Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 4.04.46 PMThis post was written by guest blogger Patrice D’Eramo, who, as Vice President of the Americas Field Marketing Organization, leads field marketing for Cisco’s largest geographic region with $25 billion in annual sales. 

As I reflect back on my career journey, I realize most of the positions I wanted, I wasn’t supposed to get, at least not yet. I was either too young, didn’t have “enough” experience or didn’t have tenure at the company. Others were better positioned in the network, had more experience and were already a part of the company’s succession planning.

But I never let anything stop me from applying; I submitted my resume anyway. I surprised myself each time by being awarded every job I pursued. As a result of my “do it anyway” attitude, more opportunities presented themselves to me as time went on. In thinking back on how I have been successful, I attribute it to a few things:

  • My brand/reputation has always been important to me. From the first impression to the last experience people have with me, my brand remains consistent and firmly planted in my values. People want to know what you stand for and want to feel secure that their assessment is accurate. I made sure mine was.
  • My drive to continue to challenge myself and expand my comfort zone. I am willing to take risks in my life that allow me to grow, learn and contribute in new ways. Others may not want to take risks, but for me – it’s what adventures are made of. My career has definitely been a fun adventure.
  • The ability to demonstrate my intelligence AND heart made people believe that I was the right person for the job. Once I got the job, I worked hard to deliver and prove them right.
  • People matter, and surrounding myself with great mentors, sponsors and high-performing teams made me look stronger. In my opinion, this is the real power of success, because without a support system your dreams don’t go very far. With a support system, the possibilities are beyond your imagination!

There are always ups and downs as you move along your journey. But in every moment, life is good and offers each of us opportunities to learn, experience and create our own path, making a difference across our lives – in business, communities, and with our friends and family.

Patrice D’Eramo is participating in the upcoming Women of Impact Conference for Cisco’s employees, customers, and partners — a full day devoted to the development and advancement of professional women. Follow the event at #WOI2014 and on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up to attend the virtual event on March 6. 


Alexis Raymond

Senior Manager

Chief Sustainability Office