Cisco Poland Blog

One Company, Many Careers – Dominika’s Road to Success from HTOM to Leader Position

5 July 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 Dominika Laboubee, Leader in Client Operations in Cisco Poland


Tell us what has been your career journey at Cisco so far.

I began my career at Cisco in 2016 as a High Touch Operation Manager (HTOM) because incident management was something I’ve always been interested in.

I liked my previous employer, but I heard that Cisco is a great place to work, with great people and a great environment, so that was very appealing. I went to the interview, and then I met the manager who hired me at the time – he’s an inspiring person, and he really convinced me to join Cisco.

In February 2018, I was promoted to Team leader. My manager at the time was very supportive and although I’ve never mentioned that management is my passion and dream, they believed in me and suggested this role.

My job was exciting since at the same time I still worked as an HTOM for one of the region’s largest clients, managing and supporting various lines of business for them. I was getting very high escalations, and there was always something interesting going on, which I enjoyed. Then I applied for a management position in Asset Management, which was a logical next step, but in a completely different team organization.

I also thought it would be a natural progression because I saw Incident management as a sister to Asset management.

My manager is extremely supportive, and he prefers to hire for personality and passion he sees in people rather than a particular experience, so the knowledge of asset management was not required to become asset management team manager. For me, change was exciting; however, I was concerned that this new role and environment would be much quieter than the one I had grown accustomed to.

But I couldn’t be more wrong because I’ve never had so much fun as I have in the last two years.

This role provides limitless opportunities because, in addition to team management and supporting the people with whom you work, you can also run any project you want to change the organization, drive it forward, and help to improve some processes.

It truly allows you to shape your role in addition to people management.



What or Who inspired you for the change?

I was feeling ready for a change, and I was directing my career towards a certain goal.  Experienced HTOMs usually go through advanced training to become trusted advisors to the customer, called TACT. But I decided to talk about it to my manager at the time and I asked him if I could rather take a leadership training instead. He recognized my aspirations and supported me so when my colleagues were going together to sunny Lisbon, I ended up alone in London learning about the thing I was so passionate about.

I completed the training right before my maternity leave. My manager had changed during that time, but I wanted to stay in touch and decided to introduce myself before returning. I wanted to set expectations and tell him about my goals so that I could still fit in.

Everything concerning pre-sales, quotes and business expansion appeared to be the missing piece for me. I lacked the business knowledge required to lead the team. My new manager was positive and said it was fine for me to rejoin the team as a Business Development Manager on top of my HTOM role. That’s how I learned to grow the business and manage it from a different perspective than just team management. I believed that those two approaches provided a strong management foundation for a tech manager, so it was natural for me to consider becoming HTOM manager. But then the position of Asset Manager opened, and I couldn’t be more excited to learn something new.

Although nobody really inspired me for the change, I feel that I was very blessed having many wonderful managers during my career path and I could always count on their sponsorship and trust in me. I feel that there is something really special about how Cisco supports talent and career progression.



What was your biggest learning through the transition?

I went through a massive transition, changing not only the environment but also the entire scope, so it was a steep learning curve.

When you make the transition from team leader to the manager, you are finally taking responsibility for your team and the people who report to you. As a manager, you can wear many hats, such as a coach, mentor, and sponsor. I believe that each leader must determine how they want to lead their team and what their goals are. What are their top concerns?

And I believe that I had to learn for myself what kind of leader I wanted to be. I decided to become more of a sponsor to my team’s senior members, and when I began hiring new team members, I naturally became more of a mentor or coach to them.

I definitely learned empathy, how to be a better person, and how to anticipate and see other’s needs while also trying to feel for them and simply support them.


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

Change comes naturally to me because I am a standout pioneer though I am aware that not everyone feels this way about changes. It requires mental effort and reshaping the entire approach. I believe that taking one step at a time would in such cases make it easier to start. Attempting to contact people within the organization in order to ask questions about the position I am interested in and to learn about different ways of working. To be ready for what may come next and to adapt to change. I also strongly believe that if you have a passion for a particular field- fight for it. Make conscious choices about what you invest your time and energy in, take stretch assignments and get involved in local activities which will help you develop the skills needed for this role.


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