The Guy Who's Working 52 Jobs in a Year Sean Aiken is on a quest to have 52 jobs in a year. Now on week 36, he's been a tattoo artist, a brewmaster and a bunjee jump instructor.
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The Guy Who's Working 52 Jobs in a Year

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The Guy Who's Working 52 Jobs in a Year

The Guy Who's Working 52 Jobs in a Year

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I got to say that probably my least favorite part of any job - and I have had a lot of them - plumber's assistant, burger jockey, a caterer, day laborer, Tupperware sales, NPR host. My least favorite part of any job is the first week because you don't know how to do anything, right?



BURBANK: It's not that you're a stupid person. It's just that you don't know where the non-dairy creamer goes in the break room of this particular blockbuster video store, right? And so that's sort of feeling of not knowing (unintelligible) is to meet the absolute worst.


BURBANK: So what if every week of your life, at least for a year, was your first week on a job?

Well, our next guest knows a little bit about that. Sean Aiken. He's embarked on a project this year called One Week Job. His goal is to work a different job every week for a year. He's on job 36. Is that right? So far, you…

STEWART: You have to say yes, Sean.


STEWART: It can't be a nod.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: Well, yeah, exactly, exactly. Just - use hand signs actually. This is a pantomime broadcast so that's good…

Mr. AIKEN: Yeah. That will work well.

BURBANK: So far you've designed T-shirts, you've tried your hand at being a tattoo artist, a brewmaster, a bungee jumping instructor, most humiliating probably, you worked at a radio station…

Mr. AIKEN: That was incredibly excruciating.

BURBANK: Yeah, I know, I know. Believe me, I'm living it.

Mr. AIKEN: Tough gig yet.

BURBANK: Sean Aiken, welcome to the show. First of all, how old are you?

Mr. AIKEN: I'm 26.

BURBANK: Okay, what was your last gig?

Mr. AIKEN: My last gig I'm just still doing it. Actually, I'm a photographer this week in New York. So after I…

BURBANK: Where's your camera?

Mr. AIKEN: …do the interview here I'll be going to a photo shoot.

BURBANK: So this is actually - I have to say, you have this good Web site that has these great video productions of all the stuff you've been doing, all these different jobs you've tried.

Mr. AIKEN: Yeah.

BURBANK: My beef is I don't see you doing any work in any of these videos. You're talking about designing T-shirts, you're looking at T-shirts that are on it, you're talking to people who designed T-shirts then you fold like one T-shirt and then you're, like, well, that was my week.

Mr. AIKEN: Yeah.

BURBANK: Are you actually working?

Mr. AIKEN: I am, you know, the reality is that, I guess, just do people really want to see working as that much. So it kind of where the episodes that are both seven and 10 minutes long on the Web site, so we did a little both, kind of, you know, having fun on the job and also, you know, the not so highlights, you know, the not to…

BURBANK: But you are actually doing some work?

Mr. AIKEN: Yes, yes, I am.

STEWART: You can see this is a point with him. He wants…

Mr. AIKEN: I am.

STEWART: …to make sure you're working.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. AIKEN: I am. So one of my toughest weeks of work…

BURBANK: Mm-hmm.

Mr. AIKEN: …would be picking cattails for 12 hours out in a swamp. That was…

BURBANK: What was the job?

Mr. AIKEN: That was picking cattails in the swamp.

BURBANK: That was the name of the store(ph).

STEWART: That's the name of the (unintelligible).

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. AIKEN: I think that's what they call it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Where was that?

BURBANK: What do you want to be when you grow up?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. AIKEN: That was just outside of Montreal, Canada.

BURBANK: So how exactly did you come up with this project?

Mr. AIKEN: That is, yeah, I graduated college. I had no idea what I'm going to do for a career. So instead of just kind of taking the first job that came along and has taken six months to a year to figure out, you know, if this is the right fit for me. Thought I want to, first of all, go out there and learn what I need in a career to be happy first. And so I came up with the idea to go out there and do a whole bunch of different jobs and learn about the characteristics.

BURBANK: What was the most surprisingly soul-crushing job so far?

Mr. AIKEN: The soul-crushing job - maybe yoga instructor.

BURBANK: Really? That seems like you'd be all namaste and you have dreadlocks. I mean, it's, like, it should be a (unintelligible).

Mr. AIKEN: Yeah, you think so. I mean, going into that week was incredibly difficult because I never step foot inside of a yoga studio before, and that was a big challenge. That was kind of a little humiliating and humbling.

STEWART: That down dog kicked your butt.

BURBANK: Is it because it was physically really hard to do?

Mr. AIKEN: Both, you know, both not having ever done it before and actually yoga is incredibly difficult. You know, you don't really think so. It is relaxing, but it's difficult at the same time. So that week consisted of doing, you know, six hours a day of yoga and learning as much as I could about it and then, you know, the Friday to go in there and teach classes all day.

BURBANK: The first question that comes to a lot of people's mind: Are you getting paid for this from these people? What's the deal with that?

Mr. AIKEN: Many (unintelligible) company is going to pay me. They make a draft donation to the One campaign. It's…

BURBANK: What's the One campaign?

Mr. AIKEN: That One campaign is to make part of the history so they're aimed at to end global poverty.

BURBANK: All right. Well here's the question of why we brought you here, Sean. We are down, like, three producers on the show as much as management says we're not. We could really use some help. Would you consider working on THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT for one of your weeks?

Mr. AIKEN: I definitely would. Yeah. This is week 36. I have another, if my math is correct, 16 weeks left to go. Yeah, I love to.

BURBANK: Okay, seriously, in some time before your weeks are up, you're going to work for the BPP?

Mr. AIKEN: Cool.

BURBANK: All right. The first…

Mr. AIKEN: I'll probably be doing that.

BURBANK: …thing you want to learn about radio is that when the clock says 18 seconds left, it means the hour is almost over.

STEWART: And I like my coffee with skimmed milk.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Just so you know.

Mr. AIKEN: Yeah.

BURBANK: So now that we're down to 11 seconds, I would have to tell everybody you've been listening to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

Thank you so much. And keep looking out for Sean Aiken here on the BPP. That's coming up.

Thanks again. We'll see you real soon.


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