OWJ Australia Partners with SEEK - Australia's #1 Job Site

We’re super excited to announce our partnership with SEEK.com.au in support of One Week Job Australia! SEEK is Australia’s number one job site with over 150,000 jobs online and visited 14.7 million times each month. Here is Paul’s official introduction of OWJ Australia and our partnership with SEEK.

SEEK will support by:

  • Documenting Paul’s story through social media and posting videos of his work experience on the seek.com.au YouTube channel
  • Connecting Paul with employers and business owners across Australia in a bid to help him find his passion.

I first contacted a representative at SEEK before Christmas to tell them about One Week Job and our plans to launch OWJ Australia with 24-year-old Brisbane resident, Paul Seymour. Immediately they were interested in getting involved. Their brand promise is a perfect fit – “SEEK and you shall find.” We both believe that people should love what they do and recognize the importance of finding fulfillment in both our careers and life.

In February, I was in Melbourne, Australia to meet with the team at SEEK and to finalize how the partnership would work out. They truly are an awesome company with great people!

We’re looking forward to working with them for years to come as we help empower people around the world to discover their passion!

Follow Paul's journey at OneWeekJob.com.au.


Amanda's One Week Job Summary - Part 3 of 3

*Continued from Amanda's One Week Job Summary - Part 2 of 3*

Amanda's Summary of Realizations

1. At the end of it all, I came to realize my love of small business.  With the exception of the Science Centre, every job I chose to shadow was either a personal or family venture.  I can legitimately see myself as my own boss - creating and being responsible for my own day-to-day.

2. I want to do something creative.  Whether it's video production, photography, or latte art - I need to create.  I am passionate about this, no contest.

3. I want a job that means something.  I want to make a positive impact on others through my job. This could simply be bringing someone a perfectly poured cup of coffee, taking their wedding photos, or planning a favorite event.

4. I want to work as part of a TEAM.

5. It's OK to not know!  Try different jobs.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Just be sure to enjoy whatever it is you're doing, otherwise you're wasting your time.

6. I like writing.  Hopefully you enjoyed some of what I had to say!

So...what now?

This is the million dollar question!  Everyone's been asking me what the plan is now that I'm finished the program, as I'm sure they did like crazy when Sean Aiken finished his 52 weeks!  To be honest - I'm excited.  There are opportunities out there, and I know that I'm in charge of navigating them.

But then again, it's kind of scary out here.  I've narrowed things down a bit in my head, but I'm still technically jobless!  As much as I can preach the 'love your job' mantra, humans have created the world to be a consumer haven - and I still have to play by those rules.  I still need money, and I still need to find a job to earn that money.  Some friends have asked if I've become even MORE confused now that I've done this program!  I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm confused - but perhaps more picky.

Since getting back to Toronto, I've been studiously scanning job search websites and have sent my resume out to a few video production companies.  As I mentioned previously, I shot a couple weddings this summer and have become more confident in my photography skills.  As fall approaches I'm trying to market myself more vigorously to get some gigs doing portraits for local businesses and families.  In the meantime I'll probably get a part-time job in a local coffee shop to pay some bills and keep from going broke - but I'm quite happy to do so.  Besides, it'll be good experience for when I start my own cafe...

It would be pretty perfect to combine a few of the jobs as well: How about a Yoga Studio with a Coffee Shop that doubles as an Art Gallery?  We'll hold events inside the gallery space, and keep a freezer full of fresh meat in the back to use as hors d'oeuvres (sound morbid to anyone else?!).  There'll even be a helicopter landing-pad on the roof to shuttle patrons to the Studio/Shop to come lecture on the benefits of science...  Sound good?  Alright.

In the End.

I understand that this program wasn't a quick fix, but more of a long-term investment in myself.  I refuse to rush into something just because I think I should, and neither should anyone else.  I'm going to take this time to both rethink some long-term goals, and to try some new things.  I'm grateful for the time I had to explore with One Week Job, but am nowhere near finished.  I'll be creating, exploring, and learning for a long, long time...

Here's to this adventure, and many more to come!

Thank you so much for being a part of it with me.

Love Love Love


Amanda's One Week Job Summary - Part 2 of 3

--- Continued from Amanda's One Week Job Summary - Part 1 of 3 -----

Week 5 - Event Planning: Vancouver, BC

Whoa boy!  Week 5 took me by storm.  After a week of my yogic stretching and breathing, Event Planning caught me a bit off-guard.

Gut Reaction: Always been interested in Event Planning, but didn't really know what to expect.  Kind of worried...

Lessons Learned: It's a lot of work!  Karen at Reframe Marketing helped me out as much as she could, but in the end, the success/failure of the event was up to me.  It was confusing at first, as I didn't really know what kind of an event I was going to do, and who I was going to do it for.  I was given freedom, but had no idea what to do with that freedom!

I learned the importance of delegation and trusting in your team - all of whom showed up on time and rarin' to go the day of our Pop-Up Event in Vancouver!  I also learned to take responsibilities on one at a time.  Easier said than done, but it does keep you from losing track of your original goal.

Job Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction: I need WAAAY more experience in this field!  I was completely overwhelmed and panicked most of the time (although I hid this pretty well apparently) even though we created an insanely simple event.  I'm a quick learner, but not as quick as I needed to be in this case.

Future Projections: This week tired me out - and made me rethink being an Event Planner in 'real-life'.  It's a lot of stress, and I'm not sure I want to place myself in a high-stress environment at this point in my life.

Week 6 - Helicopter Pilot: Squamish, BC

Squamish is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever had the privilege of visiting.  The mountains, the ocean, the sky - hiking, mountain biking, kite-surfing...wowzah.

