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What hiring freeze? Man snags 50 jobs
By Josh Shannon
The News Journal
In this depressed job market, most people would be happy to land one job.
But not Daniel Seddiqui. Instead, the 2005 University of Southern California graduate is aiming for 50 jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks.
"You can only learn so much in the classroom," said Seddiqui, who majored in economics. "Learning about the different industries firsthand is really eye-opening."
Seddiqui, 27, who started his journey in September, was in Delaware this week working as an incorporating specialist for the Brandywine Hundred-based firm CorpCo, his 39th job.
He began the yearlong adventure, which he plans to turn into a book, when he had trouble getting a permanent job after college, bouncing around between jobs in five states. Eventually, he became fascinated with experiencing the cultures of each state.
In Florida, he was offered a full-time job managing a drug store chain, but by that time he already had decided he wanted to see the rest of the country.
He picked occupations that represented each of the 50 states — logger in Oregon, cheesemaker in Wisconsin, corn farmer in Nebraska — and found companies in each state willing to hire him. For most of his jobs, he has been paid.
"When I first started, people laughed at me and hung up the phone, but persistence paid off," Seddiqui said.
Because Delaware is known for its business-friendly laws, he contacted CorpCo, which helps firms from around the world incorporate their business in the state.
Christy Snow, a manager at CorpCo, said that when Seddiqui called the firm, one of her colleagues answered the phone. A "weird guy" who only wants to work for a week called, the colleague told her, advising her not to return the call.
But Snow recognized the story from seeing Seddiqui being interviewed on FOX News and called him back.
On Friday, Seddiqui was at his desk at CorpCo learning the job, which he said consists mostly of doing paperwork and using computer software.
He liked it much better than his job last week, working as a cook in a Baltimore seafood house.
"The restaurant industry is definitely not for me," he said.
On Sunday, he will head to Lancaster, Pa., to spend a week with an Amish family making furniture.
Growing up, