Thursday, September 8, 2011

Never Grow Up: The One-Week Job Project

Ah, the joys of the project book!  It's always fun to read about some enterprising and adventurous person who pursues an adventure and then gets to write a book about it.  Sean Aiken realized several years after college that he still had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, and he felt he was getting a bit old to be saying that.  So he hatched the crazy idea of getting people to hire him for one week so he could try out fifty two different things, and then because he's a modern kind of guy, he blogged about it.  The blog also helped get him a tiny bit of fame, so that he had more offers from farther away.

And at the end, he got to write The One-Week Job Project: One Man, One Year, 52 Jobs, a week by week diary of what he did, where he did it, and what he learned, both about the job about and about himself.  My primary reaction to his writing was a feeling of great age -- this guy was a baby!  A mere child! I'm reminded of the time my mom described an airplane trip where she sat next to this young boy, and in the middle of her story it turned out that her neighbor wasn't an unaccompanied minor but some guy in his thirties.  Suddenly I'm reading a book by a minor, who incidentally is old enough to buy his younger siblings drinks.  Even outside of Canada.

It's also an interesting ride.  Some chapters just describe the job in a week, while others go into more detail on what Aiken felt or did.  Occasionally he dips into his private life; he fell in love early on in the year but obviously it was mostly a long-distance affair.  That bit of personal life worked in the book, while the news about his mother's illness was less well-integrated, partly because even he didn't know the conclusion by the end of the book.  This book is a good advertisement for a gap year, where kids (HA!) take a break before or after college to actually try working and traveling and seeing what the world looks like outside of pictures in textbooks.  Oh, I also learned a lot about dreadlocks.

No comments: