Growing-up, I always felt akin to Luke Skywalker, as I anxiously awaited my chance to leave the farm and make a difference in the galaxy. I daydreamed of blasting off from home with a trusty side-kick (or two) and having a lifetime of adventures. With such a vivid imagination, and my need for adventure and discovery – you can imagine that I’d likely have a hard time working in your standard work environment.
This is why I work at Cisco.
My career in the Global Partner Organization at Cisco has involved working with partners and teams in 180 different countries! I’ve had epic 30 day round-the-world trips and organized a globally broadcasted celebration for International Women’s Day. From climbing the Pyramids of Mexico to sailing through the archipelagos of Stockholm, each day brings new opportunities to learn, explore and give back.
For me, adventure is the secret sauce to a meaningful life and Cisco has all the right ingredients; with opportunities to give back, transform economies and support the development of the next big innovation all in a day’s work – it’s hard not to #LoveWhereYouWork. And, as a bonafide Cisco #WomanInTech and #StarWarsFanGirl, there’s nothing better than using a little Star Wars inspiration in my day.
However, I’ve always thought there was a different hero to Star Wars than Luke Skywalker. After all, don’t R2D2 and C3PO save the day twice as often as anyone else? And let’s not forget Princess/General Leia, who served her whole life leading and negotiating for the light!
Armed with wicked astro-mech technical bestiary and Inter-planetary relationship skills R2D2, C3PO and Leia are, in my mind, the real heroes. Now, when I see a challenge, I use those same skills and hacks to save the day.
At Cisco, I work to bring the power of the internet to countries, businesses, schools, and ultimately people, all over the world.
These are my favorite Star Wars inspired hacks for a life of adventure on and off the clock:
1.The R2D2 Hack – No one saves the day more than R2D2. My favorite Star Wars character holds the key to every successful mission in his ability to literally hack the system. Locked door? No problem! Need a map of the system? Got it!
When you’re on an alien star ship (or even just a new country), being technically savvy to get around the obstacles set out in front of you is paramount. Understanding SEO, multiple programming languages and knowing the best travel apps saves the day more often than not.
For example, this year’s Women of Impact event was the biggest yet (broadcasted live world-wide) and it took customized apps, multiple third party API’s and, of course, a little R2D2 like gumption within the Women of Impact 2018 team to make it happen.
2.The C3PO Hack – While C3PO needs to work on his sense of adventure (can you imagine hating to fly?!), he brings the essential human relationship skills to your journey. Everyone’s day goes better when it starts with a smile! I like to brush up on cultural norms before I step off the plane or start collaborating with a new team.
In true C3PO fashion, during the closing dinner after a Cisco partner visit in Beijing, we had a great time discussing the history of ‘Chow Fun’ and why learning over 50,000 characters makes it easier to learn to code. It was a fascinating conversation, and I learned so much from our partners!
3.The General Leia Hack – General Leia brings leadership and motivation to any mission. She is all about inspiring everyone to work together for a common goal using classic decorum and oration. These skills are indispensable to building teams and getting the job done.
At Cisco, this hack is important so that we can motivate our teams that work all over the world and throughout various time zones! It also shows that Cisconians truly care about each other, and have each other’s backs as we work together to achieve our goals.
4.The Padme Hack – How do you pack for a work trip around the world in only a carry-on? Like Padme of-course! Space is cold, and trust the checked baggage we do not! First, a warm shawl that you can take from the plane to senate negotiations is a must.
Additionally, you can always find a dress and a pair of black slacks in my adventure bag, these two pieces can travel from a partner visit to the local sites making you ready for anything. Third, don’t forget your light-weight running shoes!
In Mexico City I was invited to go climb the pyramids before our partner sales session – and it’s a good thing I had my running shoes! I think I’m still trying to catch my breath from this adventure!
Mission Climb a pyramid at 6,000 feet while still selling Cisco? Accomplished!
5.The Tatooine Hack – Sometimes a life of adventure can wear you out, so I make a point to come back home to recharge as often as possible. Not only does Cisco’s technology and flexibility allow me to have out-of-this-world adventures, it also allows me to collaborate from wherever I am in the world. So from the road to my home-base I’m able to do my best work! At home, however, I can enjoy some downtime at the beach or relax with my puppy and I never miss a beat at work!
To have your best adventures (and do your best work!) you need to recharge. Find your Tatooine, and escape for a while.
Do you have any fool-proof, Star Wars inspired adventure hacks? How do you use the Force at work or in your everyday life beyond #MayThe4th? Let’s hear your stories & advice in the comments below!
Until the next adventure, May the Force Be With You!
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