Book Review | The One-Week Job Project by Sean Aiken
After launching his website, oneweekjob.com, Sean accepted a wide array of employment opportunities; his first gig literally was jumping off a bridge, as a bungee operator in British Columbia. From there he travelled across North America, reinventing himself weekly as a firefighter, radio DJ or day trader as each new position became available. Whilst brewing beer, milking cows and selling homes, Sean asked himself and others about the nature of success and the real meaning of happiness. He came to some surprising conclusions about the true meaning of a life’s work. Inventive, empowering and inspirational, The One Week Job Project will give you courage to follow your passion in these new and challenging times.
When I read about the concept behind the book, The One-Week Job Project, I was immediately interested in reading about Sean Aiken’s experience. I interact with many young adults and I know that they often talk about their desire to find a career that they feel passionate about while simultaneously being afraid that they will make the wrong choice. As well, I know how amazing it can be to have a job that I love so I understand how important it can be to feel that way about a career. I wanted to learn about Sean’s experience and discover what he had learned on his journey.
Like many young people, Sean finished university and found himself unsure about what he wanted to do with his life in terms of a career. He admits that he did many things to avoid the post-educational path of pursuing a career and settling into a routine. Knowing that he needed to do something, he decided to embark on an interesting route – he started a website called “One Week”, with the goal of traveling to different areas and taking on jobs, one week at a time, for a year. Rather than being paid, he asked that his potential employers donate the money he would have made to charity. He hoped that these experiences would allow him the chance to gain a variety of experiences, get some advice along the way and ultimately give him the inspiration to move into the next phase of his life.
Along the way, Sean had a variety of experiences that he never anticipated when he began. He never planned to fall in love with a girl in Quebec and spend half of his 52 week experience finding creative ways to spend time with her as she returned home to Toronto. He didn’t expect to return to Vancouver at one point for a job at Christmas, only to discover that his mother was going to have to be tested for breast cancer – and that he would have to leave her to go to his next job during this difficult time.
Despite a number of challenges, including some negative job experiences, the difficulties that exist in a long-distance relationship and his mother’s health concerns, Sean faces all of these experiences with a positive and reflective nature. The honesty and sincerity of his experiences and the lessons that he learned along the way ring through his story. I enjoyed the way in which he highlighted each of his 52 jobs throughout the year – some receive a complete chapter while others are highlighted in a format that resembles an application, with interesting facts about the job as well as what Sean learned from his experience.
Overall, I was engaged throughout the book and found myself hoping that Sean’s mother would beat her illness, that he would continue to date Danna and that he would, ultimately, discover a job for which he would find the passion that he sees in others throughout his journey. I enjoyed the epilogue, in which Sean reveals what he has learned about his ideal career (I don’t want to spoil it, so you’ll have to find out what he discovers by reading the book!) and I loved the end of the book where he provides a highlight of facts from his journey – how far he traveled, how much was donated to charity and the most interesting jobs he turned down (which is a funny list in and of itself!) among other things.
On a personal level, I also appreciated this book because it made me reflect on my own career and ways in which I could channel my passions and work better with others!
This intriguing true story is one that I would recommend to anyone, but especially those with young adults in their lives. Though not reflective of all young adults, I think Sean captures the feelings of many twenty-somethings that are trying to decide how to find the ideal career and then balance their career choices and their personal lives. I’ve already recommend Sean’s website, http://www.oneweekjob.com/ , as well as his book to some friends who plan to buy it for both themselves and their children!
*I received no monetary compensation for this review. I received a free copy of the book to read and provide an honest review of its contents. The opinions are entirely my own and may not reflect your own opinion upon reading the book.*