Stretch Assignments Take Employee Beyond the Day-to-Day
Bipasha Chakrabarti has been a part of Cisco’s Public Relations team in India for almost five years now, and in that time she has loved getting to explore other facets of the company that have helped to grow and develop her career. Recently Bipasha was an Expand Your Boundaries Award Winner for Q3 – and the very first winner from Asia! Bipasha was awarded the opportunity to participate in a Stretch Assignment where she would have the option to spend one week with another team to see how they operated.
While she says many exciting choices were given to her, she decided to visit with the social media team in San Jose, CA, “I wanted to take my 14 years of PR experience and use this Stretch Assignment to go beyond public relations and explore another area of communications. As social media is an integral part of our worldwide communications strategy here at Cisco, I thought this was a great opportunity.”
During Bipasha’s time with the social media team she realized that they are a – team that focuses on so much more than what most think a social media specialist does.
“My stretch assignment really amplified my understanding of what this team does on a day-to-day basis to strategize, execute, and innovate for our social media communications. I really got to know them – how they operate, how their week looks, and how daily life is for them. I could see their level of expectations, and it adds to the understanding of how people think and collaborate,“ says Bipasha. “A stretch assignment helps you to broaden your boundaries as you learn global skills and understand the need for developing a network of relationships while also realizing how these skills can then translate into your current role and region.”
Bipasha has two learnings to share from her stretch assignment and offers these insights:
- Never be afraid to ask your managers to learn in new areas. “Cisco is a very open company, and they want you to explore your potential and grow. This is one of the many things that makes Cisco such a wonderful place to work – you are not restricted here, so take initiative to explore the other areas that interest you.”
- You can’t do it all. Focus on 2-3 things that will benefit your current role or your career path. Look at this experience through a lens that will better your career in 3-5 years
Bipasha is very proud to work for Cisco and for leaders who encourage her to grow, “This sort of culture within a company helps others to want to do their best. It is not just about doing your job well, our leadership team truly wants to support your success and growth and they give you the tools to empower that expansion.”