If you’ve ever left your job for a new one, you probably know the ranges of emotions – unhappy, ready to leave, eager to start somewhere new. I’ve been there. I started my very first job in a state I had never visited. Then, in my second job, I moved to another new state all by myself. Each time had me experience all those feelings, and then, finally, I moved back home to work at Cisco.

Samantha sits in from of multiple monitors in "This girl can build bridges" tshirt.

Of course, each move and each job took great courage to leap into a new environment. But my most recent change in positions was different…I left happy. Did I want more money and growth? Sure, who doesn’t? But overall, I was satisfied in my current role, and in no rush to make any changes. So, when a new opportunity came my way, it took extra courage to make the decision to take it.

After years of working, a ton of training, and some really thoughtful coaching, I have a pretty good idea of what I want in my career and what matters most to me. Gone are the days where I apply to anything and everything that I qualify for. I now am very particular about how I spend my time, and I make sure to do very thorough research before pursuing a new opportunity. When I was asked to apply for this new position, I had to think about not only ‘was this the right role for me?’, but also, ‘is this the right time to make a change?’ It’s a question no one else could answer for me, and when it comes to making personal decisions, I’m the worst (don’t worry, boss, I don’t have the same issue with business decisions).

Why is it that we are so quick to leave a less-than-ideal situation for a better one, but not also a good job for a better one? For me, it was the tiny gremlin in my brain telling me I have to choose the perfect option (to learn what your gremlins are telling you, I highly recommend the saboteur assessment). And look, I get it. It’s so much easier to stay where you’re comfortable until the moment you’re miserable, and then make a switch. That certainly would’ve been the easier decision. But when I reflected on my goals, passions, and values, it was a no brainer. It was time for me to take the next step in my career and hop over to a new ladder.

Growth is not linear, no matter how much we wish it would be. Though my new role may seem like a lateral move, to me it’s so much more. It’s a step in the direction I want to go towards my career goals. I have been given an opportunity to work on things that I care about, network with new people, and learn from a new team at Cisco. On paper, my title remains the same, Customer Project Manager. However, I discovered on my new team I would not only manage a portfolio of projects as a lead, I would also get to lead some internal initiatives for process improvements that I’m passionate about. Spending more time each day on my strengths is absolutely a winning decision.

If you ever feel stuck or even just curious, I highly recommend looking around at open roles within Cisco. By inviting the hiring managers to informational interviews, I quickly learned what would and would not be a good fit for me without having to go through any formal application process, or even worse, take on a new job that I would be unhappy in. With so many different teams and organizations, I can almost guarantee that when you are ready to take your next step or try something new at Cisco, there’s a place here that’s right for you.

Selfie of Samantha.

How do you know it’s time to make an internal career move?

1. D: Define your core values and goals when it comes to your career.

2. A: Ask yourself, if you stay in your current job as-is for the next 6-12 months, will you still be happy? If yes, congrats! You’re in your sweet spot. If no, see step 3.

3. R: Research other teams and ask for informational interviews, even if no position is available. When you’re ready, not only do you have a new network of people to turn to, you also know what specific role you’re looking for.

4. E: Embark on your next calling! Take a leap of faith! Change is scary and hard. But there’s no growth in the comfort zone.

YOU are remarkable (I know because Cisco hired you – or, perhaps, is about to!), and you deserve to share your passions in a role that works for you. So, take a look at our career’s site or on our internal hiring space and see what your next contribution to Cisco will be!


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Samantha Marsillo

Customer Project Manager

Customer Experience (CX)