A great place to work: thoughts from a newbie

I am a journalist, marketer and public relations person by ‘trade’ – so the opportunity to work alongside CEO Naomi at RedBalloon intrigued me. Would the brand really live up to its promise?

Also, I’ve run my own business for the past decade. Anyone who’s been their own boss for that long has understandable doubts about giving up their ‘freedom’ – no matter that I no longer felt free and the inspiration I once felt had been beaten out of me by small business red tape ;-)

But here I am, almost eight weeks as a RedBallooner feeling invigorated, motivated and inspired by the brand, the team and the vision I’ve joined.

I am telling my mates I am in my dream gig. I work from 10-2, five days a week, including one day from home. I drive my three and five year-old kids to school and pick them up in the afternoon – whilst working in a role that’s a natural career extension to what I’ve done for the last 15 years.

The latter is important: many parents accept a job – sometimes not necessarily in their chosen field – simply because it fits around their parental responsibilities. So I am lucky to be in a role that not only contributes to my personal growth and favoured career but supports me as a parent too.

Don’t get me wrong. RedBalloon is a business with profit targets like any other. The difference is the respect, trust, belief and empowerment given to employees. I have been told to leave early and clear half an hour of emails at home rather than stress (and drive at breakneck speeds) to pick up the kids. Not once have I ever been made to feel ‘I’m just’ the part-timer who gives less because she walks out the office door earlier than others on the team.

Plus, one of my key values – freedom – is being supported, which certainly wasn’t happening as much as I needed when I worked for myself.

All in all, a great place to work – and from a cynical, former news journalist, that’s high praise indeed!

Plus how can I resist the amazing experiences? The difficulty is in making the decision. Chocolate Fondu and Martini Making? Or a seaplane to Jonah’s Restaurant? Or my ultimate: the Ningaloo Reef Sal Salis Escape. Just need to arrange the babysitters ;-)

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  1. Posted October 26, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Good article. I’ve jusst set up my business and although my customer base is extremely low, I still don’t want to give up my freedom. I’ve worked with Naomi as a potential client before and believe what you say. Good luck to you and your quest to retain your freedom!

  2. Phil
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks Sharon, freedom is a core value for so many! Good luck with your business venture. Why not check out Naomi’s blog for regular inspiration and motivation on your self-employed journey? http://naomisimson.com/

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