Gut Reaction: Flying is awesome.  Therefore, being a helicopter pilot must be one of the coolest jobs in the world!  Hello Britannia Beach Heli Tours!

Lessons Learned: Patience is a virtue, right Stu?!  With a few mechanical tune-ups and some 400 forest fires working to slow us down, a good chunk of Week 6 was spent waiting and crossing our fingers.  Marketing was also a big focus during this week, as the company is still fairly small.  A good sign, I suppose, is that I got a huge kick out of brainstorming new and groovy ways to improve the exposure of the business.  Maybe there is hope for me to be involved in event planning/marketing after all...?

As for the flying part - it was amazing.  This job, by far, has THE BEST COMMUTE out of any job I experienced.  1500 feet in the air.  Over the mountains.  Over the ocean.  Whew.  To be a pilot you have to be adaptable, and in the case of this business, know how to deal with the mechanics of the machine, understand weather patterns, have customer service skills, and some marketing know-how.

Job Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction: Waiting was hard.  It's all part of the tourism-industry game, but it was hard.  I do admit though, that it was pretty exciting to see customers get ready for their first ever helicopter ride!  They were happy, which made me happy.  Especially when we hosted a summer camp of 3-4 year olds...cutest lil' pilots ever.

Future Projections: Probably won't be a pilot.  But I would LOVE to work for a company like this - one just starting out, that I could help grow.  Perhaps even work as a photographer from 1500 feet up?!  GET ME TO ZEE CHOPPER!


After Week 6, I'm going to completely honest with you: I got the point.  I figured out what I like to call my 'Moral-Of-The-Story,' which is simply this:  Don't stay in a job you don't like. Ground-breaking, hey?  Yeah...I know.

By this point in the summer I was completely exhausted from traveling, changing lives every week, all the new, and all my internal discussion.  I understood what had brought me to this point: my previous job hadn't been fulfilling and I was curious about other careers.  Why hadn't I explored other options on my own already?  Why was I so lazy?  Why was I looking to impress others, when I really just needed to satisfy myself?

I spoke to a few friends about their take on the OWJ Project, and got some very honest answers.  Most people were quick to shout out their praise and encouragement, but a few others were a bit more scrutinizing with their assessments.  Who was actually reading my blog?  Who actually cared what happened?  No employer was ever going to pay me to 'find myself'... True story.

I could have stopped the program right here and felt like I'd done enough.  I'd read Sean's book, and felt that the next couple weeks would just be more of the same.  I would figure out the basic ideas and motions of whatever job I was doing, and then be done.  Not enough time to dig in and actually get dirty.  A part of me thinks that to truly benefit, one needs a solid two weeks or even up to a month in a job before you can even start to understand the depth of it.  One week is enough to taste, and maybe smell - but nowhere near enough time to fully see or touch the real inner-workings of how a job can become a career.

But don't caste me as being ungrateful in any sense, as that couldn't be farther from the truth.  It was life working itself out, and questioning it is part of the experience.  I still had two weeks left, and they were going to be great...

Week 7 - Painter: Calgary, AB

Gut Reaction: I was looking forward to getting dirty, and making ART!

Lessons Learned: Dean Stanton teaches that art doesn't have to be learned, individual, or high-brow.  Art can be teamwork, collaboration, and silly.  Art should be accessible!

Job Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction: I had a great time - painting, helping out with a kids camp, priming, tracing, etc.  The trick with art is (taa-daa): marketing.  I guess my Event Planning week is going to come in handy more than I realized...;)

Future Projections: Painting isn't really my strong point, but the lessons learned regarding the business side will come in handy if I get into any sort of small business myself.  Photography lends itself to a similar model, and I could see myself doing something like this with that kind of art.  As far as Dean's artwork goes, this guy obviously loves what he does, and really enjoys making art accessible to a larger community.  If memory serves, I think he mentioned that he was booked up until spring of 2011...awesome.

Week 8 - PR/Communications: Calgary, AB

Gut Reaction: That it would be great to see Cassandra from the TELUS World of Science, and learn what the heck to do with my Communications Degree!

Lessons Learned: Internal Communication is just as important as External Communication.  Brainstorming exercises are not only fun, but can help to build both professional and personal relationships.  Everyone who works for a company, works on the same TEAM.  Having an end goal helps productivity.  If you don't know what you're working for, what are you doing?  In the end I also realized that if you believe what you're doing makes a difference, your job becomes that much more meaningful.

Job Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction: I saw so many parts of the Science Centre that I couldn't help but be amazed.  I felt very involved in the brainstorming sessions, was active as a Discovery Team Leader, and saw how insanely busy Cassandra was as she filled her role on the Communications team.  Definitely satisfied.

Future Projections: Talking to Cassandra made me more aware of what a Communications career entails, and she gave me resources to further educate myself in the industry.  I really enjoyed the social networking aspect, and the networking opportunities.  It's fun to be around other people and work together.  With a little more education I could see myself in this role for sure.

*CLICK HERE for Part 3 of 3 - Amanda's Realizations or: What am I going to do now?!*

Hired! From 8 Jobs to 1!

Long time no blog! I'm so sorry for not blogging more about Job #8 folks. All in all, I had a wonderful time with Stan and learned a ton. I plan to post one more blog with pictures of the week sometime soon.

So, I have an announcement! I am now a single job lady! What I mean is that I got a job this week after being interviewed on Wednesday and meeting with the manager yesterday!

