David Manelski

Five Essential Keys to Career Happiness

I’m often asked about my job, what I do, and how I like working at Salesforce.org. In a nutshell, I’m a lead architect on the Salesforce.org Enterprise System Team. It’s my #dreamjob, and I love my work, my team, and this organization. Having been through the demise of a once prominent organization that devolved and ultimately failed because of a combination of factors, I found myself reflecting on why I’m so happy today. For me, there are 5 essential keys to career happiness:

Exciting and challenging work

Everyone has a different idea about what makes work interesting and challenging. Some people love working with people on the big sale or donation, while others like to go elbows deep analyzing the data. For me, the juice that gets me excited about my work is developing and implementing technical solutions to help other people work better. My “customers” are the internal teams at Salesforce.org, as well as the nonprofit and higher education customers in the Power of Us Hub. I take the long view that if I can help my customers be more effective at what they do, I am supporting them to make a positive change and impact in the world.

My team, Enterprise Systems, has recently adopted and formalized a product management team structure, which Sam Dorman wrote so eloquently about as a way for organizations to manage their internal systems. Part of our shift involved developing 18-month roadmaps for each product within Salesforce.org. It’s without hyperbole that I say that the Enterprise Systems team at Salesforce.org is working on some of the most excited and innovative projects in the coming year, and that these projects promise to revolutionize how we engage with our customers and influence the world of corporate philanthropy. Pretty big stuff.

Great leadership

It’s the job of great leaders to set an inspiring vision for the organization and act in service of the people who are executing on that vision. Salesforce.org’s Tech & Products team has a culture of great leadership which includes everyone from people with VP in their title to smaller-scale leadership within scrum teams or on projects. We strive to give people autonomy, mastery and purpose within the Tech & Products team, and doing so allows people to lead at all levels of the organization.

Salesforce.org uses the V2MOM–a vision alignment tool developed by Marc Benioff himself–to align the organization around shared Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Metrics. As a team, as individuals, and sometimes around a large strategic project, we develop a V2MOM that enables us to articulate a shared vision that connects each person’s work to the direction that leadership has set for the organization. It gives us a shared language to communicate, prioritize, and make decisions in a landscape where there is always more work to do than there are people who can deliver it.

Competitive compensation and opportunities for growth

While numerous studies have cited compensation as only one part of job satisfaction, organizations must remain competitive in terms of compensation in order to hire great people. Nonprofits are wrestling with and failing to retain great people because of this compensation gap. Often times within small nonprofits, the opportunities for advancement and professional growth are limited. Finding great individuals with Salesforce expertise can be very tricky in an ultra-competitive job market.

On the Tech & Products team at Salesforce.org, we’ve recently benchmarked our salary structure, and set up advancement paths for both managers and individual contributors. It’s common at many organizations to be forced into a management role in order to advance but at Salesforce.org we’ve set up a career advancement path that allows someone to climb to a VP-equivalent level as an individual contributor, as well as the typical people manager path.

Aligning personal and organizational values

Before I took my job at Salesforce.org three years ago, I had the luxury of shopping around at a number of consulting and product companies during my job search. As anyone with force.com experience knows, the job market is hot and you can be choosy about finding your “perfect fit.” I’m personally motivated by supporting social changers, as my way of making an impact in the world, so I found myself focusing on this during my interviews with leadership at the companies that made up my job search. I wanted to work for a company that cared about the things I care about. And that’s what I found at Salesforce.org. The role I play on the Enterprise Systems team–a role that allows me to develop products and services for nonprofits at a scale I never thought imaginable–gets me excited about coming to work every day, and plays a significant part in my job satisfaction.

Killer team

I’ve been very lucky to work at two organizations where I am surrounded by the most brilliant, fun, and supportive teammates. There are people in this world who go to work, stamp their timecard, and put in their time with no enthusiasm whatsoever. And there are people in this world that elevate the people around them (like the 10X engineers). Salesforce.org has consistenly hired the best people available, and it’s evident in the trajectory and culture of the organization today. The Enterprise Systems team is the most talented group of individuals that I’ve ever worked with in my entire career. I can always count on my teammates to have my back, but at the same time they’re also a light-hearted, witty, and clever group who I consider my friends as well. At the end of the day, these are the people you’re spending 40+ hours a week with, and surrounding yourself with great people makes the job that much more enjoyable.

When I joined the Salesforce.org Tech & Products team three years ago, we were five full-time employees. Today, we’re a team of 36 on the way to 50 by the end of the year. We’re developing products like the Nonprofit Starter Pack, Higher Education Data Architecture, the Power of Us Hub community, and the next generation of corporate philanthropy products and services. It’s easily the most innovative work and team that I’ve ever been a part of, and I can’t wait to see what we release this year. We’re hiring across the Tech & Products organization, from product managers, to front-end developers, to force.com wizards. Come find your #dreamjob with us!

Multiple positions - Force.com Developer, Front-End Developer, Web Developer, Quality Engineering http://salesforce.careermount.com/career/46911/Member-Technical-Staff-Web-Development-Us-California-Remote-Us-California-San-Francisco-Hq

Product Manager http://salesforce.careermount.com/career/46947/Product-Manager-Programs-Employee-Engagement-Us-California-Remote-Us-California-San-Francisco-Hq

Products: Technical Product Manager, EMEA http://salesforce.careermount.com/career/46565/Technical-Product-Manager-Salesforce-Org-Uk-London-Uk-Staines

Technical Product Manager, Student Success http://salesforce.careermount.com/career/47375/Technical-Product-Manager-Student-Success-Salesforce-Org-Us-California-San-Francisco-Hq

Engineer, Force.com http://salesforce.careermount.com/career/47181/Member-Technical-Staff-Engineering-Us-California-Remote-Us-California-San-Francisco-Hq