August 24, 2023

Climb Hire Perspective: Hope and Relationships Matter

Abdul Sultani is a Business System Analyst at Gusto

I grew up in Afghanistan in a one-bedroom house with seven adults. The living conditions were unbearable, and the environment was uncomfortable and violent. We experienced persistent violence, an unstable government, and a lack of rule of law in our society. These adverse conditions greatly affected my childhood. Our only means of survival was through my mom, who earned just enough to get by with odd jobs, an unimaginable life for a single mother in Afghanistan. At thirteen years old, I began working to provide for my family, yet, it was not enough to sustain our necessities. Our security as human beings was always in question, and we didn’t dream to hope for a better future. It was only when I immigrated to the United States seven years ago that hope became a reality.


However, the transition to the US was a lot harder than I expected. Between getting my legal papers approved, learning English, assimilating to western culture, and finding a job, I struggled to keep afloat. I held down three jobs to make ends meet. I worked at Jack in the Box during the day, served as a security guard at night, and drove Uber on the weekends. While these jobs’ income helped me and my family back in Afghanistan, it was far from my dream career.

After studying English for a year and business for three years, I received my associate degree in Business Administration. I applied to over a hundred entry-level jobs and was rejected over and over again. Those rejections were painful and slowly made me lose hope.

By chance, I discovered a company called Salesforce when meeting a passenger in my Uber car headed to Dreamforce. That encounter opened up my world, and I decided to be a Salesforce System Administrator. Curious to find a program to help me reach my goal, I found Climb Hire. I earned my Salesforce Administrator certificate in four months.

My experience at Climb Hire has truly been life-changing. The program kept me on track with my goals and gave me a newfound confidence. I learned numerous technical and soft skills pertaining to the tech industry. We also had extensive networking opportunities and met many supportive mentors who work at Salesforce. Climb Hire’s values are relationships matter, joy, generosity, overcome adversity, and most importantly, DOING THE HARD WORK!!

After securing my Salesforce Administrator certification, I applied for over twenty jobs as a Salesforce System Analyst and landed several interviews, but I was rejected once again. I was back on that roller coaster of self-doubt and waning confidence. Fortunately, Nitzan Pelman, the founder of Climb Hire, believed in me and kept encouraging me to keep trying.


I am filled with pride as I share that I now work as a Business Systems Analyst at Gusto. It’s an immensely fulfilling and purposeful career. I am lucky to be part of an organization where the mission is to create a world where work empowers a better life. Gusto is a modern, online people platform that helps small businesses take care of their teams. On top of full-service payroll, Gusto offers health insurance, 401(k)s, expert HR, and team management tools to more than 100,000 businesses nationwide.

I give thanks to the incredible team of Climb Hire, who has helped me along the journey. A special shoutout and thank you to Nitzan, Kate Smalkin, Alex Vila, Jake Decker for mentorship and the continued support.

Sourav Mitra, Michelle Vieria, & Todd Dowdy, thank you for believing in me and offering this incredible opportunity at Gusto.

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