I am thrilled to have this job because it is a starting point that will help me move closer towards my ultimate goal: to own a coffeehouse and possibly, a roastery. As I pondered this week, I kept coming back to the idea of "settling." My greatest fear in pursuing a coffee shop job is that I would be settling for a job that doesn't pay much, doesn't look extraordinary on a resume', and is a basic job overall.

After accepting a barista job today though, I was struck with this thought:

"To take a job just for the sake of making more money, being more "comfortable," and feeling like I've arrived in the career world...

THAT would be majorly settling!

As I worked eight different jobs this summer, one thing become very evident: I love people!

After spending a full week with Charlie Mustard at Jittery Joe's Coffee in Athens, GA, my passion for coffee and all that it represents was definitely affirmed. I realized that there are people (like Charlie) who are making a living by doing what they love to do!

It seems like a cliche' dream to say that I want to own my coffee shop(s), but think of how many people hope to do things that never make an action step towards making it happen. I truly get revved up about the idea of owning my own business, designing a beautiful space for the community to enjoy, and serving the highest quality coffee and food!

Getting an entry-level job at Seattle's Best coffee shop is an absolute dream for me! Unlike my previous job that only partially dealt with coffee, this job will offer plenty of chances to make drinks, learn what it takes to run a cafe', and interact with customers.

I'm thrilled and I'm even more thrilled that I'm not settling.

Settling is a vague term anyways.

This would be a terrible world if people made decisions only based on how others would perceive them.

This summer, more than anything, I learned that it's so freeing to be different. People were amazed that I was part of the One-Week Job Program and jealous too!

I considered over and over the idea of continuing to work more one-week jobs for the next month or longer. Going back to the idea of "settling," that would be settling too. Here's the thing: I know I want to do something related to coffee, business, and people. It would be amazing to try more jobs, but the fun can only last so long. I've used most of my travel funds, learned a lot about myself, and now, I'm ready to act on the things I learned!

This post is probably sounding like a rant or a major ramble-fest so I do apologize. I write this post to give you readers an idea of how the One-Week Job Program affected me and changed my life.

I learned a ton and met people who I will never forget.

Now, I'm on to a new project: serving the fine folks of Knoxville, TN some mighty fine coffee! I'm ecstatic that I'll be able to be with my family, learn more about the retail coffee business, and focus on one job!

I'd love to post more thoughts, but I've got  a job to start! I'm off to start training today. Please keep following the blog as I share more about Job #8 and thoughts about this new permanent job.


Kieley Best

Email me at bestweekjob@gmail.com or follow me on twitter here.

Stuck - A Short Essay

Hey Guys!

Well, it's been a couple weeks since my last blog, but this is a note to let you know that I'm not done just yet!!  I have a summary blog in the works, but this note is to tide you over until I get that finished.

At the beginning of my 8-week journey, a filmmaker friend of mine asked me to write a guest blog on the topic of 'Advice to Those Who Hate Their Jobs.'  Her name is Punam, and she has dealt with her fair share of career struggles.  Her recent film Young Masters actually deals with the subject of the skilled-trades and the students who master them.

"Although destined for the podium as masters in their respective trades of autobody repair, painting, and IT, these young people reveal how they are often treated like second-class citizens because of their vocation.  In a society that values the head over the hands, university over college, and white collar over blue, can these young people also prove to be masters of their own futures?"

- Quote from the synopsis of Young Masters

Visit the Young Masters Website

Punam and I spoke about our individual experiences and struggles, and realized that there's a lot more to this whole movement than we first thought.  This is the blog I wrote for her.


The Break-Up

I have to be honest with you.

It’s been over a year. A year of trying to convince myself, a year of minor meltdowns, a year of disappointment, disagreement, and gut rot.

I swear I’ve tried!  I’ve worked hard, committed myself, and opened up to some new and wonderful things.  I have nodded my head, stepped up, and paid my dues.

The thing is, no matter how good you think we work together, this just isn’t working…

Quite simply: it’s not me - it’s you.

Have you ever felt this way?  Not just about romantic relationships, but about your job?  I’m willing to bet that a good number of people out there aren’t being fulfilled by what they do to earn a living.  Maybe you fell into this job because of financial reasons – you had loans to pay off, a mortgage to worry about, or children to raise.  Perhaps you were expected to take over the family business, or felt society bully you down a certain path.  Maybe you just got used to a certain routine and can’t even remember what it was that got you into this job in the first place.

Whatever it was that got you into this position, however, the reality is that you want out.  Some days you may even go so far as to say that you hate your job.


You catch yourself daydreaming about what it’s like to be that crazy cat lady you see collecting bottles through your office window.  You start raving to the receptionist about strange tickles in your throat, and begin blowing your nose excessively in hopes that your boss will notice and send you home.  Or even worse, as you catch your bus to work you start to realize that it’s not unusual to feel the familiar sting of tears welling up in your eyes.

If you dread going to work in a gut twisting, sobbing, ‘mommy-don’t-leave-me’ kind of way, I’d say it’s time to look elsewhere; these are all clear signs that you do not enjoy what it is you get paid to do.

But how can you leave work when this is the job that pays the bills?  What if it takes you months to find a new position?  How will you continue to support yourself and your fresh Guatemalan coffee addiction?  What about your monster-truck action-figure collection?  I guess it’s important to answer a few questions about yourself first: what do you treasure more, designer accessories or your daily-happiness?  If you’ve simply gotten used to being miserable, this may be difficult to answer.

Self-Loathing 101

To sprinkle in a little self-loathing, I can tell you that I have definitely been in this position.  I’ve stayed with a job simply because I didn’t know who else would have me.  I was new to the city and the options were few.  Not to mention that I was lucky to even have a job during the economic downturn; this job was the envy of so many others in my industry!  People would kill to be in my shoes.

Learning Curve

While I worked in this new position, I struggled to stay on top of everything as it came at me.  In any new job there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve, and I originally believed that that was why I was having such a hard time – it was my own issue.  I just needed to learn the skill set they asked of me, and then I would be fine.  The only thing was - did I really want to do what it was they were assigning?

I kept working and learning, and did pick up some amazing skills, but I still wasn’t happy.  With new responsibilities constantly being handed to me, I felt like I was being ripped from one assignment to the next.  My focus was always changing and it was tough feeling like I was doing justice to each individual project.  Some people thrive in this kind of environment, but I definitely do not.

Work would get handed to me at the last minute, and I was expected to put my life on hold to finish a project.  The boss would play mind-games with employees, pitting us against each other, and destroying any sense of teamwork.  There was no pride in what we were doing - it was more like a game of ‘pass-the-blame.’

In addition, there seemed to be no real hierarchy – which was something I’d always respected and found to be beneficial in my other jobs.  To know who to report to makes things clearer and more level amongst employees.

It also wasn’t uncommon for me to feel abandoned, like no one really knew or cared about what I was doing.  My boss would rarely even look over my work, simply assuming that I knew what I was doing.  This freedom can be fun – but I found it confusing.  Was I doing a good job?  What was becoming of my projects?  Also, any sense of a cohesive goal seemed to be muddled in whatever project was coming up next.  The company itself was confused, and I was having a hard time keeping up.

The Slippery Slope

I continued to struggle with job satisfaction, but tried to do my work as well as I could.  Even though I didn’t completely agree with how things were done, if my name was on something, I wanted to do it justice.  I felt alone – stuck in my office and trapped in a job I thought I should be grateful to have, not to mention that to many it ‘looked good.’  I was working for a well-known company in a large city; I was lucky to have the job – wasn’t I?

The longer I stayed, the more miserable I became.  I kept trying to convince myself that it was me who was being difficult and not the management or the workload.  It was my fault that I was unhappy.  Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough.

Life Questions

I felt so lost; was this what I was supposed to be doing?  Was this where my life was headed?  I even started struggling with moral issues: who was I helping?  What good was I bringing to the world?  I didn’t feel as if my work was valued or aimed at anything worthwhile.  I would leave for work with a sense of dread, and come home with tears running down my cheeks.  I would even hide out in the office bathroom, and play games on my phone to avoid going back to work.  I started taking out my misery on my friends and family – my boyfriend was especially used to dealing with my emotional lows, and spent more than his fair share of time comforting me, and urging me to leave my job.

In The End

I realized that it wasn’t because I hadn’t tried hard enough or that I was a bad worker: I simply didn’t like the work – and more blatantly, the way the company was run.

I was sick and tired of feeling so damn helpless all the time, and never getting anywhere.  The company wasn’t going to change - I needed to do something.  So, I resigned.  It took me two whole years of confusion, angst, and misery to finally leave.  Easy, right?  Right.

WHAT Did You Do?

Ultimately, my meager savings account and a healthy dose of self-respect added up to just-enough courage for me to do something about my situation.  I admit that I’m in a privileged position; as a 25 year-old I don’t have any kids to support, nor do I have any debt to worry about.  Essentially, that’s why it’s important to realize the huge number of possibilities that are open to you when you’re just entering the work force.  Take advantage of these opportunities, don’t just take the first job that comes up and settle into a mortgage and a new car - feel around until you find something you actually like.  And if it takes awhile, so be it.

Also, don’t feel that you have to stay in the same job, or even the same industry your entire life.  There’s nothing wrong with moving around a bit, and trying out something new every so often.  This especially goes for those of you with empty nests and renewed curiosity!  Why not get out there and challenge yourself?  It could be the fresh start you’ve been looking for.

People say it all the time, but life is too short to be miserable!  If you’re bringing your work home with you, and making your loved-ones feel bad about it – you’re not helping anyone.  You owe it to them to be happy, just as much as you owe it to yourself.

If you’re worried about your bills, figure out a way to cut back on some of the fun things.  My cell phone plan for instance, had to become more economical.

If you’re struggling to find meaning in your life, try volunteering with a cause you feel strongly about.  Donating your time can help you get your priorities straight, and make you feel like you’re actually contributing to society.

In Conclusion

As far as work is concerned, it will come.  It may not come quickly, or with the right sized pay cheque, but when it does, your patience will be rewarded.  You’ll finally be able to come out of your office bathroom and be proud of what you do.  Instead of idolizing the local cat-lady, you’ll be busy completing projects that make a difference.  Heck, you might not even miss that fresh-Guatemalan coffee you used to be addicted to!  Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll realize that that’s where you should have been working all along.

- A. Lowe

Final Thoughts on Job #7

Job #7 was a full week of learning! Even though Clayton Homes wasn't on my list of jobs that Sean Aiken gave me for the One-Week Job Program, I am thankful they hosted me for week #7. In case you're behind, you can read my first two posts of this week here and here. After working at the corporate office on Monday and Tuesday, I spent Wednesday at the Clayton Homes  sales center.

Thursday, I got the true behind-the-scenes experience! I drove an hour from the corporate office to the  Norris Homes building facility. Norris is just one of the "factories" where Clayton homes are built. As I stepped in the door, I was greeted by the manager Charlie. I spent some time with one of his salesmen to learn how they actually build a house!

I was very impressed when I found out that Norris does not only build homes, but they are currently building a dorm for Appalachian State University. It's mind boggling to think that individual dorm floors can be built in a factory, transported to the college, and then stacked on top of one another.

