How an Sudden Dialog Launched My Cisco Profession Journey



Portrait of Karen McDonald smiling.

Once I entered the workforce, Cisco was by no means on my radar. I used to be complacent on the firm I labored for and had each intention of retiring from that firm. I felt I had every thing I might need.

At some point, whereas taking my son to a birthday celebration, I had a dialog with one other girl who labored for Cisco. As we exchanged dialogue, she invited me to discover her function and inspired me to use for an open Excessive Contact Operations Supervisor (HTOM) place. I had no intentions of leaving the corporate I used to be working for, however I made a decision to at the least apply for the function to sharpen my interviewing abilities. Little did I do know, this surprising dialog would result in a improbable profession journey.

Once I went by way of the interview course of, there was one thing completely different about Cisco. Possibly it was the nice and cozy greeting from the foyer ambassador or the enjoyment I felt watching engineers from the technical help middle (TAC) taking part in within the recreation room to let off steam. Or perhaps it was the nap pods I witnessed, which allowed staff to take a nap to recharge their brains. No matter it was, every thing in regards to the tradition of the corporate excited me. I gladly accepted the supply as a result of I needed Cisco to be my new residence. Virtually 15 years later, I’m nonetheless right here and loving it.

Though I began as a Excessive Contact Operations Supervisor, I had the chance to maneuver into varied roles inside the firm, together with service supply roles. I used to be serving as a Providers Operational Chief, supporting one in all our gross sales territories, after I determined to take a leap of religion and accepted a place completely out of my consolation zone. I used to be promoted to Director and moved into a job supporting a group answerable for the go-to-market technique for just a few of our Cisco Managed Providers. It was thrilling and scary all on the similar time, however I used to be up for the problem. I had an exceptional group of excessive performers. All my fast direct reviews had been within the UK, and it was a wonderful alternative to increase my international management capabilities whereas additionally studying and stretching myself.

Then sooner or later, a rebalance occurred, and the group was dismantled. It was an surprising flip of occasions for our group, however it allowed me a possibility to maneuver into the function I’m in right this moment.

Now, I’m the Group Chief for greater than three thousand managers throughout the globe as a part of one in all our bigger enterprise models, combining Operations and Buyer Expertise. On this function, I work with our enablement groups and Folks and Communities (HR) to make sure our managers have every thing they should succeed. I additionally act because the group’s voice again to our senior management. One other beauty of the chance is working with a improbable group of different international group leaders.

Creating a way of group for managers has been my candy spot. I by no means imagined having a possibility the place I might make the most of my ardour for serving to others whereas additionally creating alternatives to give attention to management growth, well-being, and many others. If you happen to had informed me 5 years in the past that I might have this kind of function, I most likely wouldn’t have believed it.

Karen McDonald stands and addresses a group of people.

I really like the tradition of the corporate. Not solely do Cisco staff have the flexibility to search out roles that meet our strengths, however we even have the chance to serve in stretch assignments that align with our ardour. I used to be the World Co-Chief for Our Linked Black Professionals Inclusive Group for a few years. I now function the World Wellbeing Chief for the group. Why does this stretch project excite me? Outdoors of Cisco, I’ve a ardour for well being and wellness. This stretch project has given me the flexibility to take my ardour to the office. I created a world well-being technique for the group, together with bodily, emotional/psychological, monetary, and social well-being. I now have a group working and growing strategic applications particularly for our Inclusive Group because it pertains to these focus areas. As if that’s not enjoyable sufficient, I additionally work with our Traditionally Black Schools and Universities (HBCUs) Social Justice group, serving as an Govt Sponsor for 2 HBCUs. The power to steadiness my day by day work actions with these stretch assignments offers me a satisfaction that I by no means anticipated in Company America.

I beforehand felt I had every thing I might need at work, however now I understand how thrilling it’s when you possibly can work and have a ardour for it. It’s stated you’ve the chance to have many careers at this firm. I’ve lived that by way of my Cisco journey. I might by no means have imagined that an surprising dialog and switch of occasions would enable me to nonetheless be at Cisco in a job impacting many individuals, whereas additionally doing stretch assignments which might be so fulfilling. I really like what I do, and I’m excited to see the place this journey will take me sooner or later. I believe this, by far, shouldn’t be the top of the journey.

That’s one of many the reason why Cisco is actually an amazing place to work.

Are you prepared to begin your Cisco profession journey? Discover a possibility now.