Not long ago, I received my Psychologist title from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez. Since this university requires it, I was lucky to make two practices in the area of organizational psychology; a pre-practice prior to Masters and normal practice once graduated. Thanks to these two experiences, I now have the possibility to make a comparison with some arguments about the value that making a practice in a place like Plataforma Áurea can have.
During my first four years in college, my future plan was quite simple: graduate, find a job in human resources, make some money, buy a house, get married, etc. Further than questioning if this was what I wanted or not, I didn’t seem to have much of a choice in my map.
With this mindset, I started my pre-practice in the human resources area of a medium enterprise at the capital. We could say that this was like any typical medium or large company: it had a fixed schedule for all workers, regardless of whether you finished your job and had to warm the seat for other 6 hours. It had a semi-formal dress code, which not only implied to dress according to the norm but also remove and hide any visible piercing. Monotonous job, without much space to propose a change or a challenge… Anyway, a “normal” job.
The idea of working in something that I don’t love and doesn’t make sense from 8am to 6pm every day, to later go out running until 8pm (cause you lose 1 hour or more in locomotion too), eat until 9pm and go to sleep at 10pm so you can get up and be functional the next day, happened to be tremendously torturous for me. It was inevitable to realise that this wasn’t the “happiness” I was promised if I studied and did “what’s expected” for me to do.
That’s how I entered my last year, with a big -BIG- vocational crisis. Finally, what keeps you there is the very notion that you already lost and paid 4 years of it and the most convenient thing to do in the long term is still –of all ways- to have a college degree. Once again, I searched my second practice assuming that it would be the last thing I knew about organizational psychology and then I would try luck in something else that I could find meaningful.
It was then that I was fortunate to be invited to participate in Plataforma Áurea. I am not going to say that I was instantly fascinated, or that I suddenly found all the sense that I was missing… but looking backwards, it eventually happened. From the minute 1 (including the interview to get in) everything was uncertainty. It’s like somebody turned the lights off and for minutes you can’t see anything, until your eyes get used to function in that particular environment. It was the same thing with Plataforma.
There wasn’t fixed schedules, no charge or specific functions, didn’t have to follow a dress code, there wasn’t anyone supervising everything I did; sometimes it was as simple as proposing something and being trusted without them even seeing it. Sometimes the answer was and still is just “Play”.
Working at Plataforma Áurea was practically force myself into an adaptive process that implied:
– Reading the environment and culture (since there is not a protocol) to understand how things are done here.
– Passing from a passive attitude to an autonomous one: getting used to the idea of managing your tasks and times, since no one is going to do it for you.
– Learning to trust what you can actually contribute to the organization. In here nobody is going to keep you shut, on the contrary, everybody is expecting to hear what you have to say.
– Expand the “us”: move from a vision of “me and my work” to “what can I do for us”, and not only “us Plataforma Áurea” but “us planet Earth”.
– Taking the integrative model that is basis to Plataforma Áurea to concrete actions. Preach and practice the integration of people, ideas, tasks, models, etc.
– Learning from small changes. Not discarding everything that has been done before, but taking what works and making it better with whatever you learn along the way. This is what I’ve come to understand as “evolution”.
If I had to summarize it in a few words, it was to learn, learn and learn. Learn from everything that was in the blind spot during my whole formation: there are enterprises that have genuine interest in each of their collaborators, there are companies that don’t only seek to profit but also make community and take care of the planet that we’re in, there are companies that allow the union of the life and work and having space and time for every aspect of a person’s life.
Definitely, further than anything you could learn being in an organization like this, what fills the most that emptiness that I had before is that it makes sense. It has a genuinely shared purpose. I really can’t do more than feel pride of being part of this organization.