He found true love, tried out 52 different jobs and, along the way took the temperature of an entire generation, kickstarting a one-week job empire. Sean Aiken, author of The One-Week Job Project spoke with thriftymomma last week about the U.S. release of his book this coming week and a summer job project like no other. From firefighter to yoga instructor. From cowboy to fundraiser, Sean Aiken has tried it all. Aiken is author of The One-Week Job Project and a media sensation. In one year Aiken, a recent college graduate from Port Moody, B.C. tried on as many hats as possible in search of a career that sparked his passion. His idea attracted attention from around North America. “When I first started this project I thought I was alone in this search,” Aiken told thriftymomma. But Aiken quickly learned the topic hit a nerve and legions of fans understood the universal search for a career they were passionate about. This week Random House publishes his book in the United States. This month I had the pleasure of reading the story, a fun, light and, at times, philosophical look at life and the relationship we have with our career and our colleagues. The year he spent examining himself and his own passions led him to employers who were self obsessed and those who were selfless, those who tirelessly worked for non profits raising funds to help cure cancer and those who promoted films pompously self inflated and egomaniacal. There are numerous excellent glimpses into really interesting career paths. Aiken recalls some of his favourites: “My answer changes. I really enjoyed being a park ranger in Hawaii and a real estate agent.” In the book, his fondness for Steam Whistle Brewing, a microbrewery, in Toronto makes this one of the highlights. Clearly this employer has a knack for treating employees right and a reputation for knocking off work at 5:30 and rounding up the crew for a trip through downtown Toronto on the Steam Whistle party bus. Throughout the book the media attention Aiken attracted first shocked him and then became a little too familiar. He chronicles the trials of keeping up with the media requests and the dangers of falling into a trap where you begin to believe all of the hype created by the image machine. Early in his travels Aiken attracted a sponsor and was fortunate to be able to have this unique quest funded in part by NiceJob. Along the way he met a girl named Danna, from Toronto, who endures the lengthy separations and ups and downs of the bizarre year. Thriftymomma wanted to know if Danna and Sean were still together and readers will be glad to know they are happily living in B. C. Later on in the book Sean’s mother is diagnosed with cancer causing him to question whether he can finish the journey or not. But Aiken clarifies his mother is well now. “I could definitely see myself teaching at some point,” says Aiken. “For now I am really enjoying giving the talks. It has been so rewarding to have so many students come up to me afterwards and say how much the book resonated with them.”
This book, blog and web site, http://www.oneweekjob.com/ are all very entertaining.The book is excellent for anyone contemplating a job change or searching for a career. It would be a lovely graduation gift for a high school or university student. On the One-Week Job site a new project, which is a mini version of the book, has been spun off into a contest starting this summer. The winners net $3,000 to try out 8 different jobs, hopefully finding their passion in the process. Entrants must be 18 years of age. Each individual will sculpt their own path and line up their own series of jobs to try out. Interest has been very good so far, he notes.
The One-Week Job Project, Penguin Canada, 2010, 288 pages, $19.
To be released in the U.S. next week Random House.
Thriftymommastips rating $$$$$ out of $$$$$. Highly entertaining and informative. Enjoyable and insightful. Thriftymomma doesn’t receive compensation for her reviews, instead publishers send one free copy for review.