16 May 2008

Career experiments

We're living in a bit difficult times when it comes to career choices. As kids we have those illustrated books about jobs and we see: teacher, doctor, stewardess, shoemaker, butcher, baker, tailor. This list has very little to do with the real world. In high school, most people still have no idea of what to do in life and in college, they start finding out what they like to do but still often don't know how to make a career out of it.

That was the case of 26-year old Sean Aiken. After graduating as valedictorian of his class from British Columbia's Capilano College, he didn't know what he wanted to do and decided to try one job a week for a year. He blogged about it on his website during the whole year. The thing is that, as far as I know, he still doesn't know what he wants to do.

Now a slightly unrelated, but really inspiring story. Adam Shepard decided to try te american dream and start life with only one gym bag of personal belongings and 25$ (literally - he slept in a homeless shelter at the beginning). Ten months later, he had an apartment, a car, and $5000 of savings. You can read interviews with him here and here, as well as his own book.

The last, but biggest, career experiment I'd like to mention, is called "Vocation Vacations". It's a project that lets you get an internhip at your dream job to see if it really is your dream. Here's an article about it. Too bad it U.S./U.K. only. There's no programming category, no cryptologist either. But, one of my dream jobs is chocolate taster, and there is a chocolatier position:
Package: Two days of one-on-one mentorship in your dream job as a Chocolatier
Price: $999 per person
Besides chocolate taster, my other dream job it stylist in a magazine. You get to pick clothes and take pictures of them (but this part of the work is done by a photographer) and where do the clothes go afterwards? Here we go, fashion stylist:
Package: Two days of one-on-one mentorship in your dream job as a Style Expert
Price: $1149 per person
Finally, songwriter. There are quite a few positions as songwriter and music publisher, all about 2000$. Yep, the internships are paid, but the other way around. Still, it's a great opportunity to try our dream job, so I guess it's worth it.

[Update] I just learned about a very similar French project for students called Pro d'un jour.[/Update]

So I was saying we were living in a bit difficult times because it's so hard to find one's way in life. But, on the other hand, we're living in times when we can literally do whatever we want, and that's awesome.

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