Who says today’s youth can’t hold a job? In the course of one year—February 2007 to March 2008—28 year-old Vancouverite Sean Aiken had 52.
Yes, the Business Administration graduate held one job per week for a year. While that seemingly cements consensus about young people’s inability to stay focused or committed, this quick employment turnover is exactly what Aiken set out to do: Discover where to turn after school/with the world at his fingertips.
“When I was looking for a job, I saw these important-sounding titles, but had no idea what the job would actually be like,” he admits about the impetus for what came to be dubbed the One Week Job Project, an experiment in holding various pre-arranged gigs for no more than seven days.
The concept quickly picked up momentum, taking Aiken around North America to employ as everything from the good (Cancer Fundraiser for Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, fashion buyer and organic dairy farmer) to the bad and ugly, most notably disliking picking cattails in a swamp. “It was plus-35 (degrees), tonnes of bugs, smelled bad and had gruelling 12-hour days.”
As a means of sharing this opportunity, the One Week Job Co-Op Program has been established. Taking place this summer, three candidates will participate in eight prearranged one-week jobs earning both knowledge and a $3,000 honourarium. Aspiring applicants are encouraged to visit oneweekjob.com for conditions.
Those tepid about testing the waters of fleeting finances need not worry, however. Aiken has completed both a documentary chronicling his endeavour as well as a book (Penguin Group) providing a more in-depth account.
He also offers insight via the website/social networking with the most popular—and obvious—question being that after such a massive undertaking, has Aiken discovered his calling?
“Yes,” he winks building anticipation, “and I invite you to find out by reading the answer in the last chapter.”