Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated August 4, 2015
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3.7
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
138 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

6,064 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (84)

    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. Helpful (2)

    Project Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager III in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Program Manager III in Las Vegas, NV

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Expectations are high of each employee and you must be a self-starter to succeed within Cisco.

    Cons

    Too many politics and favoritism.


  3. Cisco

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits Challenging Opportunities Tremendous People Good Compensation Interesting projects Renewed sense of purpose

    Cons

    Demanding Work/Life Balance not optimal Can be political at times Size of company can be intimidating Some pockets of employees not motivated

    Advice to Management

    Great start for new ELT and CEO; need to ensure that they build on it.


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  5. Strategic Account Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Strategic Account Manager in Richardson, TX
    Current Employee - Strategic Account Manager in Richardson, TX

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good place to work, good pay, good benefits

    Cons

    Constantly changing without much guidance

    Advice to Management

    More Transparency


  6. brief review

    • 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 full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    great people, great technology, hardware

    Cons

    unable to balance work/life w current work load


  7. Test Engineer

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

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

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

    Pros

    Cisco is very friedly and treat employees nice

    Cons

    Cisco has too many top management, it need to trim top management, need to move faster.


  8. Engineer

    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 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Industry-level salary and benefits. Flexible hours. Great Technology.

    Cons

    Better keep yourself busy all the times or you'll be gone.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Business Operations Manager

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

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great perks, Management (depends on the group),

    Cons

    Too much red tape, old mentality, slow decision making, too much power point


  10. Plenty to learn, but don't get stuck in one role

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer II in Raleigh, NC
    Current Employee - Software Engineer II in Raleigh, NC

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good work-life balance, good benefits, very flexible work from home policy, at a lower level, opportunities abound since there are so many teams and there's so much work going on. The good thing is that if you ever get bored with a certain role, you can always switch to a new team. That makes work always challenging, and when it's challenging, it's interesting. The downside is that most of the work going on is on proprietary technologies, (in may area atleast) so it may not be helpful when switching companies.

    Cons

    It's a big company so you may get lost. I'm ambitious, and in such a big company, it's not easy to get to the top. It's also, frankly, boring. Not because of the work, but because of the environment. They have ancient drab grey cubicles, which is just off-putting to a lot of millennials in the tech industry who are used to interesting office spaces, creative and challenging environments, and good food. Lastly, there need to be more promotions and rewards. It's common to see people leaving even though they like their job, simply because if they didn't they wouldn't progress in their career. There are slackers, and there are over-acheivers, and there needs to be a better mechanism to identify them.

    Advice to Management

    Adapt! Cisco can't stay the way it is. It is slow to change. Pay more, to attract top-talent. Cisco has a 75% percentile policy, but honestly, for some new areas that are going to boom soon, you need the top 10% or you'll end up with a bad product. You're not just competing with behemoths, you're also competing with startups, and employees should view Cisco also as a great option.


  11. MPE

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Great leadership. Great CEO, Great company culture

    Cons

    None, great company to work for while your young



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