Happy work Bat-Mitzvah to me

Today I celebrate my 13th year at Cisco. In my religion 13 years is a milestone that leads to a Bat Mitzvah, reflection, and celebration. While I am clearly not an active religious participant (to the dismay of many family members), I do love a chance to reflect and celebrate.

So what have I learned?

  • How to market products and solutions. How to market to specific audiences. And most importantly, how to market myself. As a naturally shy person and somewhat of an introvert, the last one took quite a bit of getting out of my own way to accomplish.
  • Harmony is possible but I have to work really, really hard to maintain it. It’s kind of like walking the balance beam when you are completely uncoordinated. There are a lot of bruises to recover from with potential for long-term emotional scars.
  • I’ve accomplished a lot in 13 years. Despite a few career lulls, I am exactly where I imagined myself in 2013 (not that I had a long term plan or anything).
  • Going back to bullet two, it’s clearly possible to achieve personal goals even at an intensely demanding (but rewarding) company. In my 13 years at Cisco I have accomplished quite a few personal goals: got married (no small feat as we learned in my Get What You Want NOW blog), launched two babies, earned my black belt and life coaching certification, became a blogger, and got published (there’s still time to help me get published again. Vote for Discovered in a Skein of Yarn!)
  • An important part of being happy at work is working with people you like. Who you work with, and for, counts. A lot. I try to be someone that others enjoy working with, and for (that last part is possible because I finally achieved my long term career aspiration of becoming a people manager. I am spoiled with the most incredible team ever!)
  • Apparently I have some guiding principles I feel strongly about. They are: be present, be authentic, be candid, be a deliberate creator, have positive expectation. I’m still working on the “be present” part.
  • My passion is to help people discover their own passion and connect to work that is fulfilling and meaningful. I can do this every day in my current job. Score!
  • Give people a chance even when they don’t have every skill needed to do a job. That’s how I am celebrating 13 years – because Phylis hired me despite my total lack of experience. Thanks, Phyl for taking a chance on me – and happy anniversary to you, too!
  • How to effectively say no.
  • Working at home is pretty sweet.
  • I’ve learned a lot, and have a lot more to learn.

The appropriate thing to say when someone gets Bat Mitvahed at age 13 is mazel tov. Even better if you’ll share a virtual glass of wine or champagne with me.



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