RedBalloon – seriously, it can’t be that good. Can it?

When I saw the ad for a Communication Specialist at RedBalloon, I knew it was my dream job. I watched the recruitment video on the website where they talk about integrity, leadership, generosity, having fun and something about a pack of really big dogs with tiny little personalities. Wait, I think I got that last one wrong… Anyway, taking it all on board, for the first time ever I dropped the corporate mumbo jumbo from my application letter, and instead opted for phrases such as “bucket-full” and “run wild”. I wasn’t surprised when I got a call.

I never for a moment doubted that attending my first interview dressed in a race car driver’s suit and helmet was a weird idea. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t arrive wearing the outfit – I’m not totally mad! I changed into it in the interview room while waiting for the Employee Experience Manager (that’s HR Manager if you don’t work for RedBalloon) to arrive. Sure, I might have looked like a weird and silent stig sitting in the corner wearing a race suit five times too big teamed with Ferrari red heels, but I got the job.

My first week was a whirlwind of smiling faces, baking competitions, team huddles, dog hair, ping pong and Pac Man – but only after hours. I don’t want you thinking all we do is kid around!

Then, only two weeks into my job the husband* and I decided to get a puppy. It was a very exciting time! Of course that excitement diminished somewhat when the husband informed me he had planned a four day ski trip, commencing the day after the puppy was due to arrive…

“Oh great. No, that’s wonderful darling. But what do you suppose I do about work, given we can’t really leave a living, breathing, chewing and pooing machine alone to run amok between our leather couch, shoe rack and DVD collection?”

Insert stupid comment from husband.

“Yes, that’s a swell idea. Shall I just ask to work from home for three days next week so you can enjoy a well-earned ski and swigging session with your brother? No, I’m sure that will go down like a lead balloon” (no pun intended)…

To my surprise, my last minute plea for the flexibility to work from home and care for aforementioned chewing machine (puppy) was greeted with a response quite foreign to me in the workplace. Support.

In the end I was able to work from home, care for puppy, maintain my marriage and rack up some pretty considerable “you know you owe me” points with the husband. All-in-all a pretty darn good outcome.

So, aside from the obvious fun, frivolity and fast paced environment, the best part of being a RedBallooner is being treated like a real grown up. Being trusted to make your own decisions, approach tasks in your own way, work on projects that play to your natural strengths and be accountable for getting the job done. And the job is always well done, because we all care so deeply for what it is we’re doing – giving people wonderful experiences that they will remember and talk about for the rest of their lives.

This place isn’t just a breath of fresh air – it’s like having a new set of lungs.

*name withheld to protect marriage

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One Comment

  1. Cassandra
    Posted September 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    I loved reading this Lauren! I am such a fan of RedBalloon… Things like this just add to the reasons why!!

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