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Texas Veteran Finds Freedom on RedBalloon

“I realized that my most impactful work in my short amount of time on this earth was going toward things I didn’t care about, or, even worse, was diametrically opposed to.”


-John Green, RedBalloon User

Today's spotlight is on John Green - a hard-working Texan who loves his country and loves freedom. But he is only one out of tens of thousands of Americans who have switched careers to find a workplace that respects their values.


It began with a Zoom call. John Green and his girlfriend Melanie Horstman met with the CEO and Founder of RedBalloon, Andrew Crapuchettes. At the time, neither of them was looking for a new job. They just wanted to thank Andrew for helping the people who were trying to find work. Little did they know what the future had in store for them.

John began his career as an Army paratrooper but transitioned into the tech field when he returned to civilian life. He eventually ended up at Slalom, a global business and technology consulting firm. It was there that John started to think more deeply about his career in tech.

"I read the writing on the wall. I was of a certain demographic that they didn't want too much of. I started looking at the other companies they were doing business with and noticed that they didn't align with my values.”


John also experienced a company culture of “tip-toeing” around certain topics. “There were so many subjects that you were never allowed to discuss, including not discussing not discussing,” John recalls.


Perhaps it was the four years spent jumping out of airplanes. Perhaps it was the late-night phone calls with his mom, talking about the conflict he felt at work. But John knew something had to change. He had a choice to make.


“I realized that my most impactful work in my short amount of time on this earth was going toward things I didn’t care about, or, even worse, was diametrically opposed to.”


Taking the Leap


John had been keeping an eye on RedBalloon, noticing more and more IT jobs on the site. He also observed that the IT jobs were for larger companies and came with higher salaries.

One day he noticed a job posting for an IT specialist role at Siri & Glimstad, a law firm known for preserving medical liberty and safeguarding civil rights. When the managing partner offered him a job on the spot, John was initially hesitant.


“It was then that I realized – I was being afraid. And that’s not the way I wanted to live my life.” John accepted the job and hasn’t looked back since.


John now describes his life as “Pretty darn good.” Even though his new job is hard work, it’s good work. And it doesn’t involve walking on eggshells around co-workers or being marginalized. He now fills his days with the kind of work that he can be proud of.




“You could make the argument that I am less "successful" today than I was at my position a year ago...maybe...on paper,” John admits. But he goes on to describe how that “successful” version of himself just wasn’t happy at work. Now, that has changed.


Two weeks into John’s new job, he became responsible for unpacking large data files that no one in the company could access without his expertise. His work directly supported a case that would go on to make national headlines for defending the rights of his fellow Americans.


“That's not something that I ever would have been able to be a part of in my previous job, even in my wildest dreams, and now I get to do that every day.”


Doing work that aligns with his values has given John a new sense of self-respect, and that is one of several positive changes he has noticed since switching jobs.


“I used to ‘eat up’ my own surplus to augment my unhappiness, but now I can use it to help others.”


Whether it's mentoring young people entering the workforce, or helping his brother-in-law set up a website for his cabinet shop, John discovered that his newfound freedom at work gave him freedom to serve his family and community in more meaningful ways.

And John isn’t the only one in his hometown of Kerrville, Texas who has found freedom in the workplace.


His girlfriend Melanie recently started her own job search on RedBalloon.work.


“She wasn’t looking on LinkedIn or Indeed,” says John. “She was just looking on RedBalloon.”

Melanie found several companies interested in her.


After getting through multiple rounds of interviews with two companies on RedBalloon’s website, her response was, “I wish I could go to both.” She eventually accepted a technology admin job from John’s RedBalloon employer, Siri & Glimstad.

For John and Melanie, freedom in the workplace is no longer a dream.


It’s a reality.




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