How To Deal With Criticism

I received a semi-critical email a while back and finally got to responding to it this week. The majority of emails/feedback I receive are extremely supportive, but every so often there is someone who sees the One Week Job Project, and what it represents, in a different light.

I wanted to share the email with you and my response. It's likely that other people might have had similar questions, and so this way I can share my perspective with everyone.


Yes we should all have jobs we like, but not all of us have the opportunity to leave Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire or the local warehouse... Yet we still came to the same realization that we should all be doing a job we like.  Is that not you’re main point?

Kind of. I think it's important that we're able to fulfill our passions in some aspect of our life - it doesn't all have to be in our job. We may not all have the opportunity to leave Tim Hortons, Can Tire, etc, but we do have the opportunity to explore our passions outside of work. I met a lot of people who weren't in their dream job, but they were content with their position because it allowed them to fulfill their passions outside of work. When we don't have an outlet to express our creativity or explore what truly fulfills us, I believe that can lead to discontent. Alternatively, when we are fulfilled by what we do, whether in a career or outside of work, that improves our relationships with our family and friends while making us more likely to contribute to our community.

It’s adorable your website says you were a Chiropractor for a week, a Radio DJ or even Brewmaster! Obviously that’s a bit of an embellishment considering these sound more like week long take your kid to work day. Maybe I’m wrong?

Most jobs I was actually doing the job, ie: on the air as a Radio DJ, assisting the vet with tests as a Vet assistant. Other jobs that were more technical, ie: Chiropractor, Tattoo artist, it was more of a job shadowing experience.

Have you ever worked in fast food? Retail?  For more than a week?  For more than 6 months even?  Have you worked 60 hour weeks for months at a time?  I didn’t do these things for a lack of courage to change, it was to seek my own enlightenment and generate enough income to live.

Great! In whatever we're doing, I believe that's the ultimate goal - to seek our own enlightenment - regardless of the path we choose to get there. Everyone's path will be different.

The silver lining is, you’re very positive and seem to pass that along to many.  I just think you forget that some people simply have limitations.  What you did was unique. Why? Because most people don’t have the opportunities you have. I would love for you to prove me wrong.. Such a positive message should be passed along. So with my e-mail in mind can you explain how someone can “take a leap” to find a career they love without money and without education past high school?

Thanks! In regards to your question, I was extremely surprised how open employers were to sharing their knowledge about their profession. I suggest that people think about what interests them and professions that they think might be the right fit. Then, before fully committing to going for it, see if you can volunteer with someone in the industry, or take them for coffee to find out as much as you can and if it might be right for you. Why they like it, what are the challenges, how does someone get into the industry... I think the most important thing is to DO. To get into the work force, no matter what job we have to take. As we do, we learn more about ourselves, develop skills, and get closer to figuring out what our ideal career would be.

Again, I hope to hear from you.  Hope this didn’t come off as a Sean bashing session. Obviously you made me think a little or I wouldn’t give this the time of day.  To be honest, some of this may be spoken out of jealously.  I would have loved to do some of the things you’ve done.

All good bud! Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts!


I used to feel down when people didn't "get it" - I wanted to speak with each one directly to explain where I was coming from. During my year I was given some great advice to deal with it: "A third of people will love what you're doing. A third of people will hate what you're doing. And a third of people won't care what you're doing."

When you put yourself out there, you're bound to face some critics, but I've found the most important thing for me is to know why I'm doing what I'm doing, and to know that my intentions are genuine. This applies even when the feedback is positive, and there is an inclination to feed the ego.

Or, if you prefer a good Buddha quote:

"As a solid rock cannot be moved by the wind, the wise are not shaken by praise or blame."