Here's a picture of the dorm building in progress:

After learning about the dorm project, my tour-guide informed me that many public buildings are actually manufactured in a similar factory. I had no idea!

The advantages of having a manufactured building are:

  • Speed: It's much faster to build a house in a home-building facility than building it on-site. They can crank out a house in 4 days!
  • Controlled Environment: Building a home under a covering is a huge plus since the house does not get weathered during the building process.
  • Cost: Due to the large number of houses that Norris builds, they get awesome deals on appliances and building materials.
  • Convenience: All of the builders, plumbers, electricians, and other specialists are all in the same place! This makes it much easier than arranging separate contracts for each speciality.

I had a great time at the Norris home-building facility. The only bummer was that there was not an I-House being built specifically. It was very fascinating though to see houses that were in the framing process, houses at the half- built stage, and then houses that had gorgeous cabinets installed.

Here's a video I took at Norris:

To be honest, I've never been too fond of the idea of a "trailer house." During my week with Clayton Homes, I learned that manufactured homes can be high-quality and stylish. There are basic models of course that have the "single-wide" look, but Clayton also makes homes that look just like they were built directly onto land. With all the options for people to customize, the sky really is the limit!

I wish there wasn't such a stigma attached to manufactured homes. This post is biased I know, but it's not because Clayton Homes said I had to write only good things. I saw for myself during this week that they make beautiful homes, including the super innovative I-House.

I will definitely try to be more open-minded in the future about things that I don't know about. I'm usually pleasantly surprised when I take time to learn about things.

Have a great week!

Only one more job to go!

-Kieley Best

Not an Ipad...An I-House!

This week I am working with Clayton Homes, the largest home building company is the United States! I spent my first day at the corporate office with the I-house specialist, Beth. To read my first post about Job #7, click here. Day #2 was full of a variety of tasks as I spent the day with the I-House product manager, Brandon O' Connor. Brandon and I started the morning by reading design & building blogs. One thing that stood out to me about working in this field is that the industry is constantly moving. To keep up with his job, Brandon must stay current on design trends, new innovations, new building codes, and more. He dedicates approximately an hour every morning to read blogs, interact with customers on Facebook,  and to check for i-House mentions in the media.

After checking out some industry blogs, I got to listen in on some phone calls as Brandon discussed future I-House projects with his business partners.

The highlight of the day was the very last hour! In the late afternoon, Brandon and I drove to the local Clayton Homes sales center, the place where all the model homes are on display. A prospective I-House buyer flew into town to walk through the I-house specifically and speak with Brandon about the different configurations.

I forgot to mention this, but the I-House is unique since it is completely customizable. The main unit consists of either one or two bedrooms and one bathroom. To add additional space, a buyer can add the "Flex" unit. The flex unit is basically a studio apartment and has its own bathroom and a versatile living space. The Flex connects to the main unit and has a rooftop deck! Here's a pic:

The highlight of the day was walking through the actual I-House model home. The website and brochures are cool, but do not do this house justice! As I stepped in the house through sliding doors, my jaw dropped. The house is beautiful! The model house is fully furnished with a vibrant palette of colors, featuring lots of orange and lime green. As I walked through, I was amazed by all the small touches that make the I-house so energy-efficient. From the solar panels on the roof that power the whole house, the bamboo floors, Energystar appliances, and more, it's hard to ignore the "greenness" of the I-house.

It's extremely energy-efficient since one of the options is to have solar panels on the roof. It varies by the family, but in some cases, the panels produce more than enough energy for the house. The house owners can actually sell the energy back to the utility company and make money! Solar panels are definitely a worthy investment!

One thing that I noticed about I-house buyers is that they really pay attention to details! These houses are an engineering and design feat and therefore, have lots of intricacies. I'm amazed by the complicated questions that prospective buyers ask. It's good though because it shows that they are excited about the I-house brand and willing to do their research to get a sweet house!

Overall, it was a great first couple days and I look forward to sharing more about what I'm learning about this industry.


Kieley Best

Follow me on Twitter here or email me at: bestweekjob@gmail.com

If you're interested in learning more about the I-house, check out the website here: http://www.claytonihouse.com/

Conclusions on Communications

Well my week with the PR/Media Relations expert at the TELUS World of Science came to a close...and I would have to say that it was one of my favorite weeks! Cassandra brought me along to EVERY meeting she had, and introduced me to so many different parts of the Science Centre.  We talked about media plans and marketing strategies, internal relations and external support.  It's a big job, but she manages to do it all, and to do it calmly at that.

Out of all the jobs I did this summer, I would have to say that this is one that makes some of the most sense to me.  As I mentioned before, the goal of the Centre is to support education and community involvement.  The Communications and Marketing Team also seemed to work together really well.  The regularly scheduled meetings definitely helped communicate what everyone was working on, and what was happening next.

Some tid-bits I learned over the week:

- Know your audience. Something really interesting that the Communications Team did in advance of the Body Worlds exhibit, was invite the city's religious leaders to preview the show.  Body Worlds has been a bit controversial, as they use dead bodies to teach people about anatomy.  Obviously this doesn't sit well with some, but it was part of the Communication Team's job to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible.  The preview allowed the religious groups to ask questions of the exhibit, and to give them a point of reference that they could then take to their congregations.  ALL of the groups expressed appreciation for being included in such an event, and the preview night is something the Team plans on using in the future for any controversial shows.

