10 March 2010

The One-Week Job Project

By Sean Aiken
Published by the Penguin Group
April 2010

So, what do you do for a job when you don't know what to do for a job? If you're Sean Aiken you decide to try fifty-two jobs in one year. Like the book says one man, one year, fifty-two jobs. This is how Aiken believes he will discover his passion.

For the most part, the book is fun - Aiken outlines each of the fifty-two jobs and where he travelled to get them. Among other jobs, he was the mascot for the Washington Capitals, a yoga instructor, a film producer, a firefighter, a radio deejay. Some stats: during the fifty-two weeks he travelled 46,685 miles, hitchhiked 17 times, received 204 job offers, and had 24 plane trips.

Aiken takes a friendly approach with the reader; like he's sitting in your living room telling you about his travels. What makes Aiken and the book even more likeable is his willingness to tell you about his personal life along the way. To me, this was possibly the more interesting part of the book. Sure, I wanted to know about the types of jobs he took on, but I also wanted to know how he felt about each job, the friends he made along the way, and how this quest impacted him personally.

Did Aiken find his passion? What's he doing now? How did his personal life turn out? I make it a practice not to run a spoiler site. You'll have to buy the book yourself and check it out.


TreeDiva said...

Weren't prospective employers put off by the fact that he would only work one week? Or weirded out by it? Hope he told them up front about the 1 wk deal or he p.o. a lot of people.

Also, it seems like he'd spend a week or more just *training* for some jobs and leave before he got to just do them on his own...and learning a job is different from doing it full-time. "Firefighter" takes a ton of training; I know someone who who became a firefighter. The first week of training barely scratches the surface of "doing the job" for real. Can you elaborate on the training vs doing thing?

Nancy Barnes said...

Prospective employers weren't put off because Aiken had set up a website asking for employment and outlined his one-week job project. He didn't ask for a salary; instead, he asked for donations from the employers to ONE, a campaign that fights poverty by advocating policy reform. Granted, he did more firefighter training than firefighting, but most jobs he was just thrown into as if he had always done them. Needless to say, sometimes that approach worked; other times, not so much!

One Week Job said...

Thanks Nancy, glad to hear you enjoyed the book!

For Nancy's readers wishing to read more about the book, please check out:



Robin said...

Sounds like a great read. I'll check it out!

Not Robin but Heather

Jo Mid said...

Seems like an interesting read! I was so wanting you to tell what his passion was :o)