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Multitudes of labor December 1, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in ideas, people.

Who hasn’t been asked, as a high school student, what he/she would “like to be” when he/she grows up ? It interesting that very often the question was about “What do you want to be ?” rather than “What do you want to do ?”. Okay, I don’t want to read too much into whether that means anything, so we will let that pass.

I have wondered more than a few times why, more often than not, it has to be just one thing that one wants to be or do. Maybe 2 is nice. 3 at the most. Yeah, people often commit to career changes but then going from being a consultant in the Engineering industry to the financial sector is not that much of a career change, the kind that several tend to be. But wistfully I give in (albeit only partly), reasoning that its a price to pay for the advantages that division of labor brings to the modern economy.

And now enter Sean Aiken.

…Mr. Aiken hatched his plan to work at 52 jobs in a year and to chronicle the search on a Web site, oneweekjob.com. He would take no salary for the work, but would encourage his “employers” to make a donation to charity. He spread the word through a mass e-mail message to friends and family and eventually through word of Web.


Mr. Aiken is on Week 36 of his journey now (he spent it at the studio of a Manhattan filmmaker). Since his first one-week-job, as a bungee-jumping instructor back in March, he has done practically everything, including teaching yoga, exterminating insects, trading stocks and baking apple pies.

Of course, easy to dismiss that as an attempt to snatch a book/movie/reality show deal and make a quick buck. After all it is not sustainable beyond a limited period. But whatever that may be, I think the idea to just do this once is still a cool one.



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