2 Dogs, 1 House, and Lots of Teeth

I apologize for getting behind on my blog this week. I didn't mention it in my first blog, but I had 2 jobs this week! All week I've been staying in a huge house and not only house-sitting, but also taking care of 2 little dogs. To add to the madness, I fit in 3 days at the dentist's office!

One thing that has become really obvious is that a job that I can't actually try is not near as much fun! With the coffee roasting job, I got to work with Charlie Mustard, roastmaster for Jittery Joe's Coffee. Last week I didn't have a set job, but I still felt like an active member of the Sierra Trading Post team.

Here's the thing: I've always wondered about dentistry. Even though I couldn't actually work on patients, I still got to watch the procedures. Also, I got to talk to the hygienists and dental assistants personally. I already highlighted the perks of careers in dentistry in my last blog. You can read it here.

So what did I think of job shadowing the dentist, the assistant, and hygienist?

Overall, I enjoyed interacting with the different patients. As the dental assistant put it, "we may be doing the same things day in and day out but we work on different teeth." Most of the patients were nice and easy to deal with, but some of the kids can be challenging since they get scared. It's funny having a conversation with a dental patient since it's one-sided. The person can't talk back with their mouth wide open!

Between the hygeniest (the person who mainly cleans teeth) and the assistant, (helps dentist do fillings, sealants, crowns, root canals, and more) I definitely would prefer to be a dental assistant. Why?

I thrive with a combination of people and variety! Both of the jobs allow lots of people interaction but cleaning teeth all day seems a bit too monotonous.

I really enjoyed hanging out with Cassie, one of Dr. Tedford's dental assistants, to watch various procedures. I got to watch how X-Rays are taken, how molds are made for crowns (a common restoration option for cracked teeth), and even saw a man get tooth implants. According to Dr. Tedford, implants are the deluxe route to take when replacing missing teeth. They have a very high success rate and look and feel natural.

On the bright side, I liked the schedule for the dental jobs. I arrived at 9AM and left in the afternoon. Even though I don't plan on pursuing this field long-term, I'm very grateful I finally learned more about it. It would be a major bummer to always wonder about if I would like being a hygienist or assistant.

It's a great career since it's flexible, requires minimal schooling, and pays well.

I will post tomorrow about my dog sitting gig and then I'm on to JOB #4!

This summer is flying by so crazy fast! I have an exciting job this coming week and can't wait to blog about it! ;)

Feel free to email me here: bestweekjob(at) or follow me on twitter here.

Have a great week!

-Kieley B.

From Deal to Doorstep: Week #2

Where in the world is Kieley Best? I am in Cheyenne, Wyoming for my second week of the One-Week Job Project at Sierra Trading Post. (In case you missed it, I was on vacation last week and am a week behind Amanda and Michelle.

If you haven't checked out their blogs, take some time to read about their adventures. Both of these girls are super sweet and have lots of great insights to share!

This week is unique since I am not confined to one department within Sierra Trading Post. Unlike the roaster job, it's more difficult to jump right in on the jobs here since they require more experience and training. With 650 employees at the headquarters, there is lots going on! In case STP (Sierra Trading Post) sounds foreign to you: they're a company that sells excess products, closeout deals, and overstock items on their website. Even if you're not into the outdoor gear they specialize in, they've got home goods, clothes, shoes, and gadgets!

Here's a recap of what I've been up to the past 2 days:

E-Commerce Department

Justin Johnson, Online Marketing Manager, gave me a short tutorial about the basics of using Wordpress for blogging. STP is constantly tracking how many people visit their website, view the blog posts, click on email ads, and more. Justin explained to me how the company uses Google Analytics (free!) to gauge how many times people view each blog post and where readers are located.

In the E-Commerce department, I have been mainly watching how Naomi interacts with STP customers on Facebook and Twitter. It's amazing how posting a simple status on facebook about a STP contest can generate a lot of excitement! To learn more about the E-Commerce jobs, I sat in on the marketing meeting. The main thing that stood out is that they are very goal-oriented. Each member of the team is expected to make a certain amount of money based on how much money they invest in their projects.

