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A Life At Work review | life coaching retreat, UK

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Expert led career coaching to help you plan your future

The Quick Read: A Life At Work is a career coaching company run by Career Coach Mark Pearce and Psychologist Julie Bullen that offers coaching, workshops and residential weekend retreats to private clients. Held at various venues across the UK, the meticulously structured three day retreats use an impressively varied range of coaching methods to help you reflect on your working life to date, to get to know yourself better, to clear the blocks that prevent you making a change for the better and to set out a plan for your future. The small groups very quickly bond, providing you with a safe environment to share and explore your inner most concerns, insecurities, joys and ambitions.

Budget: ££

A life at work treehouse interior

Weather permitting, you might do a workshop in the treehouse

More on coaching activities: A Life At Work uses a variety of methods to help you on your way – these include individual self-assessment using cards (Skills and Values) and personality questionnaires (including the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator); one-on-one coaching sessions with the course facilitators (who draw on Cognitive Behavioural Coaching, NLP and Depth Coaching); paired and group discussion with co-retreaters, and artistic expression.

career retreats

Psychologist Dr Julie Bullen

The coaching methods help you to identify strong trends, share emerging ideas with your peers and have the support and guidance of experts. The facilitators adopt a non-judgemental approach, encouraging you to question your thoughts and conclusions, very much embracing the idea that to be sustained change must come from within. Fellow retreaters provide more critical analysis, both challenging and supportive. There is also a wide range of books and other resources made available to read in your own time – read a word from the king on his retreat.

More on the locations: A Life at Work uses a number of locations in the UK including the Theobalds Park in Hertfordshire, a manor house with a modern annexe set in beautiful and tranquil countryside. During the warmer months the weekends take place in the Tree House in the grounds of Theobalds Park. There are pleasant walks within the grounds, including a walled garden – ideal for individual reflection in a sunny spot or, as a location for an inspirational one on one chat around a water fountain with a co-retreater. All the venues are set in rural locations and prices reflect the costs of the accommodation and catering at different venues.

Food and drink: The food is prepared using locally sourced produce. You can expect simple home cooking, with vegetarian options and other dietary needs catered for. Alcohol is available but is not included in the price. We opted for the vegetarian option for most of our meals and were pleasantly surprised at the variety and flavour.

A life at Work career coaching retreat Somerset

Career Coach Mark Pearce

Fellow guests: A Life at Work is open to everyone, but typically attracts 30 to 55 something professionals looking to break out of a rut where work is draining rather than inspiring and life affirming. Our co-retreaters were a university lecturer, marketing/PR executive, an eco planning consultant and a health service manager, but anyone of any age and from any working background will benefit.

 crownWhat’s queenly: Mark and Julie are experts in their field and create a calm, safe, comfortable and inspiring environment in which to work.

What’s lowly: The Somerset accommodation is affordable, warm and set in inspiring grounds, but the building and interior feels a little corporate and institutional.

Getting there: The Hertfordshire venue has good transport links, if driving is very near the M25 and A10.

Costs: A two night retreat costs £849 per person for an en-suite room at The Hertfordhsire location.

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There's all sorts of inspiring reading recommended on A Life at Work career retreats

There’s all sorts of inspiring reading recommended on A Life at Work career retreats