Some new moms set up play dates for their babies, but when you work for Cisco there are more – let’s call them connected creative options. Cisco collaboration can be used for more than business meetings when you want to share special moments with co-workers during baby “collaboration time”.

Cisco Collaboration tools are so easy, even a baby can use them! (Okay, maybe they need a little help from their moms.)

I started working at Cisco 11 years ago alongside of my co-contributor on this post and my very good friend and colleague Jennifer Frankie in the Sales Associate Program (CSAP) as engineers. Even though our careers have diverged in those 11 years, we’ve always kept in touch. That’s probably because during our CSAP program, we spent many long nights and weekends studying for certification exams and diving deep into Cisco technologies, doing a lot of work and having a lot of fun doing it. Over the years, we would see each other during the Global Sales Experience (GSX) and at other times when their paths would cross. We’re just a good personality match!

Last year, however, we found we had something else in common. We both found ourselves navigating the fact that we were both going to be first-time moms at nearly the same time, learning about maternity leave and sharing mom-to-be stories.

All of those late nights and Cisco-filled days were good preparation for being new moms. Our children came into the world about a month or so apart! Even though we were on leave, we still made time for video calls together with babies in tow.

Now when we’re back at Cisco and going through the “new working mom” process, it’s still a regular thing, as a way for us to share this journey together (and sometimes have new mom therapy sessions.)

Baby Collaboration!

Cisco is a great place for understanding a balance between work and life, and together we share tips, funny moments and serve as mentors to each other. Meanwhile, our sweet babies experience collaboration – even coo and wave at each other. It’s Cisco Collaboration tools at their finest, and at their most basic level of human connection. And now our babies will know the power of Cisco technology from the start! What amazing things will they do someday with such early introduction to this tech?!

That leads us into some tips for not only new moms at Cisco, but all moms considering Cisco and just moms in general in honor of Mother’s Day in the US.

  1. Connect with like-minded people as a community. For example, here at Cisco, did you know that there is a Cisco Internal maternity leave Spark community? We both received lots of good advice about maternity leave, ordering pumps, and all the other questions a Cisco mom-to-be might have, and it’s also great for connecting with other mothers at CiscoIt’s been amazing to see the progress from these interactions within our company and we are lucky to have a lot of passionate people about doing the right thing for working moms.
  2. Collaboration tools are THE BEST. Make sure you have a good internet connection and office space to be on video. We are on video a ton now. Working from wherever we need to gives us both a lot of convenience for pumping at work and still being super productive. Having the option to take calls over video really makes a difference for the new working mom.
  3. Forgive yourself. Being a working mom at Cisco or anywhere can be tough as you learn to balance and manage a new baby. It takes time to refocus after leave and maintain a new daily work flow. You have to work smarter and be efficient in new ways, but it is totally possible and just takes time.
  4. Use Cisco or employer resources. The lactation consultant phone calls that were provided by Cisco and information kit really helped improve the breast-feeding experience. The back-up daycare option is great for when we might be in a pinch and need help. Just become aware of what is available to you as a mom at your company and use it.
  5. Find something to do for you! When you are working and momming, it can be really hard to justify or even find time to have one small thing you do for yourself. Whether it is 15 minutes for a hot bath and a book, yoga, spa day, or a morning run, make it a priority. Same goes for your relationship. Take time to reconnect to your spouse.

What are some of your mom career tips, or even tips from your mom? Share them in the comments!

Want to work at a mom-friendly company like Cisco? Visit the Careers site and see the opportunities available!


Nicole Scheffler

Channels Systems Engineer