Two years ago I started a new tradition that really helped to establish a healthy habit for my career goals, you might even call it a career wellness check. Each December I go on a career retreat to evaluate three areas of my career. Where am I now, where do I want to be, and how am I going to get there?
A career retreat is a focused review of your career goals and it helps you to create a road map for the year ahead. It’s also a great time to step away from your day-to-day and find a creative space where you can review, realign, and define how you will reach your career goals in 2021.
In 2018, I wrote a blog post about going on a career retreat and how to use a career coach’s step by step guide for setting up your own Career Retreat. If you want to take a peek at that blog post, follow the link below.
The reason I am re-sharing the idea of a career retreat is mostly that this year needs to end on a high note. I’m sympathetic to my readers who have lost their jobs this year or maybe you are feeling like you have lost a little bit of momentum with your career and need to regroup. Whatever the reason, my hope with sharing this tool is to provide a resource that brings value to your career path in the new year. The idea of a career retreat is not my own, which you will read in my 2018 post above, but over the years I have customized it to fit my needs as I grow in my own blogging career.
How to Go on a Career Retreat
Block Time and Set a Location
The goal of your career retreat is to completely unplug. The first step to take in setting up your retreat is to set aside a block of uninterrupted time. Next, you will choose a location that will support focused thinking. Over the last two years, I take my career retreat to a local coffee shop because I know that I will have an endless supply of coffee and snacks to keep me going. Depending on your budget for your retreat, you could even consider staying at a hotel or Airbnb for an extended weekend of relaxation. This year my plan is to continue the tradition of my local coffee shop because they have been great with offering a social distanced dine-in experience and offer a large outdoor patio for additional seating options.
Before You Go
Determine what is most important to you now and what outcome you are looking for from the retreat. What topic(s) will you spend time evaluating during your retreat? What is your area of focus? For example, I want to create my first podcast in 2021. This means that I will need to create a launch timeline and a content calendar during my retreat.
Create Your Career Retreat Tool Belt
Create your tool belt for your retreat by deciding if you will take your computer or maybe you do your best thinking and creating with your journal and a pen. I am a little bit of both… I like to start with a pen to paper and once I have an idea mapped out I will make it more formal on my computer. This is part of my creative process and I think it’s because I enjoy buying notebooks with floral designs on them and colorful pens. If this is you great, if not, then decide what will work best for you. Gather any important notes or files that will help you during your retreat. You might also have online resources that you have saved to help you, that is great too.
NEW: Vision Board
This year I’m adding a new creative element to my retreat, a vision board! This is another great tool that I learned from my friend Cait. I think this activity can be fun for your career or you could encompass all elements of your life.
Here’s what you’ll need… If you are a paperless person, check out Canva. This is an online design tool that will allow you to create a digital version of your vision board. If you are old school like me, then take your old magazines, scissors, craft paper and start taping down the pictures you cut out and tape them to your vision board. Vision boards are often hung in a location that you will see every day. Some people tape them to their mirrors or above their desks, either way, it’s a great visual daily reminder of your goals.
Shop My Favorite Home Office Furniture and Organization
After your retreat, you will have all of your ideas and goals set for the next year! You may decide that you will need a few new office accessories to create a new look for your office.
I’ve put together a few of my favorite office tools such as home office organization systems all the way to my favorite notebooks and pens! Each image is shoppable, simply click the image and it will take you to a link for you to add to your cart!