After graduating from college, I struggled to answer the question "What should I do with my life?" I scoured various job boards and flipped through newspaper classifieds -- all the different industries and ambiguous job titles sounded cool enough, but I had no clue what the jobs would actually be like.
I thought back to the advice my dad gave me in my senior year of college. "Sean, it doesn't matter what you do; just make sure it's something you're passionate about. I've been alive for nearly sixty years and have yet to find something I'm passionate about besides your mother."
Sage advice we often hear, but what we don't often hear is how we can find our passion. My idea was to start what I'd call The One-Week Job Project. My goal: to work 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find my passion.
During my 52 weeks, I trekked more than 46,000 miles, slept on 55 couches, raised over $20,000 for charity, and tried every job I could: Baker, Teacher, Real Estate Agent, Advertising Executive, Hollywood Producer, Firefighter, and more. Wherever I could find work, I'd go there, find a couch to crash on and immerse myself in whatever profession was at hand. And then I'd move on.
I admit, my idea was a little wacky, especially when compared with the traditional route: Go to school, get a job, buy stuff, start a family, buy more stuff, retire, die. But far more wacky is the number of people who get out of bed in the morning and absolutely dread going to work because they hate their jobs. I was trying to avoid that fate. I wanted to find something that I'd love. Something that I'd gladly spend forty hours of my life doing each week and that would allow me to pay the bills. Whether this was possible or simply the unrealistic hope of an inexperienced, idealistic twenty-something, I wasn't sure. But I worried this same hope could easily become regret if I didn't find out for myself.
And so, I did just that.