For example, Bert, Search Marketing Manager, spends money to ensure that when people search for certain brands & products on Google that Sierra's links will be close to the top of the list. If STP is not making money from Bert's work, then he's just wasting his time! With measurable goals, it helps everyone in the department to stay focused and ultimately, to make money for Sierra Trading Post!

Fulfillment Center:

As a regular STP customer, I frequently receive boxes and brown paper packages from them in the mail. Before taking a tour of the fulfillment center, I assumed that processing and shipping was a boring procedure. I could not have been more wrong!

Naomi and I got a fantastic tour by Darron, the receiving manager for the fulfillment center. Sierra buys products from hundreds of vendors that are received, stored, taken off shelves by order fillers, packed, and finally shipped to the customers! The receiving section is called "the warehouse" and is full of boxes of items that have just arrived from vendors. If the product is already individually packaged, it will be stored until an order comes in to be filled. If it's a box of bulk t-shirts, they are sent to a section to be packaged individually. After an order comes in, the order fillers collect the items from the shelves. After the items are packed into boxes and receive their shipping label, they travel down a chute to be sorted into different trucks. I was like a little kid at Disney World during the tour since the process is very fascinating. I loved seeing how the machines work and the fact that there's a personal touch since people fill orders, operate machines, and pack the boxes.

I was very impressed by the efficiency of the fulfillment center. Darron went into great detail about their energy-efficient skylights, the water pipe drainage system, and their high-tech machines that get the job done! The fulfillment center uses machines to expedite packing and shipping, but there are great people who work to send out the clothes, shoes, and other items people order. It was great to hear Darren speak so highly about their employees who are committed to both speed and accuracy.

That's all for now! I will blog more later this week to share more!

Email me with questions, comments, and feedback here: bestweekjob(at)


Coffee Time: A Recap of Roaster Life

Where in the world is Kieley? I am no longer in Athens, GA since I wrapped up my week as a roaster on Friday. After driving 4 hours home to do a quick round of laundry, I packed once again for more adventures!

Right now I am sitting in Cody, Wyoming since I am taking this week as a vacation. I know it seems early in the One-Week Job Project to be on vacay, but here's the scoop: I won an all-expenses paid trip from this cool company called Sierra Trading Post.

How? I simply took 20 seconds to fill out my name, address, and email about 2 months ago on their website for the contest. I must say it was worth the time! This week will be different as I will post updates about my vacation at a Dude Ranch. It's not technically one of my jobs, but I still want to show what life on a ranch is like!

Before jumping into horse stuff and western adventures though, let me share the highlights of my week as a roaster for Jittery Joe's Coffee:

I worked with Charlie Mustard and had a fantastic time!

In 5 days, I...

-Learned what stages coffee beans go thru during roasting

-Observed Charlie roasting for lots of hours

-Roasted coffee with an Air-Popper (usually used for popcorn)

-Packaged coffee with Christian

-Delivered coffee to local Jittery Joe's shops

-Learned how to create coffee "blends" (multiple types of beans combined)


-Roasted my own coffee, packaged it, and even created a custom label

Here's a Video to express my excitement: Final Coffee Test: Kieley Roasts Her Own!

I chose Ethopia Yirgacheffebeans since I have a new cousin from Ethiopia. The name, "Smiley Kieley" was an obvious choice since I've been told it's impossible for me to not smile. :)

Overall, Jittery Joes set the bar very high in regards to being amazing people with sweet jobs and kind hearts. I was blessed to get lots of hands-on experience, meet many Athens locals, and even take home a case of my very own coffee!

Special thanks to Charlie Mustard, his wife Allison, Christian, Seth, Michael Ripps, and everyone else on the Jittery Joe's Coffee team.

Before I launch into an Academy Awards-esque thanks speech, I will cap off this post. Tomorrow will be a full day that starts early with a cowgirl breakfast and horse lesson.

Follow the One-Week Job blog for more adventures all summer. I am still looking for jobs for August so email me or comment please if interested or if you have a connection.



