I see all these people b--ching about Cisco LRing older employees in favor of college grads. Only thing I can say is it's your own damn fault. I'm 56 years old and a grade 13. I'm not a manager. Never once have I ever been scared I'd be laid off. It's all about keeping your skills sharp. If you're on a dying technology move to a new one. If you get acquired and LRd yeah that's totally not your fault you got screwed. But for others stop blaming Cisco and ask how did you screw up to the point you got LRd.
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I am surprised at the OP ignorance to how Cisco operates. Politics first, customer impact/revenue second, skill set third.
You’re full of it. I’m also extremely technical (older than you and G12) but never made 13, for three main reasons 1) visibility not easy when you’re remote and have no cheer leader rooting for you to push the promotion through 2) constant reorgs changing your reporting structure (see previous point) and 3) diversity comes into it, very difficult to get mentoring unless you fall into a protected group (see point 1).
Only last week, Cisco let go an extremely talented engineer working in Europe. This guy was absolutely gold. He had written research papers and documents for technical standards organizations, was working on big upcoming technology shifts and currently working on a large customer project.
If you think being a G13 techno widget can save you, I have a bridge for sale.
It's all about your manager! I have always kept my skills up and was LR'd due to politics and joining the wrong team.
I'm happy for you, OP. I don't know of any non-managers who've made it to PG 13. I was LR'ed and I certainly wasn't on a team that was dying technology. Sys Admins have to stay current on the operating systems, hardware and security in order to provide development systems to the developers who make the products & services that Cisco sells. I just happened to be the oldest on the team when I got LR'd. I watched a lot of good guys get let go. All of us found good jobs quickly, so we're talented resources for companies willing to keep older workers.
I don't complain about it. I've had 2 severance packages from Cisco. If they want to hire me and give me a third, I'll take their money and chuckle at their stupidity of letting me go and then hiring me back. If I wasn't good enough, why would they hire again? If I'm good enough, why do they keep letting me go? Either way, I have plenty of job offers and it's easy money.
Keeping your skills up have nothing to do with getting LR'd. In the 1 1/2 years before I was LR'd I completed 5 Cisco Certs and 1 VM cert. I took some addition courses on web sites like Coursera in regards to SDN and python.
I think it was more about backstabbing between employees because everyone knows another LR is coming around and they had to be positioned so they could survive. I don't play that game and it cost me.
I tried to suggest new ideas to the team on improving efficiencies and being more productive but the legacy Team Lead threw me under the bus many times via group emails. He liked to be king. Cisco kept several people on the team that did not even have one Cisco Certs but they were yes man people. Worked a lot of weekends pulled a lot of all-nighter's for Cisco and tried to be loyal to my employer.
I have seen 3 very powerful senior directors cut and made to leave without much ado. people I thought were insiders and untouchable. they were "gods" and loved to throw their weight around.
and once the lion king is deposed the fate of his pride (the pack of crony line managers) is like that of orphans nobody loves....his managers all had long faces and were kicked like footballs all over...some left...some migrated to other groups to try their luck. none have any real power now.
Nice attitude, I had similar the day before my number was up. I even had a conversation with a peer talking about which slackers would be cut and how hard it would be if person x was on the list.
The reality, however, is that the LR had nothing to do with my skill or even ability to s--- up to the boss. My skills were significantly more in line with the work the survivors had after I was gone.
The reality is that I checked off multiple boxes, young enough (40s) that I balanced an older worker while being old enough that my replacement could be young.
It took little time to get a position at one of the big tech companies - so I agree with you that keeping your skills sharp is the key... But don't think for one second that keeps you safe. Cisco isn't a company that values technical ability - it values how much it can save and to that end everyone is just a number.