Every now and again, I would check-in with my acquaintance and let them know how well I was getting on, and would always be met with "that's not really admin work, are you sure you are an admin?" This continued for a few years and like that the imposter syndrome was well and truly there in the back of my mind. As my role expanded and my love for Salesforce grew, I found my local usergroup and went to the next meeting. I was afraid to talk to anyone in case they realised I didn't know what I was doing so I left straight after the speakers finished.
It was only after I met a team of Salesforce experts over from the US, and had the opportunity to sit with them, that I figured out I had a good idea of what I was doing. I kept asking over and over again "how can I get on your team?" Eventually, after a few months of persistence, I got on the team! They were all experts on Salesforce and tools that connected into Salesforce. The best part is I could learn from them all; and learn from them I did!
In August 2015, my manager sent me the link for Trailhead and told me to check it out - I didn't know I had just been handed the golden ticket to cure my imposter's syndrome. After poking around, I reached out to my acquaintance "have you ever heard of...?" Trailhead was still new and not as big as it is now so again I was met with disinterest.
It was only in August 2016 that I logged in and decided to give Trailhead a shot! I had been watching the road to Dreamforce and the host mentioned they had a trail to prep you for DF16 and to check it out and within an hour I was addicted! Here was all the knowledge of salesforce for free! Reading the trails I realised I did know what I was doing and the stuff I didn't know was right here in front of me so that I could learn and get hands on experience doing. I spent the next four days getting 50 badges, a lot of the topics I knew from doing my daily tasks but I was learning the right way to do things (we all have our short cuts and customisations).
I decided to set myself a challenge of getting 100 badges before Dreamforce. I didn't want to shy away from conversations anymore and figured this would give me the confidence to talk to people at the conference. I ended up earning 100 badges within 3 weeks and 128 by Dreamforce. I volunteered to staff a booth at the Admin Meadow which meant I had to talk to people about Salesforce and was able help many of them! I met the acquaintance at Dreamforce and funny thing is I no longer felt like I didn't know what doing and their comments no longer got to me!
I suppose the biggest thing I learnt from Trailhead is to not doubt myself. I now have over 140 badges and I know a few things!