Thursday, May 29, 2008

One Week Job Sean Aiken May Have Found a Job You'll Love


Finding a job is not so hard. Finding a job you love... That could require further investigation, experimentation, ingenuity, and if you're lucky, a gratis expense account.

If there were an award for people who can take an ordinary life event and make you see it in an entirely new way, Sean Aiken would certainly win. Sean is an extraordinary person who transformed the whole job search thing into a mini career in 52 One Week Jobs.

How did he do it? We tested the skype phone and talked about his experience on Conscious Living on Talk Shoe. I hadn't tried skype but figured it would work out one way or another, and sure enough, he got through. (It's about 15 minutes into the show.)

One can imagine Sean's Dad's response when - fresh out of college - he informed him of his newly hatched idea to travel the country job surfing.... for a year.

Picture any combination of - "You can't do that." "You'll go broke." "Just get a job!" I can even imagine a tiny vein bulging on his left temple.

But something clicked almost immediately; and about five weeks into the project, a sponsor signed on. From that moment, all job earnings were officially donated to charity (Make Poverty History). Incredible? No doubt.

What makes watching Sean work, or working at getting work, so entertaining? For me, it's the joy and exuberance with which he embraces each and every job. And judging from the response, it appears to be contagious. One blog commenter said, after watching Sean, he was ready to pursue his dream of being an exterminator...

Funny thing that; no matter what job he shows us, it seems just a bit more attractive as a result of the energy he brings to the table. Sean also uses the venue to talk about his generation as the Peter Pan club...not wanting to grow up...or to sign on to a dead end life in a one dimensional job that sucks the joy out of living.

His project effectively creates awareness and educates the rest of the world about some of the unique attributes and expectations of his generation in addition to showcasing a smorgasbord of employment options.

Officially unemployed, 52 weeks of job experiences are in the can. However, unemployed does not equal footloose and fancy free nor waiting at home for the phone to ring. Sean is busy penning his memoirs for the 52 Week Job book - due out next spring from Random House... also working on a documentary (Best friend - and fellow entrepreneur - Ian accompanied him and logged the entire adventure - What are friends for?). And there's the possibility of a Reality Series.

Five Highlights:
1 - Sean says he found his story most resonated with: a/the college crowd and (surprise) b/midlife job seekers.

2 - He loved flying the cool big planes in a stint with the military; and had a blast (I couldn't help it.) as a Volcano Tour Guide in Hawaii.

3 - He discovered he isn't the type to do the 20 year job thing because he found the variety and change offered in trying new positions much more appealing.

4 - People who love their jobs: a/Say co-workers make all the difference in the world; and b/The job serves a greater purpose, such as working for a non-profit.

5 - Sean and boring cannot exist in the same Universe.

What did we learn from Sean - aside from all the fantastic work/job related insight? Do not underestimate the ingenuity of a guy who goes to school on a volleyball scholarship. Clearly, he mastered the art of creative financing and had dreams of innovative employment opportunities before he ever set foot in a classroom.

Dad has to be in awe....

See Sean work.

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