Kieley B.

Kieley the Coffee Roaster: Update #2

Kieley here! I am having an amazing week here in Athens, GA and the past four days have been filled with fun, learning, and lots of free coffee! I apologize for not posting yesterday as I had planned. To make up for it, I will recap the first few days and post a video tomorrow with various clips from the week and a summary of my week as a coffee roaster.

In case you are new to the blog:

My name is Kieley and I'm a young lady traveling around this summer in search of my passion. In 8 weeks, I will try working 8 different jobs and blog about the whole adventure here at The first week has already been so helpful in confirming that coffee is something that fires me up!

Charlie Mustard has been such a great teacher this week and allowed me to see many facets of his job. It's wild to hear how he went from getting an undergraduate degree in Biology to veterinarian school to pursuing a master's in nutrition. How in the world did he  become a roaster? That's a fair question and I wondered this myself. To make a long story short, Charlie spent time at the local Jittery Joes coffee shop while he worked on his Master's thesis. After hearing the company express interest in roasting their own coffee, Charlie had a eureka moment and realized that his science background would be a great fit. After extensive reading and research, Charlie bought the equipment and began to roast. The great coffee he roasts today has been developed over time-it required logging his results, lots of experimentation,  and even making some so-so batches in his early days as a roaster.

What's the lesson to be learned here?

"Just because you have a degree in something or don't have a degree in something does not mean you have to or can't do a certain job."

I loved hearing Charlie's interesting path because it shows that

(1) a person is not bound to stick to a job that matches their degree & (2) it shows that a person should be open and ready to take risks because it often produces a great result! In Charlie's case, he now has a super fulfilling job that's fun, flexible, and allows him to hang out with his wonderful family.

I will share more about his daily life in the coffee business on Friday, but for now, let me bring you up to speed on the roasting process.

To get your coffee beans for your cup o' joe, there are many steps:

1. The roaster orders green beans (raw coffee beans) from various farmers all over the world

2. Batching the coffee (scooping & weighing a certain amount of coffee to be roasted) *Charlie usually puts in 26 lbs. of raw beans for one batch. When the roasting is finished, the batch weighs less due to the beans losing their outer membrane.

3. Roasting the coffee (The coffee is poured into the roaster and transforms as Charlie adjusts the heat, air flow, and controls the time. Charlie has certain markers to watch for:

-when the green beans turn "straw" color - goldenish color

-when the beans change to "cinnamon color" - medium brown color

-1st Crack- when beans crack for the first time (obvious since you can hear the beans cracking!)

-2nd Crack- A few minutes later, the beans crack again and about this time, it's time to release them from the heat into the cooling section. After cooling,it's on to packaging!

So that is basically coffee roasting 101. After spending all of Monday helping Charlie and learning the basics, I spend the next day packaging with another Jittery Joe's employee, Christian. He is the man behind the packaging and shipping for all of their coffee. After Charlie Mustard roasts the coffee and separates it into 5 pound bags, Christian pours the coffee beans into metal cans, seals them with a fancy gizmo, attaches a label by hand, and packs the cans into boxes. Jittery Joes not only roasts coffee for their own shops; they also ship their coffee all over the U.S.!

Working with Christian was fun and I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with his speedy pace. It was interested to hear the route he took to end up in the coffee industry as well.

I have so much more to share so tomorrow I will blog yet again!

One added incentive to make the most of this project is hearing feedback from friends and people I meet. Hearing about this crazy program makes people think about what jobs they desire to try. I would love for this blog to be interactive so here's the question of the day:

"What job(s) would you like to try for one week?"

If you're really ambitious, work on this follow-up question:

"What can you do today to make your desire to try this job a reality?

So often it's easy to get caught up in "What-ifs" and think of money, time, and other barriers, but if Charlie had been bound by these things, he would be missing out on his sweet job: roasting coffee!

Think about it friends and comment away!

Want to email me with a job proposal for a week or just say hi? I love emails!



Kieley B.

