You know what’s great? Finding new things I love about my job at Cisco, even two years into being a field SE on the Global Service Provider team. Most of my career prior was built using Cisco technologies, but it never dawned on me during my many visits to the Cisco campuses that I could be working here.

Becoming a Cisconian was one of the best decisions of my life. It wasn’t that I was unhappy in my previous job, but Cisco has shown me their true colors and for that, I’m forever grateful and proud to be here.

Why do I love where I work so much? It’s really quite simple:

The Big Three

Cisco has a reputation for having a great work/life balance and we’re encouraged to “own it.” For people like myself that place a high value on flexibility, portability, and self-actualization – it’s a great fit. As a generalist, that translates to being able to work at anytime, anywhere, and on anything. And since we “eat our own dog food” so to speak, I’m equipped with the tools that any remote worker would need to get the job done.

Recently, I had to set up and take a few calls while on vacation in Miramar Beach – because of Cisco’s technology I’m able to work from anywhere to get the job done. Working while on vacation is rare, but my work day is equally flexible throughout the year which makes me value the time I’m able to spend with my family. As my mentor put it – I’m “net positive on family time.”

I do work that matters and am properly equipped to do so. That’s important to me. This doesn’t stop with the professional aspects, as Cisco encourages and enables us to contribute our time and talents in meaningful ways to our community, even providing five days off each year to do so. I’m a huge fan of Junior Achievement and also serve through other non-profits and our Church, and it means a great deal to me to be able to support the causes I’m passionate about throughout the year to better the world around us.

 All in, and it shows!

In an industry where we constantly need to refresh our knowledge, conferences are an important part of learning. My customer usually sends a strong contingent to Cisco Live, with a few of them even paying their own travel to make it happen.

Interested in working at Cisco? We’re hiring!

Cisco Live is one of the best enrichment opportunities an IT professional could attend, irrespective of your focus. There are sessions for personal development in a lecture-style format, as well as hand-on learning labs, technology demonstrations, and an opportunity to discuss solutions with technology partners. The knowledge is presented in a fun, dynamic environment, but every one hour of learning will typically generate a desire for another forty hours of labbing, learning, and further exploring the technology. I can’t possibly recommend it enough.

That said, if I get involved in something – I’m “all in.” In order to feed the positive energy at Cisco Live, I printed out a copy of the Cisco logo, went into Barbers United, and Charles made it happen.

Not only did my new look have the desired effect with other attendees, I had so much fun with it that I decided to do it again at GSX, our global sales conference. That turned out to be another good idea. The fun was amplified, it made a lot of people smile, and it culminated with our CEO Chuck Robbins displaying it at the GSX closing keynote, stating that the Cisco logo shaved into my head had made an appearance in the Wall Street Journal and that it was the best marketing ROI we’ve ever had.

The Future

We’ve stepped into a new calendar year and I’m excited about fueling the momentum in 2018 in this fast-paced industry. Automation, orchestration, and the convergence of technologies are creating opportunities for a modern technologist to make a big impact.

Come learn more about it at Cisco Live in Orlando, FL June 10 – 14, 2018! Concerned you won’t know anyone? Now, you do! There’s a good chance you’ll easily recognize me, by the back of my head…



Jon Hartman

Systems Engineer

Global Service Provider - Cloud, Mobility & Carrier