Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You

I’ve had this thing to share with you that I haven’t been able to share and it’s been killing me.

Last year around this time, I was unemployed. In all honesty, I was very fortunate to only be out of work for about three months before joining Cerner in March of 2009. I didn’t get a big severance package when the company I worked for laid me off, so that unemployment came in handy for the few meager months. Those few months were actually pretty fun. I got to hang out with Alli and Dreyfuss a lot. Saw a lot of movies.

During that time, I got more and more active in the Social Media Club of Kansas City. It was through the SMCKC, Twitter and this blog that I got into touch with Justin Gardner, the social media guru at AMC. Justin got me into a preview of the then-new Fork & Screen concept at the Olathe AMC and last February (in fact, almost a year ago exactly), I got to attend AMC’s Best Picture Showcase.

Now if you’ve followed this blog or you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr or Facebook or if you know me in real life, you know that I’ve got a crazy passion for movies. I love the experience of going to the theatre. I love blockbusters, independent films, dramas, comedies, romances…pretty much everything but horror flicks.

For the past ten years, I’ve worked for a software company, a (now-defunct) financial services company, and a healthcare company. The next ten years (and hopefully many more after that) will be spent working for an entertainment company.

The Outside of the Olathe AMC

Yep. I’m leaving Cerner to go to work at AMC as their Community Manager.

That’s right. Me. AMC. Movies. Internet. AWESOMENESS.

It’s not every day that your dream job falls in your lap.

Working at Cerner for the past year has been a great experience. I’ve worked with an amazing team on some important projects. I have made some terrific friends along the way. The Marketing organization is full of talented individuals who have elevated me and made going to work enjoyable. I’m proud of what I accomplished over the past 11 months. I leave feeling good about what I’ve contributed and knowing that the projects I have worked on are in good hands.

But it’s show time.

First week on the job

It’s actually been two weeks since I officially began at Cerner Corporation, but I only joined my team on Monday, spending the first week in orientation. The last week was overwhelming as I’m doing my best to navigate my new company and yet still do my best to contribute as quickly as I can.

The blog is taking a backseat for the time being (not at all surprising), considering that I’ve got the new job, Alli’s dance team’s spring show, and March Madness (Rock Chalk!) going on right now. Plus, I haven’t had a lot to say lately. Maybe next week.

Until then…

Employed!

I don’t officially start my position until March 9 and my verbally-accepted offer is contingent on my passing a background check, but for all intents and purposes, I have a job.

Starting on March 9, I will begin working for Cerner Corporation as a Sr. Program Analyst in the Online Marketing group. I’m really excited about this opportunity and it’s going to be a very new experience going to work for a large corporation such as Cerner. Up until now, I’ve worked for companies that were smaller than 75 employees when I was hired. (Although certain places grew to over 300 by the time I left.)

I’m no longer unemployed!

Well…I guess technically, I still am unemployed until March 9th, but you get the idea.

KS Unemployment Success

As of last week, it was still amazingly difficult to get through to the Kansas Unemployment Office on the phone.

Hopefully today that will all change. According to the website:

Effective Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, the Kansas Department of Labor’s Unemployment Contact Center will temporarily extend its hours of operation from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

This is great news for people who have been laid off. The online system is nice for submitting your initial and weekly claims, but when there are problems with your claim (I detailed my own a few weeks ago), the communication from the unemployment office is horrible. The best way to get your issues resolved is to try and get someone on the phone.

This isn’t easy. First, you have to actually get through. It took me days of calling and calling just to actually get through. Then, once you get through, you get kicked off the calls randomly because they don’t want too many people waiting on hold. Of course, they wait over 10 minutes to do so (a number that has decreased over time). When you finally get into the queue, you have to wait almost an hour to talk to an actual person. In my case, I was told that there was a single form that I had not filled out…something that could have been communicated to me on the site along with a link to the form.

Now that the hours have been extended, I’m hopeful that people will not experience the same frustrations that I did. Although, with the horrible January unemployment numbers, the office may continue to be just as busy as it was before. Either way, I applaud the Kansas Department of Labor for responding to the needs of the people. Perhaps they were tired of a post entitled KS Unemployment FAIL being on the first page of Google results for ‘ks unemployment’.

The power of blogging.

A Whole New Mind

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

I stayed up until 1:00 a.m. last night finishing Dan Pink’s fantastic book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the World.

I’ve had this book since I won it at the 2006 HOW Conference (along with Chip Kidd’s book, The Cheese Monkeys). I’d heard lots of great things about it, but for whatever reason, I never got around to reading it. Since I’ve got some reading time on my hands, I thought I’d give it a shot.

The basis for Pink’s book is that we are no longer in the Information Age, but have moved on to the Conceptual Age, where information-based work can be replaced by computers and cheap laborers. The challenge for this age is “high-touch” and “high-concept” thinking, also known as “right-brained thinking.”

Pink states that the new crop of workers need to develop six essential skills in order to succeed in the new Conceptual Age – Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning. (To understand what each of those mean, you’ll have to pick up the book.)

I was really fascinated by the book because I found that my own personal skills and abilities really lined up with Dan’s essential skills. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t continue to develop them, but it means that I’ve developed skills over the course of my career that will be useful in this next age.

Now if I could just find a job that would recognize those talents instead of ruling me out the instant that I try to apply for something that I’m qualified for…