I remember as though it was yesterday. After 5 months of taking couple of digital marketing courses and networking with people in this field, something has had a startup in my life.
I finally got to the point where I was having the kind of lifestyle I had been craving for : working from home during from 1p.m. to 8 p.m. and focusing on my self-development during the morning: practicing yoga, studying, meditating, reading and etc…
Simply put, my need for freedom had been met.
So here comes the funny thing…
Even though I was taking over my working routine, after 3 months of home office I started to feel bored and lonely. Oddly, the need for challenges and for sharing became more important than my need for freedom to control my time.
Back then, I had no intentions of joining a company other than the one I was planning to build over time.
Initially, the proposal seemed to be very exciting and appealing to me, because they are the digital marketing benchmark company in the brazilian market, and because they said to be a very flexible workplace, at least in the Join Us page.
Then, I went through the hiring process. After 2 weeks, I got the job offer for the Customer Success Manager position.
In the end of the hiring process, the interviewer asked something that drew my attention. Here it goes.
Interviewer : Mathias, what would be a reason for you to leave this job?
Me: The only reason I am capable of seeing now is you guys not living up to the values written in your Culture Code.
Interviewer: Huh.. ok…
Even by far I could “see” a grin on his face implying that ‘if that is the matter, then all is fine man‘!
However, I wasn’t that confident, providing often times we see companies not walking their talk, right?
So we hung up the phone and 2 weeks later I would move down southern Brazil to Florianopolis, fondly known as Floripa.
First Impressions on the Startup
As a first time visitor, when I got off the airplane, I did not think I was in a capitol. Instead, I thought I was in a little green town nearby the jungle.
Conversely, that impression did not last very much, because the scenario would all of a sudden change. Buildings, cars, freeways popped up out of nowhere as I was going to Floripa Downtown.
Although I feel I need to explore much more, after visiting couples of places down here, the impression I have is that Floripa uniquely gathers diverse geographic conditions that make every single neighborhood a town by itself.
I mean, in a side one can find an amazing beach, in another you feel like being in a countryside. Not to mention the dunes, lakes, forests & high standard urbanized areas.
From RD office, you might have a glimpse of that view I am trying to describe.
If you find this beautiful, you are likely to have a blast when you get to see the sunset from there just like I did.
Hopefully, I will be able to take a nice shot of it and share it out in upcoming posts.
Support & Acceptance
Pretty much running out of money, I was really concerned of how I would make ends meet during my initial days in Floripa. For my joy, I was kindly offered a stay by Bel , a friend I had met during College and who was also working for RD…
Innerly, I felt amazed because I would never expect getting this kind of assistance from her given we would only meet for studying. Really, I have no words to show my gratitude for her and her husband, Gabriel Mineiro.
Besides that, I had a strong and warming impression during the very beginning living with my new colleagues too.
Before, I need to walk you a little bit through my lifestyle so you might get closer to my understanding.
I mostly eat raw fruits and vegetables, in other words, I’m a raw vegan for the time being. As, by experience, I do not expect most people to get the point of that lifestyle, my default mode is to avoid to talk about it. Maybe, that is my way to avoid friction or situations like “who is right” discussions that I do not enjoy.
Upon landing on RD (to my surprise), I felt really supported and accepted among my new teammates. At our first lunch time, they asked about my lifestyle not to question it, but rather to understand my motivation. They even showed their admiration for it. Thus, I felt included, supported and respected. That “little thing” made RD a so welcoming environment to me.
After couple days walking around the office I saw what you see in the picture below. It looks like this vibration of support and acceptance is spread over the other teams too.
The self-accountability environment in RD really made my jaw hit the floor. I mean, I was not expecting to be fully in control of how I would manage my working and leisure time within the office. Beyond, I was not expecting to have no pressure for letting people know what I would be up to from time to time…
Here are some insights I would like to share on that workplace settings:
- I feel much more empowered and motivated to perform my tasks because I feel people trust I am mature enough to take wise decisions myself
- It looks like that encourages people to allot time for their self-development with activities such as reading and studying – like you seeing the RDoer Marcelo reading on his kindle.
So, the basic rule I sense here is : as long as one is delivering what was agreed upon, then we are all happy!
Since the first second (no kidding) I steeped up into the office, this thought came across my mind : Oh Gosh I can’t believe it, that’s gonna be awesome!
Well, here are the 3 nice things got my eyes sparkled:
- My new colleagues playing Fifa for Xbox 360 at the kitchen, while others were eating
- One guy punching and kicking our boxing bag
- Most people wearing slippers
As the weeks went by, more fun came over… RD organized a Saint John party in which we sang, danced, had really nice food and great laughs…
This all made me feel again belonging to a new & fun family.
Hope new parties like that are coming up soon RD, right?
So far, that’s why I feel extremely happy over here!
Final thought for Now
As a final thought, I would like to share a reflection.
At the same time I get extremely happy for having this great opportunity of growing and working for RD, I get kind of sad too.
This happens when I remember, as far as I know, that most companies do not offer a workplace like RD does.
I even come to imagine how much all the society and the market lose by institutions not providing to people the best workplace they can for the emotional, physical and mental health of their employees.
My point for now is not that every workplace should mimic what companies like Resultados Digitais, Buffer, MindValley and few others startups create in terms of culture and workplace. Nor even 50% of it (though, looks like it would be super awesome).
Instead, I wonder :
Why many people out there are not getting basic needs met in their jobs?
What if wed had most institutions creating a safe space where people would :
- Be trusted for their work
- Get appreciation for their endeavors
- Feel enough safety to give honest feedback to people and to the organization as a whole
Would not all feel much happier, then producing better results for the company and for all the society?
Do you lack those values in your job or know somebody who does? How do you feel about that?
I would be deeply honored to have you sharing your thoughts and experiences on working under circumstances you would like to be different.