Finding my “home” in the career world

pile of beige sweaters

TL;DR: Some companies are making the feeling of “home” tangible in corporate America, and I’m lucky enough to work at one such company. See why I love working at Cisco.

For me, home is a safe space. It’s comfortable, cozy, and above all else, inspiring. I am a fiend for everything hygge, so in my home, you’ll find fuzzy blankets, warm whites, creams, and greys, soft textures, candles, Rifle Paper Co. notebooks, and warm wood tones. And as a writer, I have books, journals, pens and pencils, and even a few typewriters sitting around.

It’s the place I go for inspiration, tranquility, and honestly, where I do my best work. And these are all feelings I get from Cisco. It’s more than my job, my employer, or my day-to-day—Cisco is my home in the career world.

A home with blurred lines

As the 2020 global pandemic carries on into the new year, our homes have become our workspaces. We’ve had to make room for office space, places to take calls, corners with great light for video calls, and a room with a lock that acts as the one place in our homes that still offers peace and quiet. Work has become part of our homes, blurring the lines between office and living room.

I have always worked in offices but was ecstatic when Cisco hired me as a full-time remote worker. No more commute, suits, water cooler distractions, or in-office politics. It was my first time working fully remote, but it was an opportunity I welcomed with open arms.

When the pandemic forced companies to shift to fully remote or hybrid work, I had already adjusted to working from home, so the “intrusion” of work into my home didn’t bother me. Work had become part of my home.

This is partly because I have created a dedicated office space, much like how in-office workers have cubicles or offices with doors, but even more so, it was because the people at Cisco gave me something intangible: a sense of belonging and home.

Our mission is to power an inclusive future for all, which sounds great, but once you come on board with Cisco, you realize that this is something that all Cisconians live every day, which also makes me feel at home (remember that sense of tranquility I mentioned earlier?).

I work for a company that treats me like family, with coworkers and leaders who empower me, and I do work that I love so much that I do it as a hobby outside of my day-to-day. Imagine waking up every morning feeling grateful, valued, appreciated, and inspired solely because you work for the best company in the world (really, we’re ranked number one). Cisco gives me all those feelings, which is why I welcome them fully into my physical home.

A culture of innovation and freedom

At Cisco, I spend my days as a copywriter crafting clever copy for landing pages, writing content for email journeys, creating blog posts, and producing announcements or event invites that don’t put people to sleep. It’s truly the best job in the world.

And Cisco understands that to do my best work, I need to write and only write. I don’t do random busy work or admin duties. I write. And that’s it. Again, imagine waking up invigorated because you know when you start working that you’re going to love what you’re doing!

I work with an incredible team of developers, strategists, designers, and analysts who are always cheering me on, especially this past year through the pandemic. They also foster a sense of home. It is because of my team and the inspiration I find in the work I do that I feel so comfortable, and relaxed at work (just like at home).

That’s not to say that I don’t work hard, I certainly do. You’re expected to do so at Cisco, but what makes it different is that Cisco also expects you to care for yourself, especially when it comes to mental health. You won’t work 60-hour weeks for weeks on end. Instead, you’ll be rewarded for your hard work with an extra day off, a few hours dedicated to team fun, hundreds of thank yous, or whatever other creative things leaders can do to show you they appreciate your hard work.

Again, they treat you like family, which is why I have welcomed them into my home.

Cisco wants you to put your best foot forward and they understand that sometimes that means walking away for a little bit. Daily walks, breaks, scrolling through Instagram, and cooking are all part of my daily workday. Not because I am trying to escape work, but because when I take a few 10 or 15-minute breaks throughout the day, I come back ready to, quite frankly, get shit done.

How many people can honestly say their company cares so much about their employees’ well-being that they encourage breaks and vacations and support you when things get rough? Employees, or rather family, come first at Cisco.

A home away from home

Cisco’s work environment and support foster a sense of home. There are so many benefits to working at Cisco (that I won’t get into right now), but the biggest is how they make me feel. And that is why, almost a year later, I am still here and plan to stay.

Much how my cozy blankets and candles make me feel relaxed and comfortable, my team makes me feel accepted, appreciated, and like coming to Cisco was the best thing I ever did for myself. It’s home. My home at Cisco isn’t quite tangible, but I do intend to take care of my career home just as well as my physical one.

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