Know Thyself: 10 Methods to Uncover Your Work Surroundings Wants and What It’s Actually Wish to Work at Cisco


Self-awareness goes a good distance in figuring out your subsequent skilled steps. Whereas job looking, it’s vital to determine easy methods to leverage your transferable abilities and community, whereas additionally evaluating what environmental elements of labor and work tradition matter to you most. Study what it’s wish to work at Cisco and the highest 10 methods to suss out a office that fits your wants from leaders at Cisco Safe, Cisco Talos and Duo Safety.

1. Past a ping-pong desk: Discerning an organization’s tradition

First issues first. Emily Reid, the newly appointed director of worker expertise at Cisco Safe who got here from Duo Safety, advises, “Do your individual analysis to see how the corporate and their workers describe the tradition publicly — on the corporate’s web site and thru different websites, articles and assets. For tech firms particularly I at all times assume, “What else do you’ve got past the ping-pong desk?”’

The interview course of is the following key alternative to search out out what tradition is like past facilities. To achieve a number of views, Reid recommends asking about firm tradition in each interview you’ve got.

The query on the high of Reid’s listing: Do you’ve got packages and assets to assist the event and success of your workers? “I need to understand how an organization might be investing in my profession development and if I’ll really feel welcome and included as a part of the crew. Seeing what an organization chooses to heart and spotlight when describing their tradition is often very telling,” she stated.

Interning at an organization is one other option to get firsthand data and might result in full-time employment.  “a number of former interns at the moment are individuals leaders managing their very own groups — and their very own interns — coming full circle,” Reid stated.

2. Are you able to deliver your complete self to work?

Realizing that there’s security and assist in bringing your complete self to work is important. What insurance policies, packages and initiatives are in place that exhibit a company’s dedication to range, fairness, inclusion and belonging?

Cisco’s ongoing commitments to social justice and pay parity embody twelve motion steps as a part of Cisco’s Social Justice Blueprint. Cultivating a aware tradition consists of on-going dialogue, packages and occasions meant to extend equality. Worker Useful resource Organizations and mentorship packages present extra alternatives to construct neighborhood and share data, assets and advocacy.

3. Distant, in individual, or hybrid?

What atmosphere permits you to do your greatest work? Additionally think about what perks and processes an employer gives to reinforce flexibility and flexibility. Throughout the pandemic, Duo and Cisco transitioned  all world occasions, coaching {and professional} improvement workshops to completely digital. As in individual choices resumed following the pandemic, all occasions are designed to make sure an inclusive expertise irrespective of the place you’re becoming a member of from.

“We don’t need to return to a world the place individuals not based mostly in an workplace really feel like they’re getting a lesser expertise,” Reid stated.

Contemplating easy methods to make packages and data accessible to workers no matter the place they work can also be essential to Sammi Seaman, crew lead of worker expertise at Cisco Talos. She’s at the moment spearheading a brand new rent program that’s “extra inclusive of parents whether or not they’re workplace based mostly, distant or someplace the world over.”

4. A piece-life stability that works for you

It’s important to contemplate the way you need your life and work to intersect, significantly as hybrid work turns into extra widespread. How essential is paid day without work, versatile work choices or a constant construction?

Cisco Safe gives “Days for Me,” days off for workers to decompress and do one thing to fill their cups. Month-to-month “Focus Days” are days with out conferences, so workers can prioritize the initiatives that want consideration.

Curran recollects one candidate who, regardless of a number of gives from opponents, selected Cisco Safe due to the versatile work atmosphere: “This individual has a younger youngster and felt that the “Days for Me” and suppleness to work at home in a hybrid scenario would work greatest for his profession long-term.”

As Reid’s crew helps lead the transition to hybrid work, the e-book Out of Workplace: The Huge Drawback and Larger Promise of Working From Residence by Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen has been inspiring. The e-book “does a tremendous job of sharing a imaginative and prescient for an inclusive future that empowers workers to achieve success and have a ‘work/life stability’ that really works,” Reid stated.

5. Supporting accessibility because the office evolves

At the moment Cisco Safe gives a hybrid mannequin whereas many workers nonetheless work remotely. When it comes to sustaining accessibility via this transition, Advertising and marketing Specialist Julie Kramer advocated for extra accessibility and noticed adjustments at Cisco consequently.

“Webex pre-COVID didn’t have any closed captioning. So, one other deaf individual and I reached out and closed captioning and the transcript possibility obtained added,” Kramer shared.

Kramer prefers to have high-quality and steadily the similar interpreters who “know the terminology for my job, advertising and expertise. In enterprise, the safety and advertising business can actually discuss quick, so that you want a high-quality interpreter that may sustain and one that’s certified and licensed,” she stated.

6. Is a fast-paced atmosphere your pace?

Think about what tempo of your particular position and inside an business is required so that you can really feel engaged with out overwhelmed. Whereas completely different roles throughout the similar group and business might run at completely different paces, it’s essential to tune into what may be anticipated in your potential new crew.

Seaman finds that the quick tempo of cybersecurity might be “pleasant and difficult. There’s a whole lot of fast-paced pivoting that occurs, which makes for an attention-grabbing office as a result of two days are by no means the identical,” she stated.

7. What buildings and alternatives for collaboration encourage you?

Do you like a hierarchical construction, or one that’s extra flat? Are you simplest and fulfilled using solo, or whereas constantly connecting with coworkers? Does contributing your concepts make you are feeling empowered?

At Cisco Safe, there’s house to affix conversations. “Regardless of the place you sit within the firm, you’ve got a voice and might converse up and collaborate and self-organize on a venture. It seems like a bunch of actually laborious working, humble, sensible people who find themselves making an attempt to unravel issues collectively,” stated Supervisor of Duo’s International Information and Communities Workforce Kelly Davenport.

To boost communication and data amongst distributed groups, Seaman began a dialogue sequence known as “The Extra You Know.” Questions embody: What do you do? How do you do it? How can that assist different elements of Cisco Talos? The conversations result in future collaboration and useful resource sharing.

8. Does educating and studying energize you?

Do you need to develop professionally and improve your abilities and data? A tradition of educating and studying inside a company can assist hone and broaden your abilities and connections.

Lead of Strategic Enterprise Intelligence Ashlee Benge finds the safety world “very dynamic. You actually can by no means cease studying. Inside Cisco Talos, the individuals round me are such sensible, devoted people who there’s actually so much you could acquire from simply being concerned within the group as an entire.”

For Seaman, who didn’t come from a technical background, Cisco Talos provided alternatives to broaden her technical data, together with from colleagues. “Coming into Cisco Talos, individuals are like, “Right here, let me educate you. You’ll be able to completely do that. Simply since you didn’t know easy methods to do it doesn’t imply you possibly can’t study. Let’s go,” Seaman shared. Seaman’s colleagues have additionally realized from her experience in data and data administration given her background as a librarian.


Extra formally, the Studying and Growth crew not too long ago launched a complete expertise improvement program with enablement assets and assist for individuals leaders. Facets embody: “actually considerate templates for workers to make use of with their supervisor to speak via profession targets, improvement areas, and to outline an actionable funding plan. These assets are fueling nice profession conversations, robust alignment, and considerate improvement plans,” Reid stated.

9. Are you pushed to evolve via selection and inside mobility?

Do you need to refine your abilities inside your wheelhouse? Or are you pushed to attempt new duties and doubtlessly change roles inside your subsequent group?

Benge, whose background is in computational astrophysics, has discovered her pursuits shift from technical safety analysis to enterprise technique and information science. At Cisco Talos, she’s been concerned in every thing from detection analysis and risk searching, to neighborhood outreach, convention talks and touring to assist gross sales engagements. At the moment, she’s serving to to guide risk searching in Ukraine.

“My leaders have at all times made it very clear that if there’s an curiosity, it’s okay to pursue it and it doesn’t must essentially be throughout the scope of my position. Having that freedom to pursue pursuits throughout the business has been actually partaking,” Benge stated.

10. Acknowledge your position in shaping tradition

Along with firm values and mission statements, leaders and workers contribute to a company’s tradition every single day. If you wish to improve your organization’s tradition, take part.

“Suggestions on what workers need to see is essential,” Reid stated. “The simplest option to contribute to growing tradition and a optimistic worker expertise in your office is so as to add to what’s already taking place! Tradition takes participation and possession from all workers.”

Reid shared that in efficiency critiques at Cisco, “‘Workforce Affect” is equally as essential as “Outcomes.” Contributing positively to firm tradition ought to contribute to efficiency critiques and promotion justification,” she stated.

Be a part of us

To study extra about Cisco’s firm tradition and how one can contribute to it, try our open roles.

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