Janene with Cisco colleagues. So, what happens when the Great Resignation turns into the great resurrection back to the company you first loved? Well, you get me, Janene Baker, a Talent Acquisition leader who, almost two years ago, was a part of the trend of employees who left for newer and what could’ve been perceived as better opportunities at other companies.

Cisco and I have a lot of history. When I talk about my career journey, I tell everyone I built and grew my career at Cisco. I worked my way up from an individual contributor to leading leaders during my 11-year tenure here. When I left, I thought I was at a point where it made sense to try something new, and sometimes that new thing seems big, shiny, and very appealing.

So, I took the leap, and I left Cisco.

On the surface, all was great. I was learning new skills and meeting new people — so my move was not for nothing, right? However, something was missing. I realized when you make a big life change, you learn more about yourself and what you truly value. I discovered — for me — it’s not about a role in a company with instant name recognition. I began to miss working at a place that aligned with who I am at my core. I longed to work for a place like Cisco that values and sees its employees and their well-being so much that they created “A Day for Me” each quarter, allowing them to prioritize themselves. I wanted to work for a company that takes a stand on social justice and backs it up with action through programs like OneTen, an initiative committed to unlocking potential, hiring, and advancing Black employees. I missed having the flexibility to live out the coined phrase “One Company, Many Careers” and be supported by leaders like our Chief People Officer, Kelly Jones, who embodies this exact expression and supported my development. At my core, I missed the Conscious Culture embedded in who Cisco is as a company.

Janene standing in front of a "Cisco" sign.When the stars aligned and I had the opportunity to return to Cisco, there was never a second guess or a second thought. It was an emphatic YES!

I wondered what people would think about me coming back just shy of being gone for two years. Well, let me tell you — it was like a homecoming party, and that’s when I knew I was right back where I needed to be. It’s been surreal coming back to the place that took a chance on me very early in my career and propelled me into my current leadership journey. It’s been humbling being back at the place that supported me personally through time off for my wedding all those years ago. Don’t even get me started on the benefits I was afforded when I became a new mom, not once, but three times here as I continued to grow my career. That’s a blog post all its own! It’s been fun seeing the work never stop, only evolve, and I can jump back in to continue building that Cisco bridge I know and love so much.

To my fellow Cisconians, before you assume the grass is greener on the other side, I encourage you to think about what motivates you; the true values you want to see in a company. Have that bold conversation with your leader about your development, growth, and needs because I can tell you — this Cisco culture is one that’s hard to beat (Hence the reason we’ve won #1 Best Workplace in the U.S. three years in a row!).

If you’re not at Cisco yet and wondering what all the hype is about, check out our Cisco careers here!

Subscribe to the We Are Cisco Blog.


Janene Baker

Talent Acquisition Manager

Talent Acquisition AMS Sales