#SparkSquad: Featuring Beth Gardner


Our people are unique, and each of their spotlights will look a little different to reflect that. Today, I sat down with Beth Gardner, Salesforce Analyst at Spark.Orange since August of 2017, to talk about her career path and how she ended up here.

What were you doing before Spark.Orange?
I was a School Psychologist. I attended Graduate School for 3 years and was in the field for 7 years. In that time I worked with kids of varying ages – sometimes I had multiple jobs at different schools, other times my full-time roll had me split between buildings. I invested a lot of time and effort into this path and was pretty far along in my role when I decided to make a change.

What inspired your career change?
I was becoming a mother, so I was already in the midst of a big life change. With that, I was looking for a job that was less emotional–I wanted to be able to come home after work and still be energized to take care of my new daughter. I was also at a point in life where I was ready to take on a new challenge.

How did you end up at Spark.Orange?
My husband, Matt Gardner (of Gardner & Capparelli) works with Spark.Orange and believes in what they do. When he and I discussed my potential career change, he recommended that I look into Spark.Orange. As someone with no background in Salesforce, it was intimidating at first. It’s a much more technical field than I was used to and there was a lot to learn. But I took it in stride. I started by speaking to the Managing Partners of Spark.Orange, Derek Vargas and Aliza Seeber. They pointed me to Trailhead, where I started training. About a week in, I realized I loved learning about Salesforce. Trailhead was fun – the gamification had me wanting to learn more and keep going. I also realized my mind worked in a very technical way, so it felt like a natural fit.

Once I realized how much I enjoyed it, Derek and Aliza brought me on to the team and had me start working on a project right away. This really accelerated my learning. Being able to apply my knowledge in real-time, in real-life scenarios was so helpful. Three months later I passed my Admin Certification, and the rest is history!

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced along the way?
It was challenging to totally start over in a new and different field. That said, nothing felt out of reach to me. When I didn’t know something, I found a resource to learn it on my own or asked one of my coworkers for guidance. I’ve been able to overcome every challenge along the way!

What’s been the most rewarding part of this process?
It’s been so rewarding to connect with other people through work. We have a great crew here and our successes are shared, which makes it even more exciting.

Starting a new career sounds scary but exciting all at once. And Beth isn’t alone – did you know that 59% of working adults express interest in changing careers? Despite that, 94% identify barriers that are preventing them from doing so. Lucky for us, those barriers didn’t hold Beth back! If her story inspires you to pursue a career in Salesforce, these tips are a great place to start. We’d also be happy to provide advice if you contact us!