From Google to Gumption: The Time is Now

This blog post was written on June 13th, 2010: Hi. :)

My name is Michelle, and I'm a 22-year-old college graduate who majored in Psychology. If you watched my application video, you already know a few things about me – that I like dancing, music, green tea, showers, deep discussions, and people. I'm also an avid learner, which is why I have a serious habit of googling everything.

That's how I came upon the One-Week Job Program.


During the Christmas break before my last semester of college, I was having a personal struggle regarding how to move forward with my life. As a psychology major, you're supposedly limited...a belief that many people remind me of daily. It seems to me that when you're a Liberal Arts major, people worry/criticize heavily about your life after undergraduate studies. All arrows point only to postgraduate education.

I chose to study Psychology because aside from the fact that it just “felt right” in comparison to all my other options, I had always been concerned with the mind, behavior, how the two interacted, and how they manifested in different people. So Psychology it was. However, it didn't stay that way all four years. Over the course of my undergraduate career, I constantly analyzed my academic concentration.

I vaguely remember changing my major once and my minor several times, eventually graduating with what I had started. So you see, I experienced much guilt...understandable, given societal standards, external pressure, and everything between. Back to Christmas break and my personal struggle. I was struggling because I felt guilty that I had not made one concrete decision about my future.

I'm the type of person that tries to do what I feel, and I felt that applying to graduate school or applying for just any job was a terrible idea. I didn't know why. I just knew that I didn't want to be lazy, but I didn't want to settle. Still, another thing I knew was that just in case I decided somewhere down the road that I wanted to apply for a job, I needed to be prepared. So, I turned to Google for help.

I felt as if the best way to build the framework for a successful job search was to think as if I were an expert. Most of my expert-centered hunting led me to websites of recruitment technology. After bookmarking many helpful sites for later, I came across, the blog of recruitment technology guru Scott Williamson. I found the posts to be so wonderful that I spent several hours reading each one, stopping to read the reference links as well.

One of the posts made me look twice. It was about a man named Sean Aiken...trying 52 jobs for a year ? Sean sounded like a guy after my own heart. I clicked on through to read the article from which the post came. After that, I did more “Sean-focused” googling out of intense curiosity, but my fatigue won me over minutes later. I concluded that I had found enough resources to aid me in a top-notch job search; I closed my computer and felt at peace.

I had this strong feeling in me that even though I could not define how at the moment, my future was going to be just fine. I felt as if I was meant to be a part of something...something that would enable me to grow and help others...something that not everyone would understand or agree with...something that wouldn't be orthodox, but that would be important to do. I wanted this “something” very badly, so...even though I didn't really know what “it” meant, I went with it.

Come the new year, I went back to the university for my final semester of undergraduate schooling. On a random day, I remembered Sean and fell upon this site. I noticed a heading I hadn't noticed before: “Program.” Per my thorough nature, I read everything I could've possibly read about the Program, and smiled. Everything about the Program resonated in me. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, and I was ready to do something about it-just not something that would lock me down in a situation I wasn't indubitably happy with.

I wanted to live every day with fervency, nothing less. I had always been inclined to apply for opportunities for the sole reason that I really wanted to be a part of them, not for prestige or anything of the sort. Yet, my feelings about this Program were different from anything I had ever experienced. Wacky thoughts such as “this was made for me” actually came to my brain. I truly believed that my blind faith that something was out there for me brought me to this chance. Though I could not define what I was feeling at that moment, I wanted to be a One-Week Job Program participant very badly, so I went with it.

"Wanting my want to not leave me wanting. Yearning, needing, craving, thirsting, longing. Working. Proving. And perhaps, pleading."


As I mentioned before, this was the first time I had an overflowing heart for something. Applying felt so right that I was afraid to do it. Surely you know what I'm describing. I was afraid that my passion was so much so that, were I not to succeed, I'd be intensely disappointed. Disappointment ain't painless, friends. Nevertheless, I knew that my old ways were just that, old. This was a possibility to put my passionate ways to work. I needed to jump in the water and be okay with the chance that I might run into a shark. I pressed on, only with my heart, leaving all “what if” thoughts behind.

