Sara and her husband squat and smile next to their son in a strollerAnytime anyone asks me how I like my job at Cisco, my response is always the same, “I wish I would have applied sooner.” 

My path to becoming successful in my career is probably no different than any other person out there. I finished college with a bachelor’s degree, and when I graduated, I had to find a job 

It was the next logical step in my life – especially since I was pretty sure my parents didn’t want me sitting around at home watching TV all day. 

I began my search by moving around to a few different companies trying to find the right company that would catapult my journey from just a job into a full-fledged career. 

Over the years my life changed a lot. I got married, had a son, and was doing well at my job. I was satisfied with the company, but something in me was yearning for more. Simply being satisfied wasn’t cutting it – and I had reached a point where the work/life balance was no longer what it used to be as I rushed home to see my son before bedtime or missed quality time with my husband because of stress at work. I noticed the ability to broaden my career was also slowly dwindling, and one day thought, “I need a change.” 

My job search was, probably, what a lot of candidates experience as well: resumes sent to inboxes that likely went unchecked, and countless phone interviews that ended with the promise of, “We’ll get back to you soon.” Yet, no follow-ups. 

Sara's husband and son wear matching jeans, grey tshirt, and navy vests for a picture.One day, during the great job hunt, I paused and thought, My best friends husband works for Cisco and always talks about how great it is. I really need to look at Cisco! 

Cisco’s brand is one that is hard to miss, and I was immediately impressed. But I didn’t allow myself to get too excited – still, I knew I had to take a chance once I found a few Renewals Specialist positions available. I clicked, “apply” and waited. 

A few weeks later I received an email from human resources asking for my availability to speak with the hiring manager regarding a Renewals Specialist role. Although I was thrilled at the opportunity, the anxiety kicked into high gear, What if I mess up and trip over my own words? What if they asked some really tough questions?”  

Looking back, I had nothing to worry about –the Cisco interview experience was like catching up with an old friend. I never felt intimidated or nervous, and it quickly became one of the best interview experiences I’ve ever had. I made it through to the final interview, and a few weeks later I got the email that every applicant dreams of, “We think you’re a great fit for our team!” 

I was so excitedI screamed. I turned the radio up and blasted “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams and car danced the entire way home. I had taken the leap of faith to make a change in my life, and was successful. That called for immediate celebration! 

Of course, once the song ended and my car dancing excitement came to a close – the nerves of something new struck, “The office is far from where I live. What if they don’t like people working remotely? What if I have to stay until 6pm every day and can’t see my son before he goes to bed? Did I make the wrong choice?”  

Sara poses with the infamous gong at Cisco Waltham before striking it!I shared my concerns with my soon-to-be-managerthe phone call was vividly captured in my memory. I was so surprised by the response! He told me that he was open to me working remotely a couple days a week if I needed to, and so long as my work was done – I could even come into and leave the office when it worked best for me and my family. And this wasn’t just ‘talk’ either – it’s exactly what happened and has been reflected throughout the company. 

I have been at Cisco for eight months now and cannot get over how balanced I feel as a Renewals Specialist, as a mother, and as a wife. Sure, like any other job, there are tough days. There are fire drills that come up that you can’t avoid – there are even sometimes urgent emails at 10pm that cannot wait until morning. But my manager, my team, and Cisco have given me all the tools I need to be successful.  

I was welcomed with open arms, and it feels like I have known the people on my team for years. I feel successful every day at my job and know without question that I am a valuable asset to my team and to Cisco. I even got to ring the notorious gong at the Waltham location when I closed my first deal and let me tell you that was awesome!  

My work/life balance is exactly what I imagined and needed – not to mention, the same now as it was when I first started at Cisco. Which is a testament to Cisco knowing how important work/life balance is to their employees. I can also tell that my husband and 3-year-old son are extremely grateful for this as I am no longer rushing home to see my son before he goes to bed, and my weekends are focused solely on family time, rather than dreading Monday mornings.  

If I could give one piece of advice to current job seekers, it would be to take a leap of faith, and even if you think it’s beyond your reach, take a look at Cisco. You never know what you might find when you type in something as simple as “renewals” into the search bar.  

You might just find the job that has been waiting for you all along.  

Ready to join a company that encourages work/life balance? We’re hiring. Apply now. 


Sara Tomaselli

Renewals Specialist

Customer Experience - Security