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Confucius, the Chinese philosopher said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” But how do you find that job?
That was Sean Aiken’s problem. This self-declared “passion seeker” graduated from Capilano College School of Business in Vancouver with a business administration degree. He graduated at the top of his class and refused to take a job just to pay the bills.
“After finishing my degree, I made the promise to myself that I would not settle for a career that I am not truly passionate about. Realizing I was not too certain where exactly my passions lie, I came up with the idea for One Week Job,” says 25-year-old Aiken.
The idea is to try out a diverse range of jobs in order to gain a better understanding and experience while inspiring others in similar situations to go after their passions. The project will also help raise money and awareness of child poverty in Canada.
“At the same time that I had the idea for One Week Job, a friend brought to my attention an article regarding the issue of child poverty in Canada. I was completely naive to the fact that child poverty existed in Canada,” says Aiken. “I thought that this would be a good opportunity to bring some much needed awareness to the issue.”
After researching further, Aiken discovered that in Canada — a country ranked fourth in the world on the 2004 UN Human Development Index and who has a government that in 1989 made a unanimous all party resolution to eliminate poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000 — one in six Canadian children still live in poverty.
After Aiken came up with the idea, he ran it by a few friends. Ian Mackenzie was one of those friends and he admits it sounded strange to him at first.
“It sounded a little bizarre when Sean first told me the idea. But since then I’ve realized it could be an entertaining and enlightening experiment into the search for a career,” says Mackenzie. “I think if others take anything from following Sean’s project, it will be the inspiration to never settle for a job just to ‘pay the bills.’”
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, Aiken says one of his biggest challenges was getting over his fear of failure.
“I have been able to deal with this by just truly believing in what I am doing and being totally clear of my reasons for doing it. I think that the more detailed we can define our goals and if we believe in our reasons for wanting to achieve this particular outcome, the easier it becomes to walk in the face of the uncertainty.”
As for the future, Aiken isn’t sure, but can’t wait to see where this project will take him.
“I think it could be great if down the road I could pass the project onto someone else who would like to use this method to get out there and discover their passions. Or, perhaps, it could grow into a site offering advice and support for young people transitioning into the professional world ... who knows!”
Aiken’s first job begins next week. To find out more about this job visit www.oneweekjob.com.