Thursday, February 14, 2008

Guest Blogger - Leslie Morris - Bringing Cisco Contractors Together

Today's guest blog is by my friend and editor, Leslie Morris. I hope you enjoy reading what she wrote, but do not pay any attention to that part about getting the dirt on me! Dirt? What dirt?

There is a great idea in what she writes.... do you belong to a unique group that would benefit from having more access to oneanother? Be the person who brings everyone together.

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It’s a Networking Dilemma

I’m a fairly good networker. I should be by now. After all, I am the editor of Thom’s books. And I’ve learned a lot from him!

But I’m in a networking quandary and Thom has been gracious enough to let me post my query to his blog-reading cognoscenti.

Let me just start by saying that yes, I know that networking is about giving first. And I haven’t given you anything except for indirect access to Thom’s wisdom through his books. If I can be of any assistance to you, please do reach out. Feel free to email me! I’ve known Thom 20+ years so if it’s dirt you’re after, I can be of stellar assistance in that area.

On to the issue at hand...

I make my living as a writer and editor. My primary client right now is Cisco Systems and Cisco employs thousands of non-technical contractors. I had the brilliant idea to start a listserv and create an online community for those people. While my work with Cisco is fun and interesting, the ramp up at the technology giant would have been shorter had I had a community to reach out to. Additionally, gigs open up all the time and the community would be a great place to post those opportunities as well as advertise one’s own availability should one’s engagement be winding down.

So I set up the w9atcisco yahoogroups list and invited the people I know to join. I also asked them to pass the information along to others who work with Cisco. Today the list is 32 members. But it could easily grow to several hundred if only I could reach them!

Today I ask two things of you:

1. Do you have any ideas on how I can find others who are either Cisco contractors or Cisco-approved vendors?

2. If you know any people or businesses who meet the above description, would you please tell them about the w9atcisco yahoogroup?

I genuinely appreciate your help. And I welcome your input on Thom’s books, of course.

Many thanks.

Leslie Morris
New Year Publishing, LLC

2 comments:

Steve Harper said...

Leslie,

Have you thought about posting something on LinkedIn or doing a general search for people with Cisco in their LinkedIn profile? Sure you might find a log of direct Cisco connections but you might turn up some folks with contracting ties to them as well.

Just a thought.

Sushi addict said...

Your guest blog post was mentioned in the Cisco Alumni yahoo group but unfortunately, without a link to your Yahoo Group. Now lots of former Cisco folk know about it.

At Cisco, there is a mailing list for contractors and consultants, but because of anti-compete clauses and other paranoid symptoms, no one ever posts anything. Good to have a Yahoo Group because it is cleanly separate from Cisco or from any particular consulting firm.

I am told that some consulting firms at Cisco do try to build a community among its consultants with evening mixers and brown bag lunches.

If you'd like to contact me, send email to the owner of the Cisco Alumni Yahoo Group.