Cisco Systems

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Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated January 31, 2015
Updated January 31, 2015
5,629 Reviews
3.6
5,629 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,854 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance (in 666 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 369 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 184 reviews)

  • If you want some short term real good big company experience it is a good place to be (in 170 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Not Bad

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Large corporate environment where the fighting is mostly done at the management levels. If they let you go they are very generous. John Chambers goes out of his way to be a "good guy".

    Cons

    Constant scramble for relevance. Get on a good project and run with it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow dissenting views.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Cisco provides the basics

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    -Payed me enough to be able to sustain a living in the area
    -Very competent management

    Cons

    -Little to no work culture
    -Development team located in India
    -Felt expendable
    -Inefficient

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in the employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Big and bureaucratic but solid benefits/pay

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very good Benefits, super nice gym and sports facilites.
    People are nice, and it is really hard to find a bad manager.
    Great work/life balance, you work as much as you want.
    Very long career oriented, they have a lot of different positions you can move to/from.

    Cons

    Big and old corporation.
    Old technologies.
    Too many boring steps to build features/products, that is why they acquire other companies.
    A lot of the products are in maintenance state, so you end up working on bugs most of the time.
    They promote once every 3-4 years but they only increase salary by 3%.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please increase the percentage once you get promoted. 3% is very low for all the hard work employees put on to get promoted.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Long Hours, Loads of Work, Yearly Layoffs

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    One "Pro" about working at Cisco is that the company is such an 800-pound gorilla that everyone knows Cisco and the Cisco brand.

    Cons

    Major "Cons": Long hours, loads of work, what now seems like yearly-layoffs and kind of an uptight culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rather than pay lip-service to "work-life balance"...stop laying people off and giving that work to people who are already swamped and afraid they're next on the chopping block.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    STAY AWAY - especially if you are a hardware engineer !!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hardware Engineer II in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Hardware Engineer II in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Decent compensation.
    Good work life balance.

    Cons

    Hardly any promotions due to budget cuts.
    Hires new college grads and lays 40% of them within 2 years.
    Restructuring every 6 months. I used to look at it as some kind of semi-annual event

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come on guys, Don't keep changing every 6 months.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Game of Thrones, if is fun to watch from the outside but you don't want to be pawn in that game

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    if you are in senior sales position you can make very good money and if you can work your plan into the excelerators you could blow the doors out.

    Cons

    The culture is broken. If you are in sales avoid the services sales organizations, get on the product side, they control the account and the destiney. I would have a hard time recommending being on the Services Sales side of Cisco to anyone, If I were to ever consider going back It would have to be on the product side like the ESO, you have control of your accounts vs the services sales organization really an overlay sales organization that is in denial of what it is. I have heard rumors ( 2015) that they are basically moving the services sellers into the product side, so if true I would expect chaos for the next year or so.

    Back to the culture being broken, they have been doing large layoffs for the past few years, I have lost track how many, and it is not just bottom 5% type layoffs, which is why it is like Game of Thrones, you have organizational leaders trying to save their high paying fiefdoms, and it paid in the blood of the field. That is not to say there is not lots of deadwood in the company, there is, but much of that deadwood was developed by the leadership by creating a culture of scared sheep vs developing a culture of leaders. Think about what it does to moral,(this is more impactful to the sales support staff and delivery people) when you have a workforce that is afraid to make life decisions because they are not sure if they will need to be looking for a new job every year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    IMO Cisco has some serious challenges, clearly the market has changed, serious competition is coming from multiple areas, and the way the company grew through leveraging channels as the primary sales method has created some barriers to growth in the services domain. It is a serious business strategy challenge, that is beyond any recommendations that could be made here. I do think one thing that could be done is looking at your investment in people, there are lots of very talented people in Cisco that have been damaged by culture created by the management. I know many people are afraid to stand up because they don't want to be the tall blade of grass that gets cut.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Living of the past glories

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Average industry salaries
    Ability to work from home

    Cons

    Politics, politics, politics.
    Promotions based on politics and not on performance
    Almost yearly layoffs, even when the company announces record profits

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you continue to promote people based on politics and empty promises, you can't expect that performance will increase.

    Basically you get what you pay for ( people that can't perform since their focus has been always on making connections, not on doing actual work).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    An excellent place to work, with very talented people.

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Great perks for employees, but you haver to earn them like all other things. Great work enviroment.

    Cons

    None no far, everything is excellent

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    good place

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    good place to work here

    Cons

    need to work on more assignments

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    good benefits

  11.  

    Too big to grow

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

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

    Pros

    Well categorized. If you want be to a expert one area, it is a good choice. Good benefits, enough resources for training and huge database based on long history. Also flexible work environments.

    Cons

    Chopped people almost every year and rehire same number of people then restructuring. Very tired to survive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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