On November 3, Sean Aiken spoke to the Riverside grade 9’s about his year long journey around North DSC_0092America in 2008 where he got a new job every week and how it changed his life for the better.
Aiken spoke about the jobs he did and the challenges he faced while travelling around North America. Aiken now shares his journey through presentations at high schools. “What’s great about high school students is that there’s an openness and a willing to learn and so it’s a real privilege and it’s a real responsibility as well, to know that they are listening and not only listening, but watching how I carry myself,” said Aiken.
He tried many career paths such as teaching, firefighting, stock trading, and instructing yoga. Aiken said that the most difficult job physically, was a firefighter and the most difficult job mentally, a stock trader. “I had a business administration degree, so I thought I understood finance and could handle it, but when it was dealing with other people’s money and their livelihood on the line, in my hand at the click of a button, it was extremely stressful. I ended up losing $1000.00 in the market, but luckily the stock trader knew what he was doing and was able to earn it back by the end of the day,” said Aiken.
Some of the jobs he did were more motivational and ‘eye-opening’ than others. At week 19, Aiken was working as a fundraiser for cancer research in Toronto. Aiken said that this job was really rewarding because he could see how the people working with him were connected to the purpose behind their work.
Aiken wants the grade 9’s to realize that not knowing what you want to be when you grow up or what kind of job you would like is okay. “Sean Aiken has helped me realize that it’s okay, that I don’t know what I want to be when I’m older but that there will be opportunity if you are open to them,” said Isabelle Trainor.
Aiken was able to complete the trip with a sponsor covering all travelling expenses. As for the money he earned at the jobs, he donated it all to the Make Poverty History campaign. If you would like to donate click here.