Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The One-Week Job Project - Sean Aiken

Sean Aiken graduated from college with a degree in Business Administration and was class valedictorian. A year and half later Sean is still trying to figure out what to do with his life.

"Whether we're coming out of school and entering the work world, thinking about a career change after twenty years in the same position, or victim of a layoff due to the changing economy, most of us will look deep inside ourselves for an answer to the question 'What should I do with my life?' Ultimately I think we all want to be happy. But what that really means and how to get there remains uncertain."

Well to try and get there, Sean decided to try different jobs - 52 of them to be exact - a new one every week. The jobs were eclectic and varied. Pizza maker, fashion buyer, dairy farmer, Hollywood producer and 48 more! Sean started locally in British Columbia, but as word spread via his blog, radio and television interviews, the project snowballed and reached into the US as well. Eventually his best friend Ian joined the project, video documenting the project.

Sean comes across in his writing and in photos included in the book as incredibly likable. His personality is a major part of the success of this project. But his honesty impressed me as well. With each new job he tries, he discovers something new about his likes or dislikes and about people in general and most importantly - himself.

As the project gathers steam, "Something didn't feel right. My spiel had become routine. "Somewhere in the midst of all the noise, I'd gotten away from my original intentions. I started to base the success of the project on the media coverage it received."

"For years I'd based my decisions on what others people thought. Society had painted an image of success in my mind that I tirelessly tried to emulate." This sentiment is repeated by many of the participants - especially those a bit older. "I wish I would have acted without the fear of what others thought."

I found the following observation to be quite telling. " I noticed that the people who were the most passionate about their jobs felt they were contributing to something greater that themselves. The genuinely believed in what they were doing and understood the significance of their job in the bigger picture. It matters that they show up to work each day, because they give something valuable, whether to the company, the community, or the world."

Many of the participants spoke of finding your passion to be happy. By the end, Sean does discover his passion - "to explore, to try new things, travel, meet interesting people, learn about myself and then share these lessons with others."

I really enjoyed this book on many levels. I found the jobs interesting and truly enjoyed Sean's adventure and journey. But I also think it makes you question what you're doing. What can I do to be happier or to make a difference? Can you combine what you love with the necessity of making a living and supporting a family?

The One-Week Job Project was an entertaining, thought provoking read.

Check out the website. Follow along on the blog. Find The One Week Job Project on Facebook and Twitter.

And here's something cool! Still trying to find out what you want to do with your life? Like what Sean did? Do it yourself! Apply for the One Week Job Program. 3 people, 8 jobs and it's paid. Apply here.



bermudaonion said...

I know some people find them gimmicky, but I love books like this!

Cherry said...

I came over from Cym Lowell's Book Review Party Wednesdays (BRPW).

I've been a nurse for 14 years and jumped around different nursing specialities including A&E and the wards, before settling in theatre... a few misadventures in between... so, yeah, I know the feeling...


One Week Job said...

Thanks Cym, I'm glad that you enjoyed my book!

If possible, could you please post your review to Amazon? It would help others understand what the book is all about.



Patti V. said...

I think this book looks great!