult in the room, so to speak. I know things, hopefully after my long career, that a lot of people themselves. They don't know. They don't know If that makes sense, but we both bear responsibility from different angles.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, i think those are the same. I do have actually a question from the audience for you, mark, if that's all right. I have some thoughts on this, but would love to hear yours, mark. What are the best learning path? slash training for future MuleSoft developers.

Speaker 4:

Whoa? that's a great question. Mulesoft has a lot of training themselves. I would always take classes from MuleSoft training if possible. I'm going to be honest and I'm going to say that I am not super technical. My technical prowess came on the Salesforce core side and mostly on the functional side. I was never really an honest developer. I wasn't a developer in my career but I was entirely self-taught. I've never dealt with CICD, for example. I never had to deal with depositories or anything like that. And the MuleSoft product is technical. It's no BS, it's a technical product. So if somebody really wants to know and wants some granular detail, it helps to have a CS degree. I think It helps to at least be very familiar with subjects that you would learn when getting a CS degree. I do know all the people that can tell you in great detail kind of dev to dev or nerd to nerd on what you really need to know to be a MuleSoft dev. But there you go. Hopefully I answered that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, i'll just also throw out there the. So the first thing I did and this is kind of how I tend to approach my learning is I try to find the influencers in the space, and so I want to do a shout out to. There's a MuleSoft ambassador program. So if you're interested in learning MuleSoft, i would highly recommend putting in the words MuleSoft ambassador into LinkedIn and it'll give you a list right off the bat.

Speaker 3:

I had, i think I don't know like a pretty hefty number of results of people that these are going to be the folks that are going to be regularly speaking on MuleSoft. So they'll be doing webinars. I'm sure that they'd be open to having conversations about MuleSoft and can direct you to resources. So, like I spoke to Melissa Shepherd earlier today and I said, hey, what should I do if I'm interested in being a MuleSoft developer, after she kind of pulled her drop off the floor and I said no, no, not for me. Then she said that there's actually a lot of really good courses on the MuleSoft site. So of course we've got Trailhead and there are some Trailhead courses on it, but I didn't realize that if you go to the MuleSoft site, that there's actually some self training that you can take straight from the MuleSoft site, so like trainingmulesoftcom.

Speaker 4:

That's right, and shame on me. I should know the stuff, but everyone that I talked to already knows MuleSoft, so it's not something I get out, that's right.

Speaker 3:

No, fair enough, I mean, and you actually answered. Another question I had was how technical do you have to be to do MuleSoft, Because I know that there's a lot of kind of low code click stuff that you can do That's true, there is the low code stuff.

Speaker 4:

There's Composer and there's a few other things that are coming out And those are low code. We don't really touch those in services. Some of the automation stuff, too, is less code, it's more click. We don't touch that stuff in services, so we don't have a lot of visibility there. So when I think about MuleSoft, i'm really thinking about our flagship product at any point, and that is very true. But also, no one's talking about being a Composer Dev. If somebody wants to be a MuleSoft Dev, they're talking about at any point.

Speaker 3:

Got it. I do have one other question from our audience for Mark, which is what is one major recurring implementation risk that you see on projects that your team delivers And there is a follow up to that is, what can the project team on the client side do to help mitigate this risk?

Speaker 4:

Well, that's a good question, I think, on the core side. So I get so philosophical on this stuff. I've been doing this for a long time. I get so philosophical So I mean this is going to be a philosophical answer On the core side.

Speaker 4:

A lot of the times it is that the customer doesn't know what they don't know, and then it includes about themselves. They don't know what they want, but they don't know that. They don't know what they want. They don't know what they need, but they don't know that they don't know what they need, and so they don't know what to ask for. And it's just this slow process of discovery where everybody kind of discovers everything as we go, and it includes kind of the client's discovery about themselves.

Speaker 4:

This is a constant theme that clients they don't really think about their own process until they try to change it or something super broken. So you don't really pop the hood and think about your engine until you pop the hood and think about your engine. And so we're on the ground, we're on the clock and we're asking you okay, what's your sales process? And the answer is often oh, we don't really know. Who do we ask about it? We're not entirely sure.

Speaker 4:

And that's a massive risk because the clock is ticking, we're spending money, there's pressure is growing and we're having to answer these remedial questions, and so I guess I would say if customers were gonna remediate the biggest risk about themselves before they go to a project, it would be to do as much discovery about yourself as you can, to know who does what, who owns what, who has a stake, who's a proper stakeholder, what are your processes, what do you do now so that when the consultants get on the ground and start to move forward, we're not having to kind of build that stuff We can take okay, we know where you are now and we can just concentrate on moving you forward. That's gonna put everyone in the best position to get the best value that I can spend and everyone's gonna be as happy as possible.

