Running Time (4:18)

After having graduated from college with a Business Administration degree, top of his class with a 4.0 GPA and named Class Valedictorian, Sean Aiken struggled with fear, anxiety, and the expectation of others in answering 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 in the world, could offer Sean a job for one week. Any money he earned for the work, he asked the employer to donate towards the ONE / Make Poverty History campaign. Total earned = $20,401.60

On his inspirational quest, Sean tried everything: Bungee Instructor, Dairy Farmer, Advertising Executive, Baker, NHL Mascot, 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. And then he’d move on.

The media covered the story extensively: The New York Times, Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Time, Wall Street Journal, 20/20, CBC, Macleans, Globe & Mail, and countless others around the world.

Millions of people began following his journey, looking to him for inspiration in their own lives. College students were relieved to find others uncertain of their careers while baby boomers wrote how they’d found the courage to change their jobs, or go back to school and discover their passions once again.

Sean realized he hadn’t started on his own journey. He’d started a movement.

Publishers opted for Sean’s book which was published by Penguin Random House in 2010 and the feature length documentary, directed by Ian MacKenzie, premiered at festivals in 2011.

Since then, Sean created a program which enabled others to explore their passions by working a job-a-week, and started One Week Job projects with participants in Australia, India, the UK, Vietnam, and the US.

In early 2013, Sean began collaborating with Dr. Michelle Jones, a University professor based in Portland, Oregon, with a shared passion of revolutionizing higher education. In September 2016, the Wayfinding Academy opened its doors to the inaugural cohort of students for the two-year accredited college program based in Portland.

Sean often speaks to audiences internationally at conferences, companies, and schools about what he learned from his experience and the curriculum he developed with other educators called, Wayfinder, is being used in classrooms around the world.

Pictures from the journey: