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The One-Week Job Project: One Man, One Year,…

The One-Week Job Project: One Man, One Year, 52 Jobs

by Sean Aiken

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This book was just as inspirational (for me) as The Mailroom. Sean was 25, a college graduate, and had spent a year traveling post-graduation. He still had no clue what he wanted to do for a career. He got an idea to try a job a week for a year, hoping one of them would stick. He set up a website for employers to find him and started working in Canada, though he eventually came into the US to work as well. Any wages the employers would typically pay for the position were donated to charity - he raised over $20,000! Jobs included innkeeper, research assistant, tattooist, radio DJ, mayor, bartender, and more. Some jobs had just a write-up, outlining the salary, duties, and what Sean learned. Others had more in-depth stories, profiles of those he worked with, or lessons. He also treated it like a diary, addressing relationships family, friends, and girlfriends and how they were affected by the project.

There are so many great quotes that had me nodding and taking notes. A lot of blurbs and reviews said this book is great for kids as they graduate, but I think it's great for any age. There's a lot of inspiration to be found here, including the idea that you don't have to have a career in life - you can have many, you can jump around and find what you life - just be happy and have passion. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Sean Aiken graduates in a valedictory position from college and can't decide what to do with his life. If only he could try out a job before he commits to it...and thus the idea is born. He travels around Canada and America performing 52 different jobs, one a week.

Sean Aiken is so upbeat, I really didn't want to like him, with all his optimism and good naturedness...but he is impossible to dislike, because of the aforementioned qualities. He is reflective and very mature for 25. His journey is really interesting. ( )
  bookwormteri | Mar 18, 2013 |
The idea of this book intrigued me: A young man, uncertain about what he wants to do with his life, decides to try 52 jobs in 52 weeks. Sean Aiken accomplishes this goal and shares his experiences in this book.

Sean is searching for something he can be passionate about, and finds that his passion is, in fact, what he was already doing: exploring, connecting with people and doing something meaningful (his wages being donated to charity).

The book provides interesting glimpses behind-the-scenes of different jobs, which I enjoyed. As a baby boomer with an important job that I adore, I found it hard to identify with Sean's struggle. I think, in general, younger readers or those in career/life transition would get more meaning out of the book than I did. As I said, though, I did enjoy the stories of Sean's experiences even though his life lessons didn't add insights to me personally. I liked Sean and found myself more interested in whether he and his girlfriend Danna would survive his year-long project than in what he was learning about finding meaning in your work and life. But, I'm his Mom's age, so this isn't surprising....or a criticism of the important lessons Sean is sharing.

Thanks to the world of internet and mass market media, Sean is able to make his One Week Job Project a success, receiving several job offers via e-mail and cell phone. In this way, the book is an interesting look at the way technology has changed our world and opened up possibilities that past generations didn't have access to. ( )
  LynnB | Dec 19, 2010 |
The story of a man searching for his purpose by trying a new job every week, OWJP demonstrates the power of the blogosphere to make kooky plans become real. Only in a digital age can a project this sweeping and downright ridiculous be achieved. It is a triumph of the silly, and the book is both a funny look at the world of work and an interesting exploration of finding meaning in one's life.

I enjoy these absurd challenges books -- books like Round Ireland with a Fridge, The Year of Living Biblically -- and this is indeed a very good one. If you like hyuck hyuck pointlessness. And I most certainly do. ( )
  Oreillynsf | May 23, 2010 |
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. ( )
  Twink | Apr 14, 2010 |
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Deam. Discover. -- Mark Twain
To Mom and Dad -- I'm here because of you.
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In my parents' basement, I woke up ready to start my morning routine -- hop in the shower, brush my teeth, put on some clothes, grab something to eat, then run out the door.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345508033, Paperback)

A year and a half after he graduated from college, Sean Aiken found himself struggling to answer the question “What should I do with my life?” His mother suggested teaching. His older sister told him to apply for an entry-level corporate position. His father said, “It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure it’s something you’re passionate about.” Taking his father’s advice to heart, Sean created the One-Week Job Project and launched himself on an epic journey to find his passion. His goal: to work fifty-two jobs in fifty-two weeks.

After the launch of his website, oneweekjob.com, the offers began pouring in. Sean’s first gig was—literally—jumping off a bridge, as a bungee operator in British Columbia. From there he traveled across Canada and the United States, reinventing himself as a firefighter, an aquarium host, a radio DJ, a martial arts instructor, an NHL mascot, and a snowshoe guide. During the course of his seven-day stints, from a Florida stock-trading floor to a cattle ranch in the wilds of Wyoming to a real estate office in Beverly Hills, Sean found time to make new friends and even fall in love. Whether choosing a spring fashion line, brewing beer, or milking a cow, Sean continued to ask himself and others about what success really means and how we find happiness—all while having the adventure of his life.
Inventive and empowering, witty and wise, The One-Week Job Project is a book that will give you the courage to follow your passion. Or, as Mark Twain said, “Explore. Dream. Discover.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:40 -0400)

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