Speaker 2:

That's outstanding.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, i feel that applies to like every consulting engagement, right, you know? that's kind of like your business analysis to a certain extent. Make sure you understand your own processes. And something I hear all the time which anytime I've busted it out in an interview it's always been well received is that you take a bad process and then throw technology on it. You just have a faster bad process. So have you optimized your business before you brought the technology team in to update it?

Speaker 4:

It's so true And it's one of. I'm a huge believer in Agile, and again, at the philosophical level, at the principal level. But part of the reason is because this concept of emergent architecture, like architecture, that's gonna emerge as we go along, and that's also because when we design a product, it's pure theory And even if you know who you are and you know what you want, and you talk to us and everything you told us is true and we say we're gonna give you this, we're gonna give you X thing, and what we tell you is actually what we deliver, it's still theoretical And it's not gonna be until you put it in someone's hands and they start using it, that it gets out of theory into the real world, into practice, and only then can you realize you know what this isn't actually what we need. We need something different, and sometimes it's just the way it is.

Speaker 2:

I gotta say, mark, having you on this show was a really smart decision. I really love the way you tell stories, the way you just attack the questions and say it like it is and say it with enthusiasm. It's been thrilling to have you on the program. We only have a few minutes left of the segment where we're really. You know it's Mark Baker, guest on the podcast, and I wanna make sure that we can understand a couple more things about you. One love to know about your band. You traveled in the band. What were you doing? what were you playing? what kind of music was it? I know this isn't Salesforce related, but maybe there's a tie-in to music and technology here. So tell us about that, if you can, real briefly.

Speaker 4:

Well, i've been a few over the years, and two big ones. So before I started my music career, i was I call myself, you know, your garden variety IT dork in San Francisco, in the Bay Area, and it was 2005,. I was in this band. The band is called Migs M-I-G-G-S. You can hear Migs on Spotify adult oriented rock, which isn't even really my genre, but I often play kind of.

Speaker 4:

I often gravitated personally into music that's a little more arty, a little weirder, and I wanted to be in a band that I saw people like, which is funny to say out loud, but that's it. And I found that I joined the band and I love the guys and we all have great time. And I was doing servers and I was doing death side support, in fact, i think in 2004, i was rolling out laptops for Charles Schwab This, you know, it was just a weird job. And I had an opportunity to go on the road with Migs and it was entirely self-funded. It wasn't glamorous it sounds so cool. It was completely unglamorous. We were in a van, we self-financed, we were burning through all of our own capital. We had a manager who was helping us out and investing in us, but we were burning through her capital, playing in bars, self-booking not playing for anybody, not glamorous, but I did it, i quit. So I quit my job. I did it And I knew it wasn't gonna last.

Speaker 4:

I knew it. It was just something I wanted to do before I died. Well, i grew up on my deathbed. I didn't want to say that, i didn't take a chance. And so doing that. And this is back in 2005, before really the internet was on your phone. Driving from Phoenix, arizona, to, let's say, santa Fe, new Mexico, is a long drive, and so I bought myself a laptop. I put the lamp stack on that laptop. I taught myself HTML, CSS, php, because I knew when I came home I was going to not want to go back into the server room, and I did. I came off the road about a year later, went back into the workforce and got my job as an.

Speaker 4:

HTML developer, html PHP. And through dumb luck, one random thing led to another. about two or three years later I learned the Salesforce platform, and that's when I also stumbled into services, and it was because of that band I was able to have the skills to find it. So I don't recommend everybody do it, but if you have the opportunity, don't pass it up, i guess.

Speaker 2:

Man, i love that story And can I ask you were you classically trained or can you read music?

Speaker 4:

I was not classically trained. I was lucky enough to be musically educated a little tiny bit, honestly, in elementary school. my elementary had a good, solid music program. I also took piano lessons when I was young. I was not classically calling it classically trained, so far over-sells it Like he had to be playing the theme from Mission Impossible And I also didn't really care. It's a good song. It's a really good song. It's a good song. It's super fun to sing the Mission Impossible theme song around the campfire. But I can read music. it takes me a minute, right, It's like I read music, like I read Spanish. I found it out in my head and then I'm kind of useless, but I can read music. if that answers your question.

Speaker 2:

It does and thanks for answering it. I always like to pick people's brains on this because throughout my career almost 25 years of headhunting in the tech space there are so many musicians who are developers right.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I have a degree in music And it's because it's a symbolic language.

Speaker 2:

You have a degree in music, Vanessa.

