Everyone looks for a place where they feel they belong – it’s basic, it’s necessary. But the path to finding this place is not always obvious. Sometimes it takes a dedicated plan, while other times a bit of fate will step in and make sure you’re in the right place at the right time.
I had a dream to work at Cisco very early on, but it would take many steps to get here. My experience proved to me that, while growing your skills, you must still commit to your dreams – and Cisco has showed me the way to never stop dreaming.
Here’s how I made sure my ‘someday’ became today:
The First Step: Two and a half years and just halfway into my engineering and systems degree, I didn’t know if I was going to finish. I programmed and delivered the tasks that were asked of me, but I wasn’t passionate or energized by the work. I saw this excitement in my classmates and felt frustrated that I was possibly wasting my time. But, then, I set up my very first Cisco router in class – and, suddenly, a spark of passion was ignited in me.
Call it a “sign” or “destiny” – for me, it was the day I knew I wanted to be a network engineer and work at Cisco. My very own “someday” was born!
The Second Step: With a plan in place and goals ready to achieve, I devoted myself to security technology. However, in my last semester some friends and I started a professional internship at an IT company where we learned a bit of design, basic configuration, and got to experience what it was like to have a career in networking. We all dreamed of working at Cisco, and so we committed to getting our CCNA in preparation for planning a path to our specialties.
By the time I graduated and obtained my CCNA a bit of destiny stepped in, again, and I came to own a copy of the CCNA Voice.
The Third Step: Graduation – ✔️. CCNA – ✔️. CCNA Voice – ✔️.
Now, it was time to get a job – you can’t live with your parents forever, right?
My initial search led me to a friend of a friend who knew a person (connections are so important when job hunting!) that needed a certified salesperson in Cisco. Eight months later, while I loved working for this company helping to sell Cisco technology, I discovered that my dream job was in installing devices – not really selling them. So, my search began again, and a new sign came to me through a phone call with a friend from college who worked at another IT company.
The Fourth Step: I learned a lot in my first few years with this IT company – like the first time I deleted the IOS file instead of the configuration file of a switch or when I experienced the excitement of going to the site and taking a new device out of its box to install. As time passed, I found myself working support for collaboration, and while the responsibilities were quite a lot for one person – this helped me to develop skills in engaging with customers, handling technology, problem solving, and application processes.
Was this it – had I found my true place? While everything was seemingly going well, it was now six years later, and I began to feel frustrated, stagnant, and without motivation. I still loved my job – just not the company. It was time to search again.
You may be wondering, “Why didn’t you just apply to Cisco after all this time?”
Early on in my career, I didn’t know that we had a center here in Mexico! But beyond that, I was also very afraid of not being technically ready – and that stopped me for a very long time.
This fourth step (and sign) was so clear to me. I had met someone who also had a dream of working at Cisco and saw him try his best more than once to obtain his dream. He inspired me and revived the dream I had long abandoned. I began to follow a new mantra, “Do it. Are you afraid? Then do it with fear.”
Someday is Today: After applying a few times and making it through a couple rounds of different interviews and not giving up – my ‘someday’ finally arrived and it was time for my very first day at Cisco.
From the second I stepped into the Cisco office, I knew this was the right place for me. The collaborative team that I’m on is so fun. The offices are warm and inviting. And everyone you meet makes you feel like you belong here.
My days are never heavy, and there is always something new to do or learn! From meetings with a client to designing and configuring and even playing foosball or taking a dance class – Cisco encourages you to bring your best self to work every single day. Plus, we have a great work/life balance and flexibility – it’s no surprise that Cisco is a great place to work, and their culture proves that!
I have now found where I truly belong and am so glad that my ‘someday’ is not only today, but every day I spend at Cisco. One dream that sill alludes me is that of living in Japan someday, but at Cisco…there’s always the possibility of that happening!
I know now that tomorrow could be the ‘someday’ that you’ve been waiting for!
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