Select one of the keywords
The One-Week Job Project: One Man, One Year, 52 Jobs    by Sean Aiken order for
One-Week Job Project
by Sean Aiken
Order:  USA  Can
Villard, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

After graduating and reaching the end of that time of life when (as a student) everything was essentially organized for him, Sean Aiken found himself at loose ends, ambitious to discover his passion but unable to find direction. After traveling for a year and a half, he came up with the brainwave of trying fifty-two jobs in fifty-two weeks. With his friend Ian's help, he set up a website, and got started ... one week at a time. He didn't ask employers to pay him but rather to donate to a campaign, ONE, that fights extreme poverty via policy change.

In his book, The One-Week Job Project: One Man, One Year, 52 Jobs, Sean summarizes each job, listing Location; Employer; typical Wage; Industry IQ (background); Application Process (initially jobs through friends, but then largely driven from his website and media attention); and What I Learned (from the job and the people he worked with). Jobs range from Jump Master (bungee jumping) in Whistler, British Columbia the first week to Mayor (of Port Moody, British Columbia) the last, with a remarkable variety in between. They include Dairy Farmer in Alberta, Elder Care Worker in Quebec, Brewmaster in Ontario, Stock Trader in Florida, Baker in New York, Real Estate Agent in California, Preschool Teacher in Idaho, and Park Ranger in Hawaii.

So what did Sean learn? That life continues, even when you're following a passion - he met a girl (they worked hard at a long-distance relationship), and his mother was diagnosed with cancer during his big year. He also discovered that most young people are like him, 'simply making it up as they went along'; that liking the people you work with is a big plus; that it's hard to work for someone who puts others down; that being an entrepeneur requires putting fear aside; that you can change career at any age; that you lose focus by seeking validation from others; that you must be proactive and persistent; that the people most passionate about their jobs 'felt they were contributing to something greater than themselves'; and that many different careers can fulfill us.

I have two sons in their early twenties, both still unsure of their futures, and will encourage them to read The One-Week Job Project. I hope they do. Though some of Sean Aiken's acquired wisdom can only be gained from experience, his book makes clear that discovering your passion in life is worthwhile; it takes time; and it's not necessarily a straight road from school to college to job - detours are okay and they're often both enriching and fun.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews