One Week Job could help find dream vocation



Sean Aiken tries his hand as a cameraman at Urban Rush in Vancouver for Week 2 of his campaign, One Week Job. Aiken is trying out a different job every week as he searches for his dream career while raising money for Make Poverty History.



Aiken works as a snowshoe guide at Mount Seymour for Week 3 of his campaign, One Week Job.

Sean Aiken is searching for a passion, not just a career.

Last month, he launched a campaign, One Week Job, where companies around Canada contract him to work for one-week stints.

The idea is to gain work skills and try his hand at a variety of jobs, which, he hopes, will help him decide in which direction to focus his career goals.

Along the way, he is raising money for charity — his salary goes to Make Poverty History, for which he’s already raised just less than $5,000 — and encouraging people to follow their passions when deciding on a vocation.

His travel and accommodation expenses are covered by donations.

“I’m trying to inspire my generation to stop and think about what they want before they jump into a career,” said Aiken, 25, a Capilano College business graduate.

“I’d been putting off not jumping into a career, doing different things and not putting myself in one spot for too long. This project is kind of my leap into the working world. ... Every week I see myself growing and developing new skills.”

In the four weeks since Aiken launched his campaign, he has worked at Whistler Bungee, Urban Rush, at a volleyball camp in Burnaby, and as a Mount Seymour snowshoe guide. Next up will be trips to Edmonton and Quebec.

During his week, he interviews co-workers to get career advice for people coming out of school with a world of opportunities before them.

“I think the line between our careers and our social lives is changing,” said Aiken. “Our careers are such an integral part of our lives — it defines who we are. So we’d better love what we’re doing.

“Being among people who actually enjoy what they’re doing, you can see how it contributes to the atmosphere and productivity and positive working environment,” he said.

Aiken said one of the hardest things about what he does is to perpetually be out of his comfort zone. “But when you learn to adapt is when you grow most,” he said.

“I think the realization that you can create your own reality is something really special — to start with an idea and seeing it come together.”

He said in the past four weeks he’s learned that he needs to work in an environment that never ceases to challenge him and allows him to interact with new people.

He also hopes to turn the experience into a book for youth making the transition from school into the working world, and to pass the campaign on to someone who might want to keep it going past the summer.