My Cisco Moments that Matter
Have you been powerfully, positively impacted by where you work? I have! Cisco cares about their employees in many ways, but one way that they truly show this is through an initiative called Moments that Matter.
The Moments that Matter are the critical touch points between the employee and the company that leave an imprint – like your experience on your first day, making a difference within the company, and even as you transition out of the company.
Throughout our lives, we all have moments that matter, and I’ve walked many of mine with Cisco by my side.
From marriage and our first baby to professional transitions and sickness, these are the moments that mattered to me and my family:
In 2011, my (now) wife and I were just dating, and we were based in two different locations. I’m from Mexico, and had just finalized my MBA in the US. She was based in Arizona, but a project she was involved with was taking her to rural Cambodia, where she is originally from. That’s when I was offered a position with Cisco at their headquarters in San Jose, CA. At this point, a job offer at pretty much any other company would have been an almost insurmountable obstacle for our relationship because of the distance.
Cisco’s flexibility played a major role in this early stage of our relationship.
When I explained the situation to my manager, her response was simple. She just wanted me to get my work done – WHERE that work happened was a detail. Now, many companies offer the possibility of remote work, but Cisco takes it to the next level, and thanks to Cisco’s technology, I was able to work from different cities in Mexico, the US, Europe, and even in rural Cambodia.
Did that require me to join meetings from Cambodia at midnight, with spotty internet access, a Vietnamese cell phone provider for voice – and a Tokay lizard singing in the background (obviously, I muted my line) – Yes. 😀 But was it all worth it? Absolutely.
Cisco’s flexibility gave me the opportunity to do my best work while pursuing the love of my life, and a few years later, we got married in a traditional Cambodian ceremony in Seattle.
Without Cisco’s flexibility and technology this moment that mattered may not have been possible.
And Baby Makes Three
During one of our trips to Mexico, while my wife was pregnant with our first baby, we were told that it would be better for us to stay in Mexico for the remainder of her pregnancy – and ultimately for a much longer period than anticipated.
I called my new manager and our HR team to tell them the news – and true to the Cisco way of life, everyone I spoke with only had support to offer. We were blessed with our first son, and we were delighted to receive a gift from Cisco which included a baby bag, a couple of great books on babies, and access to a breastfeeding specialist that was very helpful – another moment that mattered!
Not only was their understanding a gift to us, but Cisco relocated us to Mexico as requested, in a transparent process that allowed us to focus on what mattered: our new baby.
The fact that Cisco is there for its employees, no matter the milestone – or hurdles that milestone may present – says something special about this company.
Having a Career, Not Just a Job
I would’ve understood if I had to sacrifice some personal development in in exchange for the flexibility and support I had received from Cisco. Instead, during these times I was promoted and offered a new position! At Cisco, I mattered.
In my new role, I was responsible for co-designing a new program that would help develop Cisco’s Top 2% of their global talent. This, by itself, was a phenomenal opportunity that allowed me to work with some of the world’s foremost experts on topics such as emotional intelligence, happiness, hidden bias and crucial aspects of business strategy.
From this position, I was able to lead a team to create Startup//Cisco, an initiative to help support internal innovation following a startup ethos and best practices. The interesting thing is that creating this initiative was not part of my role – yet the freedom to do the right thing for the company was a crucial component in allowing me to pursue this achievement.
The initiative has now been adopted as a corporate-wide offering to help employees accelerate innovation. Instead of being limited to pursue something outside of my role, I was supported. This led to so many other opportunities in my career, and is yet another example of what I love about Cisco’s culture.
In Sickness and in Health
Recently, Cisco offered me a new position in Europe. Along with the offer came an exploratory trip for my family, which now included a 3 year-old and an 11-month old. During our stop in London, where I needed to facilitate a Cisco course, my wife and infant child got extremely ill. Not knowing how to navigate the British healthcare system, we walked to a nearby public hospital at 4am hoping for the best.
In this moment of difficulty, Cisco was there for us again – with benefits and support that came to our aid. The International SOS connected us to the right doctors, made the appointments, and coordinated with the insurance company to cover us during this business trip. We received great attention and care because of this, and that allowed my wife and son to recover a week later. It was a very difficult experience – but having Cisco’s support through this trying time made all the difference.
To be in another country, and not knowing your way – there is nothing quite like having Cisco there to help you through it all.
Five years and dozens of cities later, from the very beginning when my wife and I were dating, to experiencing the incredible moments we have today with our two boys, Cisco has truly been a part of the Moments that Matter to us – and for that we are deeply grateful.
Are you looking for a company that supports you in the Moments that Matter? We’re hiring!