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Sean Aiken

Creator of The One Week Job Project

After graduation, Sean Aiken struggled to answer the question, “What should I do with my life?” Instead of taking the first job that came along, he found a unique way of figuring it out: The One Week Job Project – an inspiring journey across North America in which he worked 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find his passion.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Presentations

What Makes You Come Alive?
Sean help students navigate the challenging transition from school into the working world. He shares his familiar experience after graduation – the responsibility, opportunity, and trepidation we all feel when faced with any major career decision. Lacking direction and overwhelmed with expectation, he speaks about his promise to find a career he was passionate about and how this led to the start of The One-Week Job Project. Sean describes how he came up with the idea to work 52 Jobs in 52 Weeks, the various adventures his journey took him on, and shares all of the valuable life lessons and career advice he learned along the way.

Cultivating a Passionate Workplace
Sean shares his inspirational story – his determination to find his passion, the extraordinary people he met along the way, and the high and lows of his yearlong journey. In trying out 52 different jobs, Sean worked in 52 different workplaces, had 52 different bosses (some better than others!), and worked alongside hundreds of co-workers. He’ll discuss what made a great workplace, his best boss vs not-so-best boss, what makes people happy at work, and how we can cultivate a passionate workplace.

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation
Sean provides a Gen-Y perspective on the things in a job and work environment that are important to younger workers: How to attract, retain, train, motivate and fully engage them in the workplace. The generational divide is often seen as a sharp contrast between older generations, that often do a lot of the hiring and supervising, and the younger workers who feel misunderstood and frustrated with the working experience. After experiencing 52 different bosses and being exposed to 52 different work environments, Sean shares what he learned and helps bridge this apparent divide.

Real World Boot Camp
Sean discusses how to engage students in conversation about the anxieties they are feeling as they enter the “real world.” He lends insight into concerns many Gen-Yer’s feel as they approach graduation and offers suggestions on how best to prepare them for the challenges ahead.

  • Sean’s message really resonated with both students and staff at Wartburg College. He helped students understand they’re not alone in having questions about the future, while our staff was able to understand how they can continue to engage students in conversation about the ‘big questions’ of life. Our campus is still abuzz from his fantastic presentation!

    - Wartburg College
  • Sean relates to his audience with a wonderful sense of awareness about who they are, and what they need to hear that will be of benefit. His messages of hope, of not giving into fear and of exploring are important, accurate and positive.

    - Saint Mary's University
  • The insight Sean has into the world of career development is outstanding. The feedback from our group was all positive – everyone was enamored by Sean and thoroughly enjoyed his story. If you bring Sean in to speak to your group, you won’t be disappointed!

    - Human Resources Management Association of Lethbridge
  • Sean won over our entire audience and had lines and lines of individuals waiting to meet him after our luncheon. I would highly recommend him for any speaking engagement, team-meeting or any other type of event. He is empowering, inspiring and an all-around great person!

    - Chief Marketing Officer, Goodwill Industries of Denver
  • Your talk was absolutely incredible! I felt as though you had climbed into my head and were explaining exactly how I feel! You are truly an inspiration to our generation!

    - Student, Queen’s University

Summary Profile

Sean Aiken graduated from Capilano University in North Vancouver, British Columbia, with a degree in business administration in 2005. At the top of his class, with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, he was voted class valedictorian. After graduation, Sean struggled to answer the question, “What should I do with my life?” Instead of take the first job that came along, he found a unique way of figuring it out: The One Week Job Project. How it worked: Anyone, anywhere, could offer Sean a job for one week. Any money he earned for the work, he asked the employer to donate to charity. He traveled all over the world working 52 jobs in 52 weeks.

In total, Sean raised $20,401.60. Sean tried everything: Bungee Instructor, Dairy Farmer, Advertising Executive, Baker, Stock Trader, Firefighter, and more. Wherever he could find work, he’d go there, find a couch to crash on and immerse himself in whatever profession was at hand. Sean now shares his inspiring story with audiences around the world. In an easy-going, entertaining, humorous style, Sean delivers practical advice, anecdotes and guidance, drawing from his unique job-hunting experience and sharing all that he learned along the way.

He’s been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Globe & Mail, on CNN, 20/20, The Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, MTV, CBC, CTV, and countless other media outlets around the world. His book, The One Week Job Project, is published by Random House USA and Penguin Books Canada.