One Week Job
Earlier this week, The Metro - one my prime content sources this week, it seems - had an article by Megan Foley on one Sean Aiken, who's shtick is something called One Week Job, in which he's been taking a wildly wide variety of jobs for a week each, in hopes of figuring out what he wants to do for a career.
First off, I will say that I'm really happy that I'm not a member of Generation Y (o whatever they're calling the twenty-somethings). All that need to be passionate. All that need to self-promote. It just makes this middle aged curmudgeon exhausted just thinking about it.
It was much easier in my day, when we looked for a job/company/colleagues that we liked well enough that we didn't start getting depressed mid-way through Sunday at the thought of having to get up and go to work on Monday. (I only had one job in my professional career where I had this feeling. It was at Wang. I should have considered it a one week job, but instead I toughed it out for two years, seven months, and eighteen days.) Mostly, I liked my work - it's been very interesting, reasonably creative, definitely challenging. And, if none of those options actually turned into anything, I did make great life friends along the way.
Of course, maybe looking at a bunch of middle aged burnouts who weren't Las Pasionarias about their careers is why the Gen-Yers are so determined not to settle in for something that they don't love out loud. (Of course, let's check in with them when they're in their thirties and have kids and mortgages. I mean, how will the world run if everyone has to be in a job they just love, love, love? How will we get our car insurance? Who will pluck Perdue chickens? Who'll be a Mad Hatter fume-breathing dry cleaner? Of equal "of course", it's no surprise that middle-class Gen Y's will take a look at their middle-age Boomer parents and ask themselves how worthwhile it is taking a job you don't love, love, love when it won't even bring you much by way of job security.)
Back to Sean Aiken, who is actually doing something pretty interesting, and will, no doubt, get a book out of his efforts, so he won't have to get a boring job. He'll be a writer! (I'm probably just jealous.)
With 42 weeks down Sean has been a lot of things - some more glamorous than others. This week, he's worked with a Hollywood producer. Other weeks, he's worked in real estate, a chiropractor's office, as a martial arts instructor, fashion buyer, vintner, pizza maker (on Cape Cod), aquarium guide, baker... And, naturally, he's "built his brand" with media coverage along the way.
I didn't make my way through them all, but as a central conceit, this one works, and the posts on his blog that I brushed through were kind of fun. (And under the heading of small world, the job as a baker was arranged by VocationVacations, which, a few weeks ago sent me a book to review - Test Drive Your Dream Job - which was written by their founder, Brian Kurth. I will be reviewing the book and posting on it next week sometime.)
Anyway, go check out Sean's site, and if you have a one week job you'd like to offer him, he's still got 10 weeks to go.
Me, I worked as a temp at one point, so I had more than a few one week jobs, but they all sort of blurred into the same generic office thing - Oxfam-architecture firm-blue jean factory. And I did have a two-hour job once, working as a waitress at Vallee's, a now defunct New England steak house chain. My college roommate and I worked one shift, headed out to Friendly's for lunch, and decided that working there was just too horrible for words. We flipped a coin to see who'd call in and quit. I will say they were pretty pissed off when we showed up a week later to collect our checks for $8...