Why I Would Choose Cisco Over and Over Again
Have you ever felt a bit like you’re living the same day over and over again? I used to. Those were the days where my alarm clock would scream promptly at 6AM, my eyes would barely open as I’d smack one of my favorite songs back into sleep mode. Eventually, I’d roll out of bed – now rushed because five minutes became fifteen – and get ready for the day.
I’d grab my coffee and race out the door, only to be slammed into the slow crawl of an hour long commute – which would remind me of how many people really need more coffee in their lives. Finally, I’d cross the finish line, clock in, and collapse down into my chair (second cup of coffee in hand) and do my best to get through the day.
The next day, it would start all over again. That was my old Monday through Friday, and I think we’ve all had a job or two where each day felt a bit like the movie Groundhog Day, right?
Those days always left me wondering, “What else is out there?” – Especially during the hour long commute home, depleted of energy or coffee.
My story is proof that hard work, networking your face off, and waiting for a few stars to align can truly take you places – and it all took me to Cisco in the summer of 2015. No longer did I have to wonder what else was out there – because I had found it – I was living it! Now I know.
I love coming to work each and every day at Cisco – it’s never the same day twice! Here’s why, for me, I #LoveWhereYouWork.
1. We Give Back. Volunteering has always been very important to me – I love being able to give back, and do so quite frequently throughout the year. It was one of the first things that stood out to me when I was researching Cisco – they’re a company that cares. And in 2016, full time employees each received FIVE DAYS to give back in our local communities to organizations of their choosing. Cisco also matches donations throughout the year, and is proactive in truly making a difference in people’s lives.
For example, I’m planning to take some time in March to help The St. Baldrick’s Foundation for children’s cancer research — an organization I’ve been volunteering with for seven years! I’m their lead photographer for one of the events here in Florida, which is typically a full day spent on my feet, plus weeks of editing in my spare time. Thanks to Cisco – I’m now able to dedicate time on the Monday following our event to edit all those images in one day so that we can share them with event participants and St. Baldrick’s even faster!
Plus, I found out there are other employees throughout Cisco that are also volunteering with St. Baldrick’s – and we’re all participating even more now to help this great cause.
2. We Are a Family, and Family Comes First. I’ve worked on a lot of great teams at a lot of great companies, but this one is something unique. We’re never more than a phone call, text, or WebEx away and when something tough happens in life – we’re immediately in motion to help one another out.
We’re allowed time when our families need us. We understand that doctor’s appointments, vet appointments, and needing to get sick kids from school – those things happen.
We celebrate each other’s wins, and we mourn each other’s losses. We trust one another to get the job done, and we push each other to always be industry leaders in our space. We recognize each other, and never turn down an opportunity to let our co-workers know how much we value them. Cisco also has Connected Recognition, which allows employees the ability to award our fellow co-workers for a job well done.
A few months ago I got to treat myself with a brand new Apple Watch due to the Connected Recognition I earned! It’s something I never would’ve purchased for myself otherwise, but now I have a daily reminder of how amazing my Cisco Family is AND it keeps me active and motivated too! 😊
PS: We also get our Birthdays off! Now THERE’s another reason to celebrate!
3. Work/Life Balance and Flexibility. At Cisco I’m allowed to get my work done, and be flexible about it. I could’ve moved to NYC or LA for other career opportunities, but I wanted to stay close to the city I love and my family.
Plus, this meant I could finally get a dog, because I didn’t have to be at the office to get things done! (I’m sitting here with her as I write this.) I love that Kimber is always at my side during the work days, and that she helps to provide necessary breaks away from the computer screen for a quick lap around the block or a toss of the ball between meetings.
At the end of the day, I shut my computer off and head downstairs to immediately spend time with my family. Just kicking a commute to the curb has lessened my stress, given me more time to rest and take care of myself, ample time in the day to exercise without feeling burnt out, and I’m able to really focus on what matters most to me.
I’m happier and healthier because I’m not living to work, at Cisco…I’m working to live.
They say that in the best relationships, its people choosing one another every single day, day after day, no matter what. Good Day/Bad Day – you’d choose them all over again. That’s what love is between people.
But I also think, that’s also what it takes to really love where you work too. Does everything go according to plan or come up roses? Maybe not. But when you sit back and really look at it all, for me…there is nowhere else I’d rather be.
I’d choose Cisco every single day, over and over again, no matter what.
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