We recently came back from the first Enhancv Retreat - in charming Venice
Some people dread the image of a whole weekend sleepover with their colleagues, usually filled with cheesy teambuilding activities. But for me, it means a weekend full of fun and new memories with Enhancers!
''Do you want to come and see me in Venice?'', said our Chief Innovator Mitko after we came back from the Power Week. He has been living there because of a university project and thought it could be fun if the whole team came for a visit. Thanks to our adventurous souls, the decision was easy to make and ‘’Yes’’ was the only answer.
We are better together
I couldn't wait to go to our Venice Retreat. As some of us work remotely, gathering together is always a blast. With the distance and focus on work, I often forget about Vessy's sarcastic sense of humor influenced by Dublin, for example.
We also planned to sum up our learnings, takeaways, and amazing memories from the past year which I personally enjoyed the most.
''A company of friends.'' I've always dreamt of working in a company that states that about themselves. And it turned out that this description represents Enhancv. :) The trust, support when I need it and the freedom of developing my top skills from the very beginning. Oh, I also felt it on the plane to Venice. I'm scared of flying, you see, and I will never forget how the others tried to comfort me throughout the flight. Cheers for that! :)
Believe it or not, some of our team members met in Venice for the very first time! Yet they acted like they've known each other forever. Good job, Georgi, for recruiting such a superb crowd.
Why a retreat?
2016 has been a pretty successful year for Enhancv. One of the most positive things is that our team has grown from 6 to 20 within 2016. It made our office a bit tight which led to choosing a new one. There were many other highs and lows, and we felt it was important to share them with each other. All the newbies, including me, could hear the history and all the old dogs could remind themselves of what brought Enhancv to where it is now.
The first night
We arrived in our cozy hostel ''Generator'' in Venice on a cold Friday evening. We got into our bunkrooms which brought some good memories from high-school to my head. The night talks about our childhood boyfriends/girlfriends. Or a ''bottle of wine party'' where instead of a glass, each of us had their own bottle of wine to drink from. Just to be clear, this didn't end too well for some of us. (Psst, you know who I'm talking about.) ;)
But let's get back to Friday evening. We gathered in the lounge area with the other Enhancers. After we had our short talks, hugs and ‘’glad to see you!’’ moments, we were ready to start throwing our 2016 wins on the wall with sticky notes.
I'd like to mention some of the things I think make all of us ''Most Proud Of'' working at Enhancv.
Firstly, the release of Marissa Mayer’s resume in Business Insider which brought 10K+ new users to our platform. The process of helping others changing their careers began.
So far 200K+ people have created a resume on our platform to get the job they best fit in. Read our latest story here - Sam from Spotify.
We managed to save the company and most importantly the team after running out of investment funds, then secured a new one from 3 great investors. Soon after that, Enhancv reached the break-even point.
This year we started building a true work-life harmony in our team. We travel together, spend time together outside of work, eat breakfast on Mondays, train Ving Tsun twice a week and so on.
From this ''meeting'' I realized that before I joined Enhancv, there were some tough moments. What I know for sure by now, is that our ''Top Strengths'' are turning a difficult situation into an opportunity and sticking together no matter what.
To celebrate, we went out in the quiet streets of Venice and made some noise. Nothing inappropriate, I think... It was quite difficult to find a ‘’club’’ which would fit all 18 of us in. We stopped at a place where they played salsa music and the night began! I love a bit of ''salsita'' and I was surprised some of the others are actually pretty amazing at it! Even the Colombian waiter said we dance like pros.
Many tequilas, laughs and dances inspired by our Ving Tsun classes to a ''Kung Fu Fighting'' song, they let us play our own songs from YouTube. Imagine the mood after that! It turned into a private Enhancv party. We left after the barman disconnected my phone from the speaker, at about 2 am!
The Saturday adventure
The next day after our night out, we did some wandering around the streets of Venice together to clear our heads and explore its beautiful history and architecture. People say Venice is only for couples who are deeply in love. But I had a completely different feeling surrounded by people I love working with.
Thanks to a detailed plan of our operations star Deni, each of us could decide what to do. Most of us (mainly the ones who could bear the hangover) stuck together at the end. We passed by Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark’s Basilica and San Marco Campanile. Since our Chief Innovator Mitko loves history, he happily took on the role of our private guide. The weather was cold and our energy level high. We walked with smiles on our faces ready to use selfie sticks at each corner.
In the afternoon, we were on our way to a conference room. Each team presented their Q1 focus and the plan. As we’ve heard from quite a few customers how we helped them find a job, I prepared a surprise for everyone. A Skype call with Sam, who I spoke with and wrote about on our blog. She found a job at Spotify and was super excited to talk to the whole team and give her feedback. I think it went pretty well. :)
‘’A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.’’
Enhancers took it slow on Sunday and dedicated the entire day to a trip visiting the island Burano, famous for its colorful houses. I loved it there, it felt like a fairytale. Our Arts Director Kaloian didn't like it so much as he prefers simplicity :) We took loads of pictures and had delicious coffee in the cutest cafe.
My very first retreat with Enhancv made me excited for the future. I look forward to new memories, retreats, Power Weeks and hard work it will bring. And to making you a part of it, of course!
Back to you!
Have you tried traveling with your team for a company retreat? Let us know how it went in the comments!