Friday marked my last day as a Cerner employee. After almost three years of technical support work I am grateful for the experience, the knowledge, and the customer service opportunities that I had. I worked with many amazing people and witnessed the constant shift and changes in the company that help it grow. However, I am prepared and excited to embark on my next mission--one that better fits my work style, allows me to be creative, gives me more day-to-day freedom, and puts me and my family first. I am excited to be in charge of my own day, work on projects that have a definitive end, and celebrate more accomplishments. Here's to the future!
I liked my job… at first.
As a constant reader of my blog, you may know that I was not a huge fan of my job. I don’t want this post to be something in which I just bash on Cerner as a company, but I do want to tell about my experiences there. I started this job straight out of college in June of 2016. Leading up to this job everything seemed amazing—their initial offer was really impressive for a college student, the benefits were really great, the entire interview experience was simply a show of how amazing the company was (which it should be), they spoiled me with hotel stays and free flights and good food. Walking around the campus that I interviewed at was breath taking. I got to see modern office spaces, amazing technology driven elevators, food supplies, etc. It all seemed so fantastic.
And don’t get me wrong, it was. All of these things they showed me at the beginning were valid. I started my job at the campus that I interviewed at and so everything was gorgeously modern and super inviting for a technology driven millennial. The work I was doing, technical support, was okay, but I was consistently promised by others in the company that if you worked hard, stuck through it all, and kept focused on where I wanted to go within the company that I could absolutely get there. There were success stories of people moving into a position they loved, and stories of amazing progress as an individual within the company.
I quickly learned that this wasn’t the case—actually, it was, but only if you kissed ass to every upper management you came in contact with, stepped on every other peer in your position to make yourself grow, and only work hard when it was noticed (not when the job really needed you to). And this just wasn’t the type of person I am. I worked hard because the work needed done, and when I finished my work because I worked really hard during the beginning of the week, I would reward myself with a more relaxed Thursday and Friday. But management saw me working hard and gave me more work to do. Okay, okay, that’s fine… but you want to know who’s work I was doing? Other peers—the people who were not working as hard as me—I was awarded for my hard work by getting more work from the people who weren’t working hard. And the people who weren’t working hard knew this, so they would continue to not work hard.
You see how this cycle can get pretty frustrating? How it can drain you as a hard working person to only find out that you’re working hard so that other people don’t have to. I don’t think that this is necessarily Cerner as a company’s fault, but rather leadership within the company. Support managers, and their managers were letting this happen. After two years of review cycles in which I was passed by for a senior title or a raise I officially decided it was time to leave. My work here at Cerner was not valued, I was a cog in a machine that could be replaced. As soon as I saw this I knew that my stress working this ungrateful 8-5 was not worth it.
A normal day as a Technical Solution Analyst.
My typical day looked like this— I got in to work around 7am (Trevor and I worked 7-4) and went through emails. Emails consisted of clients giving me more information about their problems they were having with the software, clients needing help with the resolutions I provided them, and internal team and administrative emails. Most emails for clients, and internal people for that matter, were angry and attacking messages which left me feeling almost always like the software issues were my fault (which they weren’t at all).
After going through emails I would slowly start addressing them throughout the day. I would call clients, email them back, and communicate A LOT. As I did this, new tickets would be coming in constantly. Sometimes I would close out an issue, but never did I have time to celebrate this small victory because a new issue would be hammering into my queue right behind it. The job never ended.
I forced myself to take breaks even when I never really had a stoping point. Trevor and I tried to take frequent walks together, we always made it a habit to squeeze in a lunch together, and we “always” left at 4. I put always in quotes because sometimes we were required by management to work extra hours—this is another reason I disliked my job and my management. Cerner as company is entirely reactive, not proactive, so when we started getting too many tickets we would do a Queue Bust which means coming in an hour early and working an hour later. My team did these Queue Busts literally every single week. Since we as a team were constantly behind, we constantly worked extra hours. Instead of stopping and questioning, “Hmmm, I wonder what’s causing us to be behind when others aren’t?” leadership thought it better to continue to work these frustrated cogs to death (since they could be replaced and all…right?).
And that was my day, every day, just like that. Constantly working tickets, continuously working extra hours, and never ending anything because the work never stopped.
Deciding to finally quit.
Like I mentioned earlier, the first thought of leaving happened after my reviews constantly came back with no forward progress within the company. I decided within a year of working at Cerner to start applying else where. I put in lots of applications, and interviewed at a few places, but nothing really seemed to take. Cerner functions off their own coding language, and technical support is only good experience if you want to go back into technical support, so I essentially had a very niche area in which people expressed any interest. I am constantly getting messages on LinkedIN from people recruiting Cerner knowledgable consultants to work for different hospital clients, but this is not the work I wanted to do.
After almost three years, things started to fall into place with moving back home to Indiana. I had gotten married, was ready to start a family, and needed to be close with my family to do so. My parents had job opportunities for me, and I literally JUMPED as soon as I found out that this was something I could do. Deciding to finally quit was rather easy, and I wound up giving my bosses lots of notice. We had already lost 4 people prior to Christmas, another person announced switching teams, and then close to my quit date another engineer announced their leave as well. That’s 7 people (including myself) leaving one team in a matter of 3 months. I’m not HR or anything, but I’d say that there’s an issue here.
My new job consists of whatever my parents have me do. They own multiple businesses that could highly use the the assistance. I will also be focusing on my blog more which I am really excited to be getting back in to. I plan on doing YouTube A LOT! And really honing in on my videography business and skills. I think that this is going to be a great opportunity for me to develop myself and the skills that I really have a passion for. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing everything with you too!