Rejection after rejection. While looking for the right role and company to take my career to the next level, I applied and interviewed for hundreds of jobs. It seemed, on the best days, to be a one-way street for most companies. And, after succumbing to the fear of failure, I felt discouraged to pursue my dreams.
That’s when I decided to shift my mindset to a more optimistic approach, I decided that rejection wasn’t the end of the world; it was ultimately the beginning. Rejection is simply redirection, and when we take one step back, we ultimately take 3 steps forward.
I used rejection as motivation to be the person I am today and not only make a difference in my communities but become a person my peers look up to. I started by creating a vision board with all my goals and aspirations, but what was most important was my support system.
When they say your five closest friends reflect who you are, it’s 100% true. Those close friends for me kept me focused on the fast lane that was my driving force to persevere in life.
I’m thankful to have now been able to work at amazing tech companies in the Strategy/Operations field. My career took me from Snapchat to Google, and now to Cisco. It wasn’t an easy path; it was more-so taking the road less traveled, but that’s made all the difference.
I joined Cisco this past June, working for their Go-To-Market Strategy Operations (GSO) team specifically for Sales Motions. Working close with my manager, team members, and other industry leaders on customer lifecycle initiatives to help grow our subscription-based model has been a great experience.
One of the aspects I love about Cisco is that they support me in my passions both in Strategy & Operations and helping others. Cisco isn’t about stopping you from pursuing your passions but realizes that these passions are what make you who you are – and, that they make you a happier, more well-rounded employee.
Here’s just a couple of ways I’m pursuing my passions now at Cisco:
1. Making a Global Impact: I love to think outside the box on ways we can help improve processes and help our company continue its success. I also have a passion for helping others which has led me to run my own career consulting called Wonsulting, with a mission to turn underdogs into winners. I’ve had the privilege of speaking at over 40 universities and organizations in the past few years on different topics including career opportunities, resumes, personal branding, and more. I’ve traveled around the world to give talks for organizations from Texas to Vancouver and even Jordan. By pursuing these passions, I’m able to feel a sense of job fulfillment, especially seeing the impact I’m able to make on a global scale.
2. Getting Involved: Another aspect of why I love working at Cisco is the extracurricular activities you’re able to be involved with. I love to mentor and help others through the Early Career Network or those interning here. By providing them with high-level perspectives on both their careers and growth here at Cisco, we’re able to uplift others and create an environment that’s constantly learning and innovating.
3. For Love of the Game: While I’ve met many fellow Cisconians around the office, perhaps one of my favorite spots to connect with my co-workers is on the basketball court at our Cisco gym. Playing sports with those who also love the game is something I truly cherish because it’s good for both our physical and mental health. It’s a different way to connect and learn about each other.
Maybe you find yourself today where I was all those years ago, facing all those rejections. I want you to know that you are not alone – it’s time to use that rejection as redirection! Network as best you can and have a value proposition. Use your available resources, from your career center to LinkedIn, to learn more about opportunities at Cisco and develop your personal brand.
Reach out to professionals in areas that interest you and try to set up phone calls with them to chat about their day-to-day tasks and see if those align with your goals and aspirations. Then, develop a value proposition that exemplifies not only what you bring to the table but what makes you, you.
Lastly, be human; we all have differences that make us unique and different goals we’re trying to achieve, but at the end of the day, we are all human beings trying to make it in this game called life. By being human, you’re able to stand out as an individual and have your talents be recognized.
Want to make an impact with us? We’re hiring. Apply now.