Confessions of a Cisco Facilities Manager
Have you wondered who takes care of everything that has to do with the space, the experience, and the services of every Cisco office in every country of the world? Who are the people that keep everything maintained, plan out our spaces, order new furniture, manage the reception, handle the mail, run the café programs, and most importantly, make sure there is always coffee in the break room?!
Well, I am Jeffrey Buck, and I am one of those people. I am a Facilities Professional. But, how did I get here? Good question. I’ll tell you everything, but first I need to take you back to the Fall of 2014…
I had just retired from owning my own chain of ice cream stores after almost 15 years, had just turned 40, and knew I wanted a new career – but had no idea of what I wanted that career to be.
I love the hospitality world but wasn’t sure I wanted the non-stop hours of an industry that never sleeps. I thought there HAD to be a job where I could combine my hospitality experience in a corporate, Monday-Friday, steady paycheck, with awesome benefits kind of way.
Then it happened.
My friend Lindsay grabbed me at kickball one night and told me about this job opening at Cisco. She had just started here as well and loved it. “It’s like the job was made for you, Jeff,” she said. Who was I to disagree? I applied, and I got it!
In early 2015, I started working at CBRE on the Cisco account. I was the Soft Services Manager, managing break rooms, cafes, big events on campuses, reception support, mail/shipping, transportation, office supplies, and convenience services. It was an eye-opening, jaw-dropping, head-spinning experience.
I could barely keep up with the emails, the meetings, the tasks, the special projects, and the amount of work it takes to make the facilities magic “just happen”. See, a facilities professional’s goal is to make our job unnoticeable so that you can simply come in, get your job done, and go home as a happy employee.
The sheer volume of tasks on my to do list seemed completely out of control – which may sound daunting to many, but I loved every second of it!
I had a very simple mindset that every person who worked at a Cisco site in my region was my customer, my priority, and my responsibility. It was my goal to see a smiling face and to make their job easier so that they could be productive for Cisco. I have a strict no tears, no fears, no fuss, no drama policy.
When I was contacted because something was wrong, it was like the Bat Signal had just filled the sky with its unique glow. I put on my cape and leaped into action! I was addicted to service and making things better and easier and safer and cleaner. Facilities management was now in my blood, and I wasn’t turning back. It had me, and I had it.
Flash forward to the Summer of 2017. My region decided they needed a “Cisco version” of me because there was a renewed focus on creating the absolute best employee experience and that required someone to step out of the “doing” and into the envisioning and strategizing aspect. We wanted to bring the best services and experiences to Cisco.
Lucky for me, they liked me. They really, really liked me, and I got the job.
Flash forward again to now – Spring of 2019. I am pushing toward two years as a full-time Cisco employee with over four years total working at Cisco.
A year ago, a new VP started in my department, Workplace Resources. He is all about transforming the employee experience. We are looking at everything with fresh eyes – everything can be improved upon. Yesterday’s magic is today’s new normal. It’s invigorating. It’s scary. It’s hard work. It’s always wanting to give more. It’s always looking for what’s next.
It’s a wild ride, each and every day, and I would not change a single thing about it.
So much has changed with Cisco and with me in the last 4+ years, but there is one thing that is exactly the same—I love seeing the smiling faces and making the magic happen.
Always go after the job that you want, the one that matches your personality, the one that make you happy, the one that will keep you hopping, the one that will challenge you, and the one that leave you with no regrets.
You only live once, and you spend so much of that time working. You should always #lovewhereyouwork, and I love that I can say that about Cisco!
Join us. Apply now.