What’s a Career Retreat?

Starting the year with more than a list of goals, more than good intentions is important, it is putting your head in the game of life.  This year I am adding a layer to my paper goals, and I’m telling you all about how going on a “career retreat” has prepared me to  tackle 2019.

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This time of year always seems to bring on a sense of hope and belonging.  Surrounded by family and friends you become renewed and refreshed for what the next year presents (well for some of us anyway).  I use this time of year to reflect back on the intentions I had set for the current year, the goals that I hoped I would achieve, the big dream I hoped I would tackle.  Every year starts with a piece of paper.  On this piece of paper I write down everything I can think of that I want to accomplish in the year. Sometimes they are big dreams and sometimes it’s something small like stop using sticky notes (seriously stop).  But every year starts the same for me and when I sat down this month to look at the list I had created for 2018 I was blown away.

I had accomplished everything.  This is not bragging, this is me in disbelief, honestly.  I had set some big goals that I wasn’t sure were even possible.  The biggest goal was buying my first home.  This was a scary goal, this was a huge financial risk that I wasn’t even sure I could take on, but I did.  Every step was a learning experience and in the end it gave me some fierce confidence that I could do this on my own and that’s all I needed.

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Proving to myself that I could finish a graduate certificate at Texas A&M was another huge win for me.  Going back to school felt like standing at the bottom of a mountain and looking up at the top thinking “no way.”  Working full time, ending a relationship and processing a breakup, buying a home and all the other things that life throws at you – how could I complete this task – and not just complete it – but knock it out of the park.  I learned so much about myself during this process, unlike purchasing a home this was a different feeling.  It was about proving that even when I was at my lowest I could still achieve great things.  It was about pushing through when my tank was empty.  The exhaustion and the fear of failure had to be completely blocked out, it was a mind game. I learned discipline, I learned to rely on others and I learned to believe in myself.

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When I started looking at 2019 I reached out to a friend of mine, Blair, who is actually more a sister than a friend, she is brilliant when it comes to career goals and setting big goals.  She is fearless and I look to her for advice on any big decision in my life because I know she will shoot me straight and talk me off the ledge.  If you don’t have this person in your life, find one, it’s essential to being successful.

As my blog continues to grow and we approach a one year anniversary in February, I really needed to evaluate what year two, year five, and beyond looks like for the blog brand.  But even before I could do that, I needed to go back and review over the last nine months to help drive the direction for 2019.  Blair asked me, “Have you ever considered a Career Retreat?”

A little confused I started to think about the answer, I mean I’ve been to work retreats, so I kind of understood what she was saying.  But in my head I was thinking how could I go on a retreat, after all the blog is just me, it’s not like I have a dozen employees working behind the scenes (not yet anyway).  That’s when Blair directed me to career coach Darcy Eikenburg, owner of Red Cape Revolution, who has put together an awesome guide on how to DIY your own Career Retreat.  Step by step I answered simple questions that will have a huge impact on my blog in 2019.  Focusing on where are you now, where do I  even want to be and what’s it going to take to get me there in 2019, kicked off my career retreat.

One of my biggest takeaways from the career retreat was carving out the time and sticking to it… planning a time and not just the time but where, where are you going to physically be to start your planning.  This meant I needed to completely disconnect from all social media, text messages and basically go silent for the time I set aside to focus on my career, focus on my goals and set my intentions for 2019.  Leaving the retreat I had essentially created a road map for my 2019 and set some of those big – scary goals that I know I will achieve because they are written down.

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I encourage you to start planning your 2019 now, while you are reflecting on this last year and planning for your career future.  For a full link to the Career Retreat Guide and a look at coaching with Darcy click the link below!

Source:  How to plan your career retreat by Darcy Eikenburg

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