Speaker 3:

That's what my degree is. I have a degree in music from NYU.

Speaker 2:

Who are you? I don't even know you. Oh my God, you're on the show. Wow, that's good. Maybe there's a link here. You guys make me jealous because I'm Mr Cordchart myself.

Speaker 4:

Well, that's why she not only sounds good, but also can make sound decisions.

Speaker 3:

Oh there you go.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's good. She sounds terrific. And in just a moment, guys, we're gonna wrap up this segment of the podcast and get ready for part two. I have one more question for Mark before we do that, and, by the way, if you have additional questions, for if you have additional questions for Mark, it's okay, he's gonna be here. You can ask him in the next segment. We're just gonna do this new little thing here. So the question I've got for you, mark, is listen. The people who listen to this show. They come from all walks of life. They come from over 20, 25 different countries listening to this program, and the majority of them are curious about how to advance their career or how to enjoy their career more. So here's your platform. Right, if you could give any advice to the general public or our audience the one or two things that you've done that you believe have advanced your career and brought you into the career that you really love. What were those decisions or behaviors?

Speaker 4:

Wow, no pressure. Okay, the one or two things. So I guess I'll give some of the advice that I've been giving of late. I'm a little bit older, i'm a little bit more senior, as one of my mentors used to say. I've got a little more snow on the roof And I think I let go of ambition, other than the ambition to look forward to what I'm going to be doing on Monday morning.

Speaker 4:

Because if you look forward to what you're going to be doing on Monday morning, then you know if you love what you do. It's not work, that's all that stuff, blah, blah, blah. I don't know if that's true or not. However, if you can look forward to what you're doing on Monday morning, then it's not drudgery, right? You're not going to have all the anxiety over the weekend. Oh, i can't believe. I'm going to go to work And really that's what I seek to build. That's what I seek to hire People who want to do the job that I have on offer.

Speaker 4:

Those are the characteristics I look for in jobs that I go after. I'm actually going to be enjoying the work, the work that I'm going to be doing day in and day out, and everything else tile, money, everything else it kind of falls out of that tree. Now the tree is. You know, i live in the Bay Area, i've got two kids and a massive mortgage And so it's really easy to say that money falls out of that tree. But I need a lot of money to fall out of that tree to keep everything running, so it's not super cut and dried But even so, you know, i got into this job and consulting. I got into Salesforce because I enjoyed it, i enjoyed the challenge And I like solving problems And it's gone up and down at cyclical But I just kind of chase my own enjoyment And as long as I don't hate what I'm doing, then any other moves I need to make, they can be slower, they can be kind of at my own pace And everything just kind of works out. I guess that would be my best advice.

Speaker 2:

I think that's incredible advice, mark. You've been a fantastic guest And you're embodying embodying the anti Garfield sentiment that I have, because I hate lasagna and I love Mondays And it sounds like you love Mondays. I don't know what your pasta affiliation is, but I'm with you. I mean, i look forward to Monday. I get to work right, i get to be with my team. I have this incredible team Some of them are listening right now And it's a huge thing.

Speaker 2:

So much of it has to do with living in the present, finding what's good, find the thing to be grateful for, and if we can all do that, moment to moment or Monday to Monday, we're going to establish an attitude and certain behaviors will stem from those attitudes and certain relationships will stem from those behaviors And we're all going to find ourselves fulfilled. Doesn't mean that Casey and Casey and I were just talking about this and I might botch this, but sometimes, when we're working towards a goal, right, we're trying to climb this big mountain and we're trying to get to the very top of the mountain And I don't know if any of you have ever gone on a hike and thought that you were near the top, only to realize that there's another 1000 feet of vertical snow covered land to cover. But it can feel sometimes when you're on this trail for those of you on trailhead you'll get this that you think you're almost done and then you're not. You think you're almost done again a month later, two weeks later, and then you're not. But what it does. Maybe you don't reach the mountaintop right, but maybe you get to be really good at hiking And if you can be really good at hiking or really good at working, those Mondays are going to get chewed up and you're just going to crush it.

Speaker 2:

This has been a wonderful episode. Everybody stick around because we're not going anywhere. But I am going to do a couple of little commentary to wrap up this episode and then we're going to launch into part two. So, mark, thank you so much for being a wonderful guest on the show. You're welcome back anytime. You just show up. We'll add you as a speaker. Love to hear your perspective. So thank you, and I'm sure if all of us could just drop our phones and put our hands together, you'd hear a nice round of applause. So thank you again for being on the show. If you have just listened to this podcast, stay tuned because in less than a week, we'll be releasing part two.

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