“What if” is a phrase of fear, and of pride. If you don't go for what you believe in, you can't fail. Yes, life is less frightening that way, and you're technically always right about what is to happen, but life that way is also...lifeless. Take action more often than not. While you will be risking failure, you'll also be “risking” success.

Sounds like a great risk to me.

With regard to my application, I wanted it to be engaging, honest, universal, and totally representative of me. I had to have faith for that too, and wait until the right time to produce a video/written application that I thought satisfied all those criteria. This move of my mine turned out to be a great one. Now, two weeks later, I still have not found sufficient words to express lucky I feel. Lucky to have such wonderful support from such wonderful people, some of whom I've never met. I have received several emails and messages from individuals who have expressed their joy and confidence in me.

Some people have thanked me for saying the words they felt they could not say, and doing the things they felt they could not do. I'm not quite sure I'm deserving of them, but due to the responses, I feel both encouraged and humbled. I feel encouraged because I know now that it is true: Whatever you think about, you bring about. If I believe, it will come. I'm humbled because I know that I need others to evolve. I cannot achieve what I want and live with passion without the grace of another. I fully trust in this truth now.

"...Your time is all you really own in life...extravagant possessions can’t match the satisfaction you get from finding new experiences, meeting new people, and learning new things about yourself...the best experiences in life can be had for the price of showing up."


I appreciate the fact that Amanda, Kieley, and I have to find our own jobs. It hasn't been easy, but it's been invigorating. I've spoken to so many employers (even employers who can't take me on) who are eager to talk about how they love what they do, and how it's important for everyone to find what they love to do and live it. I've learned so much already due to both the voting process and the job search. Self-promotion, optimal information search, and negotiation are valuable skills that we all need to learn. I won't even talk about the ability to possess both confidence and humility. These are great traits to cultivate as well.

As for the "jobs” search, I wanted to be flexible and cater to some of my own skills and interests at the same time. I wanted to travel so I could really force creativity, independence, and awareness. I contacted friends, favorite companies, and sites whose visions aligned with that of the One-Week Job Project as a way to find employers. I also had a desire to do jobs that most people had never heard of, but that search hasn't really been fruitful.

Now when I use the word “flexible,” I mean I searched for occupations that I would never EVER!!! do on a normal day. I won't give it away – you'll see. I always think that it is vital we become exposed to much, to learn and become much, so I must, as they say, “go out of my comfort zone.” Being a participant of the One-Week Job Program demands personal growth, so I'll do all that I can to make that happen. The time is now, otherwise there will never be at time. I know you know what I am talking about!

I expect nothing from this adventure, but I have goals. During the course of each of my eight jobs, I aim to learn loads about myself, others, and what attracts different people to different occupations. I want to gain an appreciation and understanding for the words “work,” “job,” and “career.” People have different definitions for these words. Some people use these words readily, and some people do not. What differentiates these types of people ? I want to find out.

I won't be afraid, but I'll be aware, smart-minded. I won't be too concerned with “finding what I want to do in life” or what I'm going to do after the Program is over. That really isn't how I view the Program's purpose, and I have a suspicion that life cannot be that simple. If it is, it's not that simple for me. I don't think the meaning of life can ever really be found, but the path to it can be. What is simple for me is that I'm in this for the new experiences and new people.

I'm in this to test all the things we're raised to believe. I want to find out for myself what is true and what is not true, what is good and what is not good. I'm in this to come into my own more. If anything, the only thing I think about my future is that I want to continue being exposed to novelty, and keep making mistakes, keep becoming less perfect while doing so. I want to keep learning because it's fun and fueling. I'm in this Program to stay alive, not just to exist. I'm in this. Wherever I am, there I am. Yes, yes, yes.

Okay, so what about You? Well, I consider you my friend, even if I have never met you. Whenever I do something, you are doing it with me. “i means You.” I'm writing for You really, not me. In subsequent blog posts, I hope to exhibit personal growth to you, and I hope to make you think about your own life (and maybe laugh?) through different methods – my personal musings, randomness, reference links, dancing, etc.

