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4 people found this helpful  

Lots of ups and downs - very political organization

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

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

Pros

Great sales force, great technology, high visibility within the industry and ability to drive technology and innovation. Lots of customers. If you build a good product, they sell it!.

Cons

Lots of politics. To move up the ladder, need to manage up vs manage down. Passive aggressive culture. Senior management spends lot more time managing up, unaware of the business. Throws money around indiscriminately looking for success. Senior management unaware of what is going on. John Chambers is not connected with reality on the ground. Keeps talking about how great everything is and there are layoffs across the board.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Be real, be honest with yourself and with people and teams.
Reduce politics and focus on execution.
Send SVPs to go back to closer to their teams vs building 10 closer to John Chambers.
Create career opptys for everyone, not just for people who suck up to you.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    For those who enjoy beating their head against the wall - seriously this ship has sunk - don't warp your mind

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Friendly but overworked individual contributors
    You can buy water if you are thirsty - available in each break room
    Getting rid of most of the teal cubicles for new cozier ones
    No need to be creative - save your mental power - no one would listen or be able to able to make something happen before they rotate or get laid off
    If you make it to Director or VP you don't have to do anything - you get your powerpoiint scripted word for word by your team
    On-site police dept - aka HR
    -Easy to take credit for someone else's work if you have rank
    -If you're a fan of animal farm and hierarchical privileges this is the place for you
    -Work balance if you are a manager
    -Managers will give you development advice, "You just need to use your time more efficiently, "Look do what I'm doing, I'm on the phone with you getting work done while I'm getting a bikini wax." I should have taken the advice, she got promoted to VP and then hired her replacement from outside. Perhaps things would have been different if I had held my WebEx calls from the Spa.

    Cons

    Cisco on your resume will hurt your chances of getting hired elsewhere as it shows poor judgment and a history of talk and no walk
    No raises and since they are management fat will not promote you.
    Undefined performance system and reviews are used to surprise you with reasons why you don't measure up by someone who just met you a few weeks ago since there is such a large churn of managers before reviews - so they don't have to be held accountable for achieving stated goals. I heard this from HR.
    New hires get more than experienced employees since they need to be "bribed" to join Csco
    Ranks get held accountable for the smallest details while VPs make million dollar mistakes regularly
    -Ethical managers will be burned out and bullied
    -Lots of cover-ups going on and paying people to be fall guys - don't believe me then audit revenue recognition
    -Even HR is petty with each other - I heard they hired a therapist there was so much infighting
    -No work life balance if you are an individual contributor
    -boring work
    -inability to collaborate functionally and execute themselves out of a box
    -Reviews are done from a script and zoom in on key words missing context. If you're an expert you can't be a manager or strategic - expertise is reserved for individual contributor but then you can't get promoted because the job you are doing doesn't warrant a higher grade.
    -If you are great at getting things done (aka execution) and you manage several contractors then there's a loophole not to promote you because you actually do some of the work yourself designating you an individual contributor and contractors don't count as real employees so you really aren't managing anyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tried that...just got burned.

     A VP once gave me time management advice, "Look do what I'm doing, I'm on the phone with you getting work done while I'm getting a bikini wax."

  2.  

    It was a great ride.

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

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

    Pros

    I joined CSCO when it was a small company. It was nice to see it grow into a multimillion dollar company. I always worked at the cutting edge of technology.
    Other engineers are also pretty smart and one can learn from them.

    Cons

    The schedules are very accelarated and challeging. You keep very busy and don't have time for taking more classes. Also for women with small children, it can be very challenging to work for cisco and take care of home as well as children as one needs to spend lot of extra hours at work many times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    management is pretty good. It is very concious of saving money and keeping company profitable.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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