- Know what kind of publications and media outlets (magazine, local news shows, etc...) fit into your demographic.  Obviously, your organization should only put money into advertising where it will make the most ROI - Return On Investment. The media strategy meetings I attended talked a lot about where advertising dollars should go...it's like a big investment game...only with real money...;)

- Knowing what just happened is just as important as knowing what's coming up AKA: Learn From Your Mistakes. The meetings I attended also talked a lot about this one...important!

- Awareness, Awareness, Awareness.  The Coms Team did a survey of their members, and 88% of them were aware of the Body Worlds show!  That's huge!  The goal was 60%, so they have definitely gone above and beyond all expectations.

With so many meetings during the week, it did get a little intense.  It almost felt like there was no time to actually work on what was decided on, because there always seemed to be another meeting to go to!  But with so many changes going on at the TELUS World of Science (the new Science Centre opening next year, new exhibits going up, budget, hours, staff, etc), communication is paramount.

I think I could handle this kind of job...I enjoy planning and acting as a liason of sorts... With the Coms Degree I have though, I would probably have to go back to school and take a few other courses just to get up-to-speed on the nitty-gritty of the profession.  Cassandra told me about the International Association of Business Communicators as well as the Canadian Public Relations Society that have workshops and courses to help further my education.

Between all the Bodies, the critters, brainstorming sessions and Team Meetings, I really enjoyed my time with the TELUS World of Science!  Cassandra, thank you so much for being so welcoming, and allowing me to pick your brain!  Perhaps one day, I'll be working WITH you, as opposed to just shadowing.



Job #7: Bob the Builder, Move Out of My Way!

Kieley here! Sorry for disappearing from blog world over the past week! I've been in the process of moving and in case that wasn't enough, I picked up a cold and have been trying to get well.

In case you've been following Michelle and Amanda's blogs, you've noticed that they finished Job #8 last week. I am on the slow and steady track and am just starting Job #7 this week. Why? Well, family is very important to me so I took a family vacation earlier in the summer and last week I got sick and needed time to rest up. What's the lesson here? This program is incredible, but it would be foolish to work different jobs like a madwoman and sacrifice my health and time with my family.

Alright, so to get back on topic, let me share my job for this week!

This week, I'm in Knoxville, Tennessee! I'll be working with the United States' largest home building company, Clayton Homes. Clayton homes is known for their high-quality manufactured and modular homes, but more recently for their I-House. This week I'm joining the I-house team to learn more about modular prefabricated homes.

What is the I-House?

The I-House is a new (released in 2009) house that is environmentally friendly, reasonably priced, and beautifully designed.

Here's a picture of the model I-House to give you a better idea:

Why did I pick this job?

I'm a curious person and since a young-age, I've been fascinated by architecture and modern houses. After stumbling upon Dwell Magazine, I discovered prefabricated houses. I love the idea of custom designing a house and then having it built in a factory and delivered to the site. It's mind-boggling that a house can be factory-built! The I-House is fabulous because it combines energy-efficiency with modern design.

My boss for the week is Brandon O' Connor, the head of the I-House team.

I learned a tremendous amount about this industry in just one day at the corporate Clayton Homes office. After having a brief meeting with Brandon to discuss my schedule for the week, I met Beth Walker. Beth works as the I-House Specialist, a unique customer-oriented position that allows her to interact with people interested in the I-House. It's impossible to know every detail about the house, but she sure knows a lot. Here is the I-House manual, which could basically be called the "I-House Bible."

I spent most of the day sitting with Beth and listening in on calls with prospective I-House buyers. It might sound boring that I sat in a cubicle for the majority of my day. It was the opposite of boring! Each phone call was unique and required good people and problem solving skills.

I had looked at the I-House website before this week, but I learned way more during my time with Beth actually listening to questions that prospective buyers ask. I realize now that people really get excited about custom designing homes and the process of building a manufactured home is well worth it.

So, what questions do you have about the I-House or about manufactured homes? I would love to receive honest comments with your feedback on this industry and your opinion on this type of house.

Stay tuned for interesting updates all week. Tomorrow I will be heading to the Clayton Homes Center, the place where all their different model homes are on display for people to physically walk through.

Please comment with your questions and thoughts about prefab houses.


Kieley Best

What It Takes: Market Time!


I'm back home in Tennessee this week! It's been hectic since my family and I moved this week from Cleveland to Knoxville, Tennessee. In case you're behind on the blog, you can read my posts from Job #6 at Dallas Market Center here and here.

To recap: I spent Wednesday-Sunday last week working at Dallas Market Center. During the year, the Market puts on numerous "markets" that each focus on a certain business. For example, they host home & gift, apparel & accessories, menswear, and bridal markets. It's incredible because the World Trade Center (the building with 15-stories of showrooms) is transformed for each market to fit the theme. All the windows feature new displays and there are events that cater to the buyers specifically.

Like I said before, my schedule was jam-packed! Since I'm an eternal optimist, I honestly didn't mind the chaos of being a human baton for a week. I literally spent every hour with a different Market employee and then went to another person. Someone joked, "you'll probably know more about this business after this one week than I know after being here for years!" I think they were right!

I already explained what the Dallas Market Center does in a past blog, but now I'd like to run through the different departments that make a market happen. It would be great if there was a magic "instant market" switch, but alas, it takes fabulous people and lots of work!

Leasing-They're responsible for renting permanent showrooms to exhibitors at the Market, taking care of lots of paperwork, and building relationships with the showroom sales representatives.

Retail Relations-Their motto is "keep the people happy!" (not literally, but it fits this department well). They send out promo materials to the different exhibitors who usually sell their goods at the market. They also offer incentives to buyers to come to the Dallas Market to buy goods for their store/boutique.

