Working in HR

Eftychia builds the Workable team by finding and hiring great people. She leads on employer branding
and, since starting, has become hooked on tech conferences and events.

Workable is...
Exciting, creative, and motivating
- Eftychia Karavelaki

Where were you born?

Alexandroupolis in Evros, Greece (it’s a very nice city by the sea, in Northern Greece).

Describe yourself in three words:

(Over)-enthusiastic, communicative, a flaneur.

Do you have a nickname?

Some friends call me “Happiness” (the translation of my name in English).

What did you want to be when you were younger?

Ahhh... (I still want to be) an artist. I went through a painting period when I was in Amsterdam. Then I got into photography. I did an exhibition five years ago, but I’ve abandoned it for a while. My plan is to get back on track. I’d also like to learn how to act, and to learn a musical instrument too.

What was your first job?

I was an air stewardess. I hated it, but it taught me a great lesson. It helped me realise that I wanted to have a job with a lot of autonomy and freedom. I wanted to work with smart people, with creative thinkers. I realised my borders. What I am good at and what I am not good at. It was important and it happened really early. And the good thing was it happened because of my own curiosity.

What do you do for fun - outside of work?

I like the sea, photography, yoga, camping and travelling.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I would say my five-year stay in Amsterdam, and my recent three-week backpacking trip to Sri - Lanka.

Describe your most memorable event:

This has to be when I started my life trip when I was 17. I left my home city to live in Athens where I studied for my pre-Master’s and then my Master’s in HR. After that I travelled to Tilburg in the Netherlands, then to Amsterdam, and then back to Athens again. I moved to Amsterdam because I had an offer of an internship there. After seven months I got an offer of a job and I worked there for one and a half years. I believe I became another person after working in Amsterdam. Not just because of the city itself, but because of all the challenges you face being a stranger in another country. I learned to work in a very different environment, with a very different culture. Having that international experience has helped me in lots of ways. It may sound strange, but even the weather made a difference - it’s different working in a sunny country to a rainy country. You’re more focused when it rains.

What do you feel strongly about?

Staying young at heart.

What or who makes you smile?

Smart jokes make me laugh. Memories and dreams make me smile.

What’s your favorite food?

Pasta, in all its shapes and sizes!

If you had a catchphrase what would it be?

“Everything happens for a good reason.”

If you love what you do, it loves you back. I’d say the positive, supportive environment here is very important. I like the innovation and the fresh mentality of Nikos our CEO, Spyros our CTO and the Executive Team as a whole. I like the openminded-ness.

What do you do at Workable?

I am responsible for the hiring. So finding and recruiting great people to join our team. But I have a lot of freedom in my role. Workable gives me the autonomy to develop and grow myself as I want to. They offer me the chance to do everything I want to do in relation to employer branding. I remember when I first had my interview with Nikos, our CEO, and he asked how I would like to develop myself. I said I would like to get more involved in organising events and employer branding. I recently had a talk with Nikos, and he said that when we do our next big event he would like to make me responsible for this. And I realised he’d remembered what we’d talked about.

Since I’ve been here I’ve also been able to spend time at tech conferences and events. I’ve been really open about the fact that I wanted to find out more about the tech community and Workable have acknowledged this and helped me achieve this.

The other really nice thing is that I get to test new products and features. I like this as it helps me feel I play an important role in development.

When did you join Workable?

December 14th, 2015.

Describe your first day:

It felt like working from home. My previous office in had 3000 employees and the building itself had six floors. Coming into the Workable office was warm, welcoming, comfortable and calm.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Communicating with people.

What’s on your desk?

Besides my laptop and screen, I have a small, wooden African turtle for good luck.

What have you learned since joining Workable?

That if you love what you do, it loves you back. I’d say the positive, supportive environment here is very important. I like the innovation and the fresh mentality of Nikos our CEO, Spyros our CTO and the Executive Team as a whole. I like the openminded-ness. I like the freedom we have. Workable offers a great number of benefits and the mentality is all about freedom. There is respect for effort from everyone. They show trust. After my first year and some positive results they offered me a great bonus and a raise. That shows me that they trust me and value me. This is a great feeling.

Who in the company has had the most influence on you and why?

Our CTO, Spyros Magiatis. For many reasons, but mainly because of his calm power and his ability to explain something really well in just a few words.

The best thing about Workable?

The people, by far. But I also appreciate going on conferences, the flexible working hours, the hardware and software, the lunch and breakfast. But the people are the best. Seriously.

Want to join the Workable team?

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You really feel supported and encouraged to improve and develop. I also love the “come as you are” policy! It really is an open and progressive meritocracy here. There’s lots of freedom and trust and an appreciation of the value of diversity.

Both the CEO and my ex-manager here at Workable have had a great influence on me. I kid you not, both of them asked me during our first 1:1, if I was happy. They taught me to be genuine and to work hard, but not to be too serious.