Cisco Poland Blog

One Company, Many Careers – Anna’s story from Marketing into Partner Account Manager (PAM) in Sales

26 September 2023



Over the years, Cisco has practised #internalmobility promotion, encouraging employees to move and develop within the company. Cisco is all about retaining and supporting top talent to pursue their passion. Under the motto #OneCompanyManyCareers, we will be sharing the success stories of our employees throughout the whole year!


This week’s story is about Anna Janas-Gajdus, who changed from Marketing into Partner Account Manager(PAM) in Sales and Sustainability Channel Lead in North region.


Q: Tell us what has been your career journey at Cisco so far?

A: I’ve been working in Marketing for most of my career.  I worked in the IT industry in a Norwegian company called Tandberg, which later was acquired by Cisco. At some point, I got a proposition to switch from covering a narrow portfolio of Telepresence products for CEE region into a wider portfolio but with the focus on  Poland.  Quite soon I ended up covering the whole region again. For some time, I was doing a double role – leading all marketing activities in Poland and being marketing representative for the region. I was travelling a lot, and quite frankly it was difficult to manage so many things at the same time and being a mom of a small child, but it was a valuable experience as I indeed learned a lot about Cisco, got experience in Sales and gained a lot of friendships. Then a new leader was chosen to cover the regional representation, while I focused on Poland, moving into the PAM role.


Q: What or Who inspired you for the change?

A: When I was in Marketing, I was heavily involved in employer branding, where I was a part of many charity organizations helping women in their career journeys: Technologia w spódnicy (from PL: “Technology in a skirt”), Digital University, Vital Voices. Those organizations recommended me to look for a leadership role.

Academy for Poland – it was an initiative uniting people from NGO’s, Science, corporations and even politics. My activities involved a lot of giving back to the community. I was a mentor in several projects, and#internalmobilityskills. After the academy, I understood I wanted to change something. I had a choice of either waiting for this change to happen or take the matter in my own hands and become more proactive. Cisco has always promoted internal mobility. I was lucky to have met many great people on my journey. First, there was a manager I was working with who went through a similar change in her career. I decided to follow her steps. Then, there was a Sales Lead in the region who saw my potential in Sales and encouraged me to develop my skills. I told my manager I am looking for a change, and he supported me, as well as the leadership team in the region.


Q: What was your biggest learning through the transition?

A: I had the advantage of having the product knowledge from the marketing perspective but I lacked the technical skills. I knew I needed some help, so I asked the tech lead to guide and teach me what the trends are, how the technology world operates. I’ve created learning maps for each quarter and relied heavily on self-learning. This was crucial knowledge to have to be able to work with partners.


Q: What advice would you give to those who are thinking about a change but are still hesitant?

A: Be open to different opportunities – you may find inspiration in places you’d have never considered. Be aware of the burnout – this may happen, and if it does, give yourself time to learn what to do. Be patient with yourself and always look for the positive of every situation. Look for trends in your industry and market and build skills accordingly. But most importantly – take your time and learn to appreciate patience.

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