I'll be talking about the jobs, of course, but the implications of my involvement in them will transcend the environment I'm in at the time. I want to hear what you have to say. Feel free to respond to/discuss with/question me and others through my blog, be your thoughts negative or positive. If you need it, I hope to give you hope. This journey is about me, but it is also about You. What You do, what You love, what You want. We need each other, so let us be there for each other.

So if you have time, follow me, share with me, help me. I need You. I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but I'm doing it anyway. I think this is more than fine...wonderful even...and I'm just going to assume you agree. Thank You so much for that.


Follow me on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook!

Ask Sean: Can Everyone Really Pursue Their True Passion In Life?

Photo by Stephen Poff

I received this question from a reader and thought it would be interesting to give my answer, but also share with other readers.

Q: Can everyone really pursue their true passion in life? If this were the case, you'd have an influx of people pursuing the same careers (rock star, athlete, pilot, actor, author, etc). Who would do the run-of-the-mill jobs that we need to keep our society running?

A: Great question. When I was a Radio DJ, I asked the morning host how he got into radio.

He said that many radio DJ's are actually "failed musicians" - meaning they originally tried to support themselves by being rockstars, but for a variety of reasons, couldn't quite make it. But, he said that being a radio DJ allows him to be involved in the same industry, interact with the same people, and cultivate his passion for music.

It made me think that we don't all have to be rockstars, because we might be equally as happy being the guy who hands the rockstar their guitar.

In theory, could everyone pursue their true passion in life? I don't know.

Might take some juggling to make it work. Though I've realized that there are many ways to pursue our passions, whether being involed in the industry in some way like this radio DJ, or looking to satisfy your passion outside of work.

Got a question for Sean? Send it to

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!

6 Best Blogs For Helping You Find A Passionate Career

Photo shapeshift

When you're struggling to find your passion, sometimes it helps to have encouragement along the way.

With that in mind, Ian and I have been sifting through endless websites to bring you the top 6 blogs for helping you find your perfect career, or at least help you in the right direction.

So here they are, drum roll please... (in no particular order)

1. Employee Evolution

"Employee Evolution is dedicated to helping the millennial generation answer the hard-hitting questions that come with the biggest transition of our lives."

While visually, the website delivers a simple design, the content is worth it. Employee Evolution speaks to the Gen-Y culture with conviction and helpful hints and tips for finding your career passion.

2. Brazen Careerist

Part of the Brazen Careerist blog group, Penelope Trunk began her post-secondary life as a professional beach volleyball player and since then she's been through an acquisition, an IPO and bankruptcy and come back to become a columnist for the Boston Globe.

Her blog delivers advice "at the intersection between work and life" concisely and efficiently while coming from a refreshing female perspective.

3. Pursue The Passion

A website designed to attack the problem that nearly 50% of the population is not satisfied with their job, and addresses the issue by interviewing people who are propelled by a love for their work. The website is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate while delivering the information promised in the title.

4. The Happiness Project

A comprehensive look at what it could take to make each of us happy, and while most of us see "the feel better formula" as a bit too inside the box, Gretchen acts as an insightful compass for the direction of your passion.

5. My Gen Y Life

"Impressions and happenings of a twenty-something career gal" Melanie Lopez writes about a lighter, humorous look at life spent within the confines of an office, while offering helpful tips about a life on salary including, "The Secret to Winning Over Your Boss" and "How to Tell Your Boss You're Pregnant."

6. Escape From Corporate America

An easy to navigate website with larger than life wisdom on how to retreat from a life in a cubicle. Slightly deterring, are the numerous esoteric mentions of the NBC hit "The Office," but if you love the show and everything it represents then this may just be your haven.

"Our work lives are too long. We can't sit in a job we don't like for fifty years, it makes no sense. If we hate our jobs, we have to leave them, that's our responsibility to ourselves." -Paul Lieberstein (Toby Flenderson, The Office)

Do you have any favourite "find your passion" blogs we missed? Share in the comments!