Registration-This team greets the buyers from all over the world when they enter the Market and come to check in. After showing an ID, the buyer receives a badge that grants them access and a book with a listing of all the product lines and showrooms.

Marketing & Communications- This fabulous group is all about getting the word out about the Dallas Market Center, They're responsible for press releases, media alerts, hosting the press room during markets, and much more!

Creative Services-To start off, this crew has the coolest office space of all the departments. I'm biased since I had a desk in the super vibrant creative services area. With magenta walls, mod furniture and lots of graphic art around, it was hard to not be inspired. This team does graphic design and other creative projects for the Dallas Market.

Security and Operations-They're motto is "keep the people safe." They manage the deliveries that come in and go out and ensure that everyone in the building is safe and supposed to be there.

Architectural Design- responsible for measuring showrooms and making computer-generated blueprints and 3-D  pictures to show potential exhibitors to see what their showroom could look like.

Event Planning and Visual Merchandising -These departments make things happen and are all about style. The window displays at the Dallas Market Center are stunning! The events during the apparel and accessories show last week were so fun and memorable. Both the displays and the great events would not be possible without these departments.

Favorite part of the job?

I really liked the variety of the week. I arrived on Wednesday, the day before the apparel market began. It was neat to see the whole process of getting ready for market, the actual days of market, and then the frenzy of the vendors packing up. I realized during my week in Dallas that I thrive on fast-paced jobs that include lots of variety.

Least favorite part of the job?

Talking constantly. It may sound like a strange thing to have as my least favorite, but I talked a ton last week! I did tons of listening too, but I was constantly being asked about the One-Week Job Program, talking to exhibitors, and talking to DMC employees. I am pretty outgoing, but at the end of each day, I was thankful to retreat to my room at the Palomar to put on the cheetah robe they provided, watch my complimentary pet fish (I named it "Dallas"), and sleep!

Final word?

It was a phenomenal week and so worth flying to Dallas for the experience. The people I met were so warm and hospitable and very intelligent in their various fields. I loved being at the Dallas Market Center and would gladly return to visit or work if the opportunity presented itself.

For now, I'm trying to rest and get over a cold in preparation for my next major job. Next week, I'll be working with a home-building company! Stay tuned for more details!


Kieley Best

Brewing Up Some Business...

Man. I love coffee. The crew at Pennylicks Gourmet Cafe in Toronto - in short - were amazing.  Chris, Steve, Rene, and Diego - THANK YOU!

Even though it was sweltering outside, inside the cafe I learned how to froth milk, deal with crazy customers, and make a mean panini...!

I spent the majority of my time at the cafe with Rene, a cool dude from Mexico who is Steve and Chris' "Right Hand Man."  He's super laid back, great at milk-frothing, and always willing to help out.  His way of teaching was definitely hands-on - within the first hour, he had me making lattes and washing dishes :)  Iced drinks were popular thanks to the heat, but a good number of espresso's were through as well.

Steve would pop in from time to time to check on the cafe in between errands, and speak a few words of wisdom.  When I asked him what he thought the MOST important thing is about making a good cup of coffee - he singled out 'Consistency'. From the roasting to the brewing, to the frothing and the customer service - each cup of coffee should be as tasty as the one that came before and the one that will come after.

We also chatted about doing business with family, and Steve and Chris are brothers as well as business partners.  Of course there are times when they wanna pull out each other's hair - but Steve is the first to admit that each brother complements the other.  One is strong when the other is weak, and vice versa.  At the end of the day, they're still family, after all.

The time it takes to start up your own business is MASSIVE.  Maybe you're only physically at the business for a few hours a day, but even your time 'off' is spent running errands for the business, dealing with the finances of the business, and planning for the business.  It's definitely not something to take lightly.  Vacations will be few and far between due to time commitments - not to mention the financial pressure to succeed.

Something I really loved about the cafe, were the customers who came in.  There are a lot of other small, local businesses in the area, and everyone tends to come out and support one another.  I quickly grew to know the owners of the clothing store next door, the restaurants down the street, and the regulars from the neighborhood.  I could see myself running a place like this and getting to know my customers as friends... now, if only they would all write poems like 'Wunder'...

Wunder came in around 11am one morning...he wasn't wearing a shirt, but had some sort of cape-like-contraption strung up around his neck to protect from the sun.  He offered a banana muffin in exchange for an espresso, and then threw in a poetry reading as well!  Haha!  The muffin was dangerous (don't take candy from strangers - right?), the espresso was great (even if I do say so myself!), and the poem was fantastic (even if it was a little racy...)!

Something I've really loved about my first two jobs is that the people I've worked with have actually become my friends.  I've been invited out to suppers, tea parties, and even poker nights!  Steve even stopped in today and dropped off a book for me to read: 'Achieving Success in Specialty Coffee' - all about the first espresso machine, the roast, the art of latte making, customer service, and even starting your own business.  It's going to make some great airplane reading!!

You see, I'm actually writing this from the airport as I wait for my boarding call, as I'm flying to Edmonton, Alberta tonight!!  And believe me - words cannot describe how insanely excited I am to be visiting my home province!!  My cousin is getting married on Saturday, and this will be a family-reunion of sorts.  There will be farm-living, cat-petting, and family-bonding.

I. Cannot. Wait.

I'll be doing my next One Week Job in my hometown of Beaverlodge, Alberta - as...get this...a butcher. !!

More to come from my cafe experience - but I think I have to board my plane now...

In the words of the great Matt Mays:

"Good-bye girl gone to see the world, Out to see every thing you choose Now it's becoming so clear That your feet are planted deep In your travellin' shoes"

See you on the other side of the country folks!!



Poetic Photography Wrap-Up

Week One - Photographer

It all started off with a whim and a worry,

Not knowing who, where, or how hard to hurry.

But the woman I met put my worries to rest,

She explained the whole thing, without any stress.

She called clients and agents, models and friends,

She figured and triggered and spared all expense.

On shoot day she shot and she shot and she shot,

And she laughed the whole time, without getting caught.

It's all about attitude, knowledge and trust,

Knowing your f-stops, your lighting, and just...

Believing your skills, and doubting not one,

Do your job well, but know when to have fun.

And so ends Week One, filled with photos galore!

Henrieta's to thank, that girl I adore.

Go out and take pictures, and love what you do,

The great thing 'bout Week One, is it leads to Week Two!


Check out Henrieta's Website: www.henrietahaniskova.com

OWJ Program Finalists - Coming Soon!

Applications for the first semester of the One-Week Job Program are now closed! We had many great submissions and have narrowed it down for you to vote.

The finalists have been notified and we're gathering a few more questions in order to accurately profile them on the website. After that, we'll be posting their video along with profile information and it will be up to you to vote for who think should be the first candidates selected for the inaugural semester of the One-Week Job Program!

Week 1 begins June 28th!

Edmonton Bound

I found a ride to Edmonton! I am leaving this morning and we are going to drive straight through, I am totally not prepared but this is when the ride was going so what can you do. Are we ever really prepared anyways? I will tell you about what my job in Edmonton for next week is in an upcoming post, should be fun though, especially if I get a chance to hit up the waterpark in the mall! Actually, maybe I could set up a One Week Job there?

If you are in the Edmonton area, you can catch me Monday morning on CityTV and Friday morning on Global TV, otherwise if you want to hang out, give me a shout!


Wine Tasting Extravaganza

Had a crazy last day working with 24 Hours Vancouver. I started the morning with a nationwide interview on CBC Radio One, then got called by CTV News who wanted to do a story so I went a long with another 24 Hours reporter and a photography to cover a Wine Festival. They put a mic on me and away I went with my pen and notepad to explore the Festival while the camera crew followed me around. The segment about One Week Job, will air sometime next week during the CTV News Hour at 6pm. I will let you know! I was introduced to Bill Hardy of Hardy's wine and he showed me the ropes of the Festival and basically how things work. Really great guy! Pretty cool how he can just pick up a bottle and say, "This one is named after my grandfather, and this one over here after my grandmother." I asked if he would be willing to name one after me, but he wouldn't go for it.

I had a great week working with 24 Hours, if you want to read about it and you are in the Vancouver area, pick up a copy of the paper today (Friday) and I will tell you.


A Reality 'Cheque' Assignment

Yesterday, I was sent out on assignment with another reporter from the paper to find out what happened in a homicide that occured the night before. I felt like I was a police investigator as details were unknown and so we had to go to the crime scene, interview neighbours, friends, police, and visit the highschool where the victim attended. It was a really sad story and I just didn't feel right being amongst every major media station in Vancouver trying to get some "good quotes" and names to make for a complete story. As a reporter your job is to get the story, seek out what happened and get the facts, yet I felt as if I was prying into their lives and getting involved in something that was none of my business. I found that it was just too real for me. I imagine if you are in reporting for a significant amount of time, you have seen it all and such stories can become somewhat routine.

Actually, it is kind of an interesting thought about careers in general. If we do find ourself at a point in a career when things cease to have emotion, passion, and no longer challenge us, is this perhaps an indication that it is time to change what we are doing?

I am not sure, what do you think? Leave your comments.


Not Your Typical Employee Entrance

Second day on the job at 24hrs, not too exciting. Just writing a column a day for what looks like will be a weekly series that will appear in each Monday paper for the next four weeks. I must say it is pretty cool being able to just call people up when you need a quote and start off by saying, "Hi, my name is Sean. I am a columnist with 24hrs... " Tends to give you some immediate credibility and I even caught myself leaning confidently back in my chair at times feeling somewhat important.

This feeling didn't last long though, and you will see why after watching this next clip.

Day In The Life Of A Columnist

So two weeks ago I was a Snowshoe Guide assistant, and this week I am a columnist. Just another Monday morning and another first day on the job. It's quite funny, it seems as if I just get settled into a position, comfortable with the people in the company, and know what is expected of me, then Friday comes, the slate is wiped clean and it is time to start all over again in a new position and new location the following week. If it was uncertainty, unfamiliar situations and out of the comfort zone experiences I was looking for, well I have found them. I met with the Editor-in-chief first thing in the morning and we went over ideas that I had for potential aritcles. He seemed to like them, and I set off on writing my first column in a series of pieces that I will be writing regarding One Week Job type themes.

Today I visited a couple of campuses around Vancouver and interviewed a bunch of students and some faculty. It was quite interesting speaking with students about topics such as what they want to do with their life, why our generation is having difficulty deciding on careers, and what we are looking for out of a career situation. I will be sure to post my articles to the site as I finish them...

It was my first time in a newsroom, and I must say they do a good job in movies portraying what it is like: phones ringing, people moving quickly working on a deadline, colleagues talking about different stories/news ideas, working late, and ofcourse lot's of coffee is involved. I left the office at 7:30pm, and there were still quite a few people there plugging away.

Definitely an interesting lifestyle, kinda fun working in a dynamic environment with an element of urgency as everything is deadline driven. There is a paper to produce for the next day, everybody works hard on it as long as it takes until it is finished, then you go home and are back at producing something completely different the next day.

Still looking for that ride to Edmonton, any ideas or suggestions, give me a call!