Choosing your career is probably one of the most difficult decisions you will make in life.
For me, to be very honest, it happened by chance.
To put it bluntly, I was always an all-rounder who enjoyed studying and was good at most subjects, but unfortunately, I had no clue about what to pursue after graduation. Most of my relatives and friends were astonished at my confusion. So, before then, I tried my hand at almost everything:
- I joined several clubs and societies
- I worked for a few NGOs and social workers
- I interned with a few multinational companies
- I completed a full six-month internship with a medical organisation
- I did a research project with my mentor
Then, in July 2018, I took the risk of applying for a job outside of the placement offers that came to our college. Fortunately for me, the risk paid off — This July, I celebrated five years at Cisco!
I started off my corporate work experience at Cisco as a Business Analyst in a finance cum operations role, where I learned the way of the ecosystem, different teams, organizations, and so much more. I always had a deep fervour for sales — growing up, I watched my dad in sales roles — and started working towards it, learning about current tech, staying relevant with the market trends, and soon moving to my first sales role in India, paving my path forward at Cisco.
That sales role changed my life. I spoke with so many people and learned how to connect with them, pivot, and confidently talk about the value I and my product could offer in even the smallest amount of time. It brought all my positive qualities to the surface and taught me more about the world and people than any MBA ever could.
Looking back, this ‘trial and error’ experiment of exploring all these fields and different roles gave me the opposite of confusion; it gave me a sense of clarity. I could get an insider’s view and understand the pros and cons of each career option. And this has been the biggest learning for me so far.
Making a decision, especially something as big as a career choice, will always be difficult. But today, careers are extremely dynamic. If you develop a mentality of having one ‘set’ career, and stop taking risks, you would miss out on a lot of opportunities! The best thing to do is experiment and challenge yourself because stepping outside your comfort zone is the only way to grow.
Cisco has always been an incredible promoter of internal people movement, and there are several reasons why you find so many folks with more than ten years of experience still in the ecosystem: experimenting internally, the culture, the people, and the list goes on. “One company, many careers” isn’t just a saying. It’s a reality for so many.
In the last 5 years at Cisco, I have been very fortunate to have some of the best mentors, managers, and colleagues who have enriched my professional journey. My amazing managers have thrown me challenges, and I am certain to take the lessons learned forward and share them. Being a Gen Zer, I bring a different perspective, but the culture at Cisco is incredibly receptive, where everyone has a seat at the table, making you feel as though your voice is heard and you are truly valued.
I am gaining so many experiences here at Cisco, and the learning is exponential. This company has played a pivotal role in helping me explore my passion, unearth my skills, and constantly stay relevant. Not only have I experimented with my roles, but recently I moved cities and countries because of the people and the platform Cisco has provided. I am now currently the Territory Manager at Cisco Meraki in Sydney — my new springboard for experience, learning, and seeing where my next years at Cisco will take me!
Ready to grow with us? Find an opportunity now.