At KWSM, the end of summer means one thing – our annual boat outing! In what’s become a KWSM tradition, every August our team heads out of the office and into the harbor for a well-deserved escape. The mission? To take a step back from our busy schedules, overflowing inboxes, and running to-do lists to come together as a team and have some fun with the people who make the KWSM magic happen. After all, what’s the fun in working hard if you don’t take the time to celebrate your successes with the ones who helped you get there?
Being based in Orange County makes finding an escape pretty easy, as we have a big blue playground practically in our backyard; hello Newport Harbor! What wasn’t as simple was finding a boat that would fit our ever-expanding team. Having outgrown the Duffy boat that kept the team afloat when Katie started this tradition, it took some serious effort to find a boat big enough to fit us all (thank you, Natalie!). And while it may have taken a bit of work to find, it served as a welcome reminder of just how far this company has come since its start.
With a boat big enough for all of us and drinks in hand, we set sail (okay, it was actually a pontoon, not a sailboat but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it.) It was an incredibly entertaining and enjoyable afternoon with great conversation and even more laughter – and sure, there were more than a few group selfies snapped! It really was an ideal environment to relax, unwind and get some Vitamin D. And we did some great off-shore strategizing – so even our clients benefited from this outing! A big thank you to Stephen, who graciously took on the role of Captain and kept us safe and dry. Had anyone else been navigating those waters, we may not have been so lucky!
This might just have been my favorite team outing so far – and not because of the scenery, the snacks, or the wine. Sure, those things definitely didn’t hurt, but what I really enjoyed most about the day was the company. It gave me the chance to get to know the people I work with not just as coworkers, but also as people who aren’t afraid to be themselves. Yes, these guys are talented employees who love what they do, but they’re also all-around awesome people who make me want to come into work every day with a smile on my face.
Since starting at KWSM, I’ve come to build relationships with my coworkers beyond the superficial office small talk that goes on in between morning coffee refills. I care about the people around me, and I know they care about me. I can’t give 100% of the credit to our team outings, but these field trips have definitely given me a unique opportunity to get to know and better understand my team members. When you truly understand where your coworkers are coming from, you can do your best collaboration. It creates an environment that is efficient, creative, dynamic, and enjoyable. The key to finding a job you love isn’t always just about the work you do; sometimes it’s the people you do the work with. And it’s these people, my coworkers, who make KWSM a company I’m genuinely happy to be a member.