Thread regarding Cisco Systems Inc. layoffs

Why people still believe Cisco is a great place to work

Employees have started to treat their jobs like a dysfunctional family relationship.

For many groups, the pay is higher than the work truly deserves (not necessarily easy, but also not cutting edge or extremely challenging). After a while, technical skills stagnate or become narrowly focused. At that point it can become difficult to leave, so you stay in the relationship and watch your network become more and more meshed into a closed system and all of your friends work in the same location doing the same thing for 5, 10 or even 20 years.

This is then misinterpreted as a great place to work since the work is easy, you are good at it, and everyone you like is there with you. It creates an odd sense of loyalty that makes it hard to leave unless forced.

The systemic politics is just part of that relationship where all the children are vying for the love of the parent. Layoffs are just the parents throwing the kids out of the house after they graduated. Once you are finally thrown out, you basically have no network and friends that have a hard time hanging out since their world is so closed around "the family".

Even to the point that Cisco hires an transition firm for layoffs that prioritize finding jobs with Cisco partners. That way you can stay in the Cisco extended family and sell the crap they produce - and many take that option out of necessity or the same stupid loyalty that got them into the position. Others spend months rehabbing their technical skills and just trying to emotionally break free from them.

Honestly, the entire place is run more like a cult than a business. There is no wonder those that work there believe it is the greatest place ever - until they finally break free then they realize just how toxic it really was.

The ONE good thing about these never-ending layoffs is that Cisco is slowly destroying its own cult - another couple of years (5 at the outside) and they won't have enough stupid loyal engineers to keep the cycle continuing.

Posted by , uncomfortably true.

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15 replies (most recent on top)

... Keep drinking the Kool-Aid

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OR... you get paid well, have a great work-life balance, you are expanding your skills, moving within the company, making you very employable if you were to eventually leave or get LR'd. Sorry, to burst your bubble, Cisco can be a great place to work for all the right reasons.

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Guess I'm a moron with great pay and benefits then.

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Only morons believe Cisco is a great place to work.

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Completely nailed it! Thanks!

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OP was spot on and in her/his analysis.

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...

Cheers, Fibonacci

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--> One of the SME leads asked us twice why we weren't doing a certain 'check the box' activity. We'd determined that that particular box would not be to Cisco's stakeholders' best interest.

Wow. There's a staggering amount of hubris here.

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So let's get this straight. If we boil down your comment. You manager asked you to do some check box exercise that you disagreed with. The result being you got booted and she didn't. Sometimes what management want can be a pain but generally there are reasons. It could be that had you actually done what the manager asked you would still be working at Cisco, Cisco would have a better product and Cisco would not be "flailing around"??

Just a thought?

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I along with 2 other teams led a launch in 2016. One of the SME leads asked us twice why we weren't doing a certain 'check the box' activity. We'd determined that that particular box would not be to Cisco's stakeholders' best interest. She's still at Cisco. We're both no longer there. Yet, Cisco continues to downward spiral in Enterprise Segment. I often wonder if this is because of those who are on site in San Jose get more face time with the directors, no matter their perspective may/not be incorrect. In this particular case, she was wrong, and the segment numbers proved it. But what do we know... we're outside the inner circle. And now we're all gone. And the portfolio continues to flail. Lesson: Don't worry about checking boxes. Worry about making a difference and achieving results - whether they are KPIs or money in the sales pipeline. This was a hard lesson for Cisco.

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It doesn't matter where you work, how long you work at it, or what environment you work on.

If one chooses to work in IT or networking, you will encounter a sometimes disfunction set of misfits, that make the project difficult to complete. If you look in the mirror, you'll hopefully realize that they themselves are part of the problem, in your own way.

To think otherwise is foolish. We each bring strengths, and weakness. If it's a pain, it's human nature to blame the environment. Maybe you (or I) just aren't equipped to function in the environment.

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This post is right on. It has been run like a cult and not a business for a long time. Thank you for posting.

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That's one Freudian sh!t if I ever read any. Sounds like somone lost his/her lollypop when he/she was little. Don't worry, Mommy and Daddy will hug you again...only if you are good. Merry Christmas.

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Wow...you are cheery. Ever thought of some counseling?

Are you an ex employee or just a disgruntled current employee?

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Wow, you nailed it

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