Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated July 3, 2015
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3.7
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
63 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-life balance is the last remaining pro (in 666 reviews)

  • Ability to work from home when needed or desired (in 369 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is nonexistent (in 184 reviews)

  • BIG company that treats employees as interchangeable (in 170 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

5,878 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (62)

    The grass isn't always greener...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager, Network Services in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Manager, Network Services in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I decided to wait almost a year after leaving the company before posting a review. The primary reason being is that when you decide to leave an organization it is usually because there is something there that isn't aligning with you or what you want anymore however, the grass is not always greener someplace else. This has been my experience. In fact, the appreciation I have for the company has grown so much in my time away that I would really like to return.

    The company truly believes on promoting within and as an employee you are encouraged to grow your career within the organization and learn new skills by taking different positions. Benefits are excellent. Cisco is the industry leader for networking and now cloud. It is sometimes easy to forget that on the daily grind but you are working for the company that everyone looks to for network and infrastructure standards. Culture within the business units managing product lines give you a lot of freedom to be innovative and creative in your approach to your role. In most cases you are given a fair amount of autonomy and control over how you do your job provided that it aligns with the strategic objectives. Benefits, 401k match, RSUs and ESPP are amazing. And while the salaries aren't the top of the industry, they are above market and pretty competitive.

    Cons

    Cisco can be a machine. There isn't an overt demand for all of your time (even the time outside of work) but more of a subtle, slight encouragement to always be on. If you are not careful, you will live, sleep and eat Cisco 24x7. Don't get me wrong, this is 100% a choice and if you are aware of this subtlety in the culture it is very easy to set appropriate boundaries that will be respected by the company and leadership team.

    If you don't like where you are in Cisco or what you are working on, give it 6 months because you will be reorg'd. While it is sometimes necessary to realign the company to meet competitive threats or market demands, reorganizing the company once a year is excessive and tends to create a distrusting environment for the rank and file which makes being a leader in the organize challenging. There is a loss of momentum and motivation that occurs a few months before and a few months after reorgs so this leaves the company being effective at delivery and execution only about 70% of the time.

    While Cisco attracts some bright, motivated people the truth of the matter is you are either cut out for the company and its culture or you're not. If you aren't it will be painfully obvious to you and those around you. Sadly as a leader it is hard to cut dead weight from the team and the only really accepted way is via layoffs, which is why the company reorgs once a year despite the company line about the reorgs.

    Advice to Management

    In my time at Cisco I was a part of 3 different and distinct business units. I enjoyed working for each of them and found that I was able to contribute value in every role I held. What was painfully obvious to me was that the company is (or was) going through a bit of an identity crisis. Consumer vs no consumer. Social media vs no social media. AWS like cloud offering vs Cisco cloud offering.

    My advice to the leadership team is this. We (Cisco for life) are *Cisco*. *We* develop the standard for networking, infrastructure and cloud. *We* are the industry leaders in our segment. *We* stand a cut above and make no apologies for it. Own being Cisco. We don't need to compete with Apple, Facebook, Google, or Amazon. *We* don't chase our competitors. They chase us.


  2. Great company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great environment, with a company so large its been easy to explore career alternatives. Chambers just stepped down so I'm looking forward to what happens next.

    Cons

    With any job, trying to balance work life and family can be a challenge, but that's just me.


  3. HR Specialist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great Company, ability to grow, ability to take on different initiatives

    Cons

    lack of salary increase and promotion chances


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  5. Incredible Company Overall

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Systems Analyst in Milpitas, CA
    Current Employee - Business Systems Analyst in Milpitas, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Awesome people
    -Great work/life balance
    -Flexible hours
    -Ability to work from home
    -Really amazing benefits (the most comprehensive healthcare I've ever had)
    -A nice bonus when the company is doing well
    -Management truly cares about my development and growth

    Cons

    -Due to Cisco being a very large company, sometimes a lot of bureaucracy and politics
    -Sometimes slow pace of execution and adaptation - once again due to being a large company (Cisco is going through a lot of effort to improve this though)
    -Can be challenging to move up, sometimes promotion is based on politics (more so about who you know as opposed to your merit/achievements)

    Advice to Management

    Management is doing well overall, but there is a lot of high level talk about goals (more innovation, move faster, etc.), however, there is little talk of the challenges to meeting these goals and how the company is addressing these challenges. Overall, less positivism and more realism.


  6. Looking for job in NCR region

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Consultant in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Product Consultant in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work Culture and Senior Management is very good

    Cons

    There is as such no cons to work with cisco.


  7. Test Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible working hours and a lot of opportunities to learn.

    Cons

    The best days are behind them.

    Advice to Management

    The workforce is very old. Need to hire more young people.


  8. Re-inventors required

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager, Prod Marketing in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Manager, Prod Marketing in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Working at Cisco, especially now, is pretty fun. It has been a fast-paced and contently changing environment for years but in just the last thirty months the tempo has increased. Everyone seems more focused and better aligned as the company. This is as the company transitions to a more "business outcomes" mindset - from selling "eyeglasses" to selling "better vision".

    But you must be able to re-invent yourself with some frequency and deal with change.

    I do not think there has been a better time to be at Cisco than right now.

    Cons

    Opportunities must be sought out. Compensation seems to lag "valley" benchmarks for non-executive level employees. Work/life balance sometimes gets akimbo. Frugality sometimes hamstrings success.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Continue to be aggressive. Cisco can be in the driver's seat as the Internet of things becomes the Internet of Everything. Don't screw it up.


  9. Marketing Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    ability to work from home (Webex used for all meetings)
    relatively flexible schedules
    resources to get things done - financial and operational

    Cons

    big company laxness in many departments
    some departments dynamic
    silos across the company and breaking those is challenging (typical of any big company)

    Advice to Management

    get formal metrics of performance measurement back. Just conversations with management don't work as management is never held accountable for ongoing 'conversations'. Formal documented process is useful to create a meritocracy.


  10. Great place

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Flexible and supportive environment

    Cons

    Getting lost in the shuffle


  11. nice company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    they have good training for new interns, and people there are very nice and helpful. You can learn a lot from there.

    Cons

    everything is very good, and it was a valuable experience



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