Have you ever wondered what life is like as a consultant? Or what it's like…
For many companies, ‘work’ has looked very different this year due to the impact of COVID. At Gears, we have been a fully remote company since 2009, so we are very used to working from home. Of course, many of us have had to adapt to also sharing our once quiet workspaces with roommates, significant others, and children, but we’ve been operating virtually for years.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work from home every day in a fully virtual company? Wonder no more – the “Life at Gears” series features our employees talking about a typical day-in-the-life at Gears, explaining their roles, and showing off their home office spaces. We have an amazing team at Gears, and what better way to showcase these individuals, and the variety of roles at Gears, than to let our employees share their stories themselves? This month Bruce Stewart, Senior Consultant and Field Service Specialist, talks about his daily life at Gears. We are currently hiring for multiple positions, including the Senior Consultant role, so read on to learn more!
What is your role at Gears?
Senior Consultant – promoted way back in early 2020 to Field Service Specialist. Salesforce is increasingly complex, and I chose to specialize in Field Service due to its truly intricate nature and how much I enjoy process automation. Our clients tend to request more and more customization and automation here, and the “Russian dolls” nature of objects with Field Service really does demand it! I participate in client calls for requirements discovery and refinement, internal calls to enable the solutions our architects formulate, and training and personal growth webinars surrounding process automation and mastery of the platform. And, of course, lots of hours in the batcave formulating org setup and process automation wizardry.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My wife began working at home in 2012, so I have been jealous of her “commuter slippers” since then. I now take my own commuter-slippers to my desk early after the kids are off to school (or zoom-school), review my calendar, dig into any overnight communications, and carve out time for deep dives into any blockers or new build items. I take joy in the a-ha moments where I can utilize out of the box features in creative ways. I regularly participate internally on process automation and Field Service best practice conversations. Early lunch, calls, maybe swap a single load of laundry and check on a crock pot meal, or whatever we’re defrosting for our family. My wife does work at home too but with her call schedule, we hardly see each other during working hours. With the kids home for remote school, there’s a bit more activity, but really we’re mostly like ships passing in the night and we all get to catch up at dinner.
What’s been your most interesting project so far?
I worked from early on delivering a Service Console and Field Service Lightning implementation for a client with a mature org and many integrations. They were also brand new to the Field Service product, with thousands of Service Resources. In a tightly integrated workflow with their on-premise system, they wanted to seat Field Service as the system of record for where they service with what specific types of work, and who would travel where. Personal safety is at stake in their line of work, and gauging the skill levels required was based on their photographic assessment of a worksite, so we have to pitch and catch data pretty seamlessly with their system. What happens? If you have a “catastrophe call” and need pictures of your home due to roof damage from storms or other trouble, they use our build to dispatch technicians to take photographs, so your claim can be processed quickly and accurately by the insurance company.
How has Gears helped you in your career development?
I’ve been in IT since there were multiple sizes of floppy disks cluttering my desk. I worked with early databases like FileMaker achieving SOME of the things we can do effortlessly with Salesforce today. I really dove into Salesforce when I was first exposed at a previous role, so I got my Admin certification and went to work at a startup. After moving to Gears, I’ve achieved 5 more certifications, and find every day there are parts of this vast platform that many other people know much better than I do. Here at Gears, we rely on each other which definitely helps when you have the kernel of an idea of how to tackle something and we work together to build upon that approach. Our team is also critically valuable when you want to “sanity check” a solution. We have over 100 experts, who all pride themselves on keeping current and being innovative. It’s like being in the Iron Man suit and having 100 supportive voices helping you kick butt each day.
What’s your favorite thing about working for Gears?
Working from home is a great benefit, but the supportive, creative team I mentioned above is truly the greatest benefit. Sure, many of us are a bit of a “Salesforce Nerd” but we all lead with empathy and creativity. It’s a place where I feel truly supported. The annual meeting (usually held in coastal Maine) is also a great time to share ideas, eat great food, stay up too late, and plan the coming year’s growth. This year our meeting was fully remote, still fun, and garnered me a “People’s Choice” Award for being a helpful Geary.
When you’re not on-the-clock, how do you spend your time?
I love movies and comics. If you have a TV series about lonely British police detectives in rolling countryside – that’s my jam. My family really enjoys the UK television series “Taskmaster” – where participants solve problems in creative ways. I have coached my daughter’s First Lego League Robotics team for the past 5 years. I like to bike, kayak, and travel with my family. When we can, we hit the lakes and coast of New England. We’re all eager to get back out when it’s safe to travel again.
If you were trapped on a deserted island, what one thing would you want to bring with you?
Netflix does not sound like a practical answer. Maybe sunscreen, so I could be protected for a while, and spell out “HELF” on the beach with the rest of the bottle.
Do you have advice for anyone getting ready to work from home full time?
Well, it seems that many more people are diving into remote work lately with social distancing and COVID precautions. Generally, people will tell you a lot about will-power. I recommend a sit to stand (motorized) desk. The one I got was pretty expensive, but it is the first desk I have EVER owned for myself as a grown-up. No drawers or storage, but it allows me to sit comfortably, and then change to standing seamlessly (accompanied by a low motor noise). This keeps me from getting stiff or bogged down in 1 position, or literally one point of view, all day. To that end, taking a walk – or literally a shower – are great ways to distract the mind if you feel “blocked.” Maybe for the new year, I’ll put a white board in the shower.
Thanks to Bruce for taking the time to share! If a consulting role sounds like the job for you, check out our open positions and learn more about working for Gears. We look forward to introducing you to more of the team through the “Life at Gears” series!