A new job can be daunting. There’s lots to learn, a new office to navigate, and likely – you don’t know anyone in the offices! This is why I make a point of chatting with people I don’t know. You never know who needs a new friend, or the great outcomes you may experience just by saying, “Hello!”

Imagine this; you go to the staff canteen at lunch time with some colleagues – the same group you eat with every day, and sit down as a group. That’s when you notice someone sitting by themselves at the table in the corner.

This happened to me!

But, rather than allowing this scene to play out, I excused myself from my group of friends, and decided to go over to this new person and introduce myself.

The person I said “Hello!” to was a girl named Laure, and it was her very first day here at Cisco Meraki. We got to chatting, and it turns out that she happened to be a sales rep covering part of the same area I cover in Belgium!

Here at Cisco Meraki the whole sales cycle goes; “See, Try, Buy”. The “See” part is the most important part! If you bungle an online demo of our products, the customer may not want to “try” the product and will likely not want to “buy” it! During your basic training when you start, you receive an intensive two week training course on our products and how to demonstrate them.

Laure had been through this training, but with so much pressure put on this part of the process, it’s quite nerve-wracking the first few times you do some “live” demos to customers. As a Systems Engineer covering the same area, I offered to join her on her first call in case she needed any help or to answer any technical questions that might come up.

Looking back on Laure’s first demo, it definitely wasn’t the easiest demo experience. She did great, of course! But the customers kept throwing technical questions at Laure just as she was getting in to her flow each time. This is where I would jump in to help out and provide some extra demos for the features we were being asked about. After an hour, as the technical aspects came to a close, I left the meeting to join another call so that Laure could discuss the commercial side of the deal.

Later, I arrived back at my desk and Laure had put a really nice note on my computer screen to thank me for helping her. When we ran into each other later in the day, she was still so thankful and told me she had learned a lot while watching me lead portions of the call as well.

And, to think, all this transpired just because I said, “Hello!”

This wasn’t the first time I have randomly approached someone to say “Hi!” to over lunch though! A while back, while at lunch, I met Kim – who has become a really good friend of mine. Kim has always been there for me – from chatting about everyday life to helping me when my fiancée and I needed a lift to France to organize bits and pieces for our wedding last June!

Kim and I have now started to organize social events for other people in the office as well – everything from cheese and wine tasting evenings, to weekend trips away to explore and experience new places.

It is crazy to think that one word has led to such an incredible friendship for us, and has enabled us to create an amazing social community in our office as well!

Our leaders at Cisco are dedicated in hiring the right people for our teams; this doesn’t just mean that they are technically great at what they are needed to do – which everyone is – but what it really means is that they are a great fit for the Cisco culture as well.

One of the best things about working here is that everyone helps each other out and you are truly part of the team. I’ve never worked anywhere where I have felt so included and part of the family – and here at Cisco, we have “family” all over the globe! 😀 There is always someone willing to help if needed and nothing is too much trouble. We all have the single goal of aiding in Cisco’s success. It doesn’t matter which team you are on, so much as it matters knowing that you are ALL part of a larger team – Team Cisco!

So, don’t be afraid anymore! Say, “Hello!” to someone today. Smile to everyone coming on to the elevators. See how you can help your co-workers out (especially our new hires!) and – you never know! You just may make a new friend.

Are you ready to say, “Hello?” and join us at Cisco? We’re hiring!



John Chandler

Systems Engineer