Jessica Norwood sits on porch steps holding a sign that reads, "First Day at Cisco Oct 19, 2021." She is wearing a pastel pink dress and is surrounded by pumpkins.In October 2021, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, I decided to take a risk, and change jobs. I have taken many risks in my career journey over the years, but this one felt especially daunting, given the uncertainty we have all faced in the last few years.

I joined the Digital Sales Effectiveness team within Global Virtual Sales and Engineering (GVSE) as the Global Sales Content Strategist, a brand-new role never been held before. I knew going into this role that there would be lots of uncertainty, visibility, and opportunity—all aspects I was excited about. But as I reflect on the last 365 days at Cisco, the word grateful comes to mind first.

I am grateful for the amazing team I work on, the projects we are a part of, and the challenges we solve.

I learned quickly to lean on my team for support. With their help, I successfully built and implemented our global sales content operating model that supports all our digital sellers in GVSE (1200+ people), spanning 20+ languages. This helps our sellers automate their communications and save time with content they’re excited about using. As a former salesperson, I know how important this is, and I am incredibly proud of the work my team does to support our sellers.

Grateful that Cisco values continuous improvement and professional development.

With the support of my manager, I took the opportunity to earn my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, which has helped me make important data-driven decisions every single day in my role. I also took the opportunity to complete The Leadership Consortium leader program, founded and led by Harvard Business School Professors. It’s helped me enhance my skillsets and become a more self-aware leader—and Cisco encourages leadership at every level.

With the encouragement of my manager, I was a panelist for Cisco’s Illuminate Your Leadership, an all-day, company-wide learning event. It was an incredibly exciting and humbling experience as it is broadcast worldwide to 77K+ employees. The topic was about embracing vulnerability and learning from mistakes. The opportunity to have a meaningful and powerful discussion with my fellow panelists was truly fulfilling. After the segment aired, I received so much positive feedback that I knew I did a great job serving my fellow Cisconians in thought leadership.

Jessica Norwood wears a face mask and holds up a bag of unhusked corn. She is in a warehouse and there is a large box of unhusked corn in front of her.Grateful to work for a company that isn’t performative in its efforts to make sure that every employee can show up as their true self. 

Cisco is truly a pioneer in making people feel seen and heard and embodying the notion of bringing your full self to work. The company supports women, underrepresented groups, and many more with actual programs and funding to back what it says! There is also an Inclusive Community (what we call Employee Resource Organizations) for everyone here. I am part of several of them!

Grateful to work for a company that encourages volunteer work and gives you time off to give back. 

The opportunities to give back to your community and beyond are unparalleled. Hello, 40 hours of Time2Give! That’s 40 hours outside our regular paid time off just for volunteering, extended to 80 hours through 2023.

I am grateful for a career that I truly love!

Every day at Cisco, you have the opportunity to learn, grow and lead. The benefits are incredible, the sense of community is unmatched, and the people are amazing. Cisco is not performative in what they do, and they fully recognize that happy employees take care of business, period. By providing the best tools, resources, opportunities, and work-life balance, I can confidently say (as a working mom and woman of color) that I feel Cisco is supporting and empowering me to do my best work. I am grateful for the opportunity to join this incredible company and am proud of myself for taking the leap; I haven’t looked back since! I am proud to say I work for Cisco and look forward to many more years of growth, learning, and leadership.

Ready to grow with us? Find your career here.


Jessica Norwood

Global Digital Sales Content Strategist

GVSE-Global Sales Acceleration