Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
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3.7
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
185 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

6,251 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (95)

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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. Best Large Corporation Job You Could Have

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architect, Enterprise/SP/Hybrid Cloud Solutions in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Architect, Enterprise/SP/Hybrid Cloud Solutions in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People. Easiest way to explain it is, at Cisco people Care. They care about the customer, they care about doing the right thing, they care about the companies vision and direction. I have sent mails to VP's and even the President of the company and have always been treated with respect and deference. That is very telling on what a true open door policy looks like. I think the greatest support for Cisco statistically is that people who work here don't leave. I'm in a high level consulting position and get constant job offers, but no other companies create as compelling and challenging of a work environment as Cisco has to offer. Absolute great company to work for, and has my highest recommendation from a 15 year industry vet who has worked for top companies around the world including Microsoft.

    Cons

    Typical Company cons that can all be summed up by "slow moving". But nothing that effects my job. If I ever have a blocking issue I tell management and they take care of it.

    Advice to Management

    I see you putting a lot of focus on career development. I see you taking organizational health survey's seriously. Keep that up, it helps employees understand and feel the appreciation you have for their work. - The division of sales and services in field engagement is Cisco's number one customer satisfaction problem. - Server and Network support contracts should be converged instead of separated. Disjointed contracts create one level of Network Service and a different level (almost always less or below standard) for server services. - Clear cloud leadership and vision should be defined for all major sectors (Microsoft / Amazon / Openstack)


  3. Great company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Awesome brnefis Profit sharing Room for development Amazing leadership I'm drinking the cisco cool aid

    Cons

    I don't have any quarls with this position I think it should be work from home. It's a virtual position so there's no reason they can't acxomidate


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  5. new CEO

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    overall good workplace, nice gym

    Cons

    only tactical execution, not much long term planning

    Advice to Management

    do more team building and outing activities


  6. As big companies go, not bad...

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, good collaboration, many sharp colleagues

    Cons

    Prepare to have anything and everything changed at a moment's notice..including comp plan, the products you sell and job function.


  7. Good Gig

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Philadelphia, PA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good Pay, Mostly smart workforce, good technology

    Cons

    Success is managed to the point that you can't do great, but won't do bad either. Big company BS. Sausage is ugly to watch being made


  8. Marketing Intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Intern in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Intern in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, flexibility, ability to learn about multiple functions, great events, ability to make an impact even as intern

    Cons

    None really- maybe very big so it's hard to see Hal everything works together

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work! Always going out of there way to make sure we have a good experience


  9. An amazing company with plenty of growth opportunities

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I have been with Cisco for 3 years and I believe overall that this is an outstanding company to work for. This is the first company I have worked for that actually recognizes, values and *compensates* you for hard work. And if you prove to management your value and contributions to the overall company, they will absolutely take care of you when it comes to things such as relocation, education, and schedule flexibility. Since collaboration technologies are a huge part of the business model, there are a lot of remote work options (i.e. work from home, road, etc.) - but this depends on your exact role in the company.

    Cons

    The dreaded "work/life" balance is probably the number one complaint across Cisco employees but it is what you make of it. I know plenty of people that work at Cisco and maintain a pretty close 8-5 work schedule and are highly productive; I know others that work seemingly all hours of the day and night. It's up to you, setting the level of expectation and how efficient you are. But it is extremely easy to get very wrapped up with work and leave little time for anything else.

    Advice to Management

    Cisco has weathered the storm of numerous disruptors and market transitions over the past 30 years. To remain successful, which I have no doubt they will, they will need to continue to be aggressive on acquiring key talent, intellectual property, and not catch trends from behind (i.e. universal compute, SDN).


  10. Sales

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Sales Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Product Sales Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great leadership at the top of the organization. Great brand in IT, and working on brand for Line of Business. Really treat customers well with great support. We always fix their issues. Great benefits.

    Cons

    Middle management has some holes and can be over demanding. Lots of busy work. Compensation has been headed downward as company matures.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Continue to encourage middle management to lead and not dictate.


  11. Overall Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    People are brilliant and fun.

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic and political. If you can navigate those areas of political landmines, Cisco is a great company. My experience overall was quite positive. It all comes down to your manager.



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