So you have just graduated from University with a degree in Commerce, you accept the new job at Proctor & Gamble as a Sales rep with a car and the American Express card. Does that sound like the way to start out your professional career? Well, for Sean Aiken this was not his plan. Like many new grads just out of school he really didn’t know what he wanted to do. He went to school to get an education that would offer a broad range of options, then what? Would he follow the pattern and take the standard new grad path or work for a big company for a few years and figure out what he wanted to do on the fly? He decided to take a different path. He decided that he wanted to go to the career buffet table and take a sample of different industries and career options and get a new job every week till the end of the summer. His goal was to experience new roles and raise money for Oxfam at the same time. Companies hire him for 1 week and make a donation to Oxfam on his behalf. Listen to my podcast with him. He set up a website, sent out a press release and started to get calls from companies that were curious about what he had to offer. He is in his 6th week and has worked at a bungee jumping company, at 24 – the newspaper and this week he is going to be in the flower business in Edmonton. He explained, "Many people I have observed seem stuck in their jobs. I believed that it was possible to find a career that I could be passionate about, that would also be a great lifestyle – I just had to find it".
There are so many great lessons about what Sean is doing. I love his innovative approach. "I made a commitment to find my passion". I love that statement. He is serious about this and is taking smart action towards what he wants. He made this decision, set about a marketing plan and is letting the world know about him and his skills and what he is looking for. Rather than just posting his resume on a job board (I think job boards have their place by the way), or waiting for an employer to approach him as a new grad, he is taking his career along a path in which he has control. I admire his courage and his creativity. He said he thinks many people are afraid of that commitment as it comes with the cost of responsibility and dealing with your internal fears and beliefs. He is hitting those fears head on and the results have been terrific so far. Sean spoke about his journey so far – "I have grown so much. At first I was excited, but nervous. Would I get hired? Could I adjust to the different paths? I have come to realize how much my skills are transferable to so many sectors, just like my professors said".
Sean may be young, but his approach shows a lot of wisdom and creativity in identifying his own path. Our company is getting behind Sean’s journey. I am his official "career coach". We will be helping along the way and are providing him our Career Identity Program as well as other ongoing support. Stay tuned for Sean’s new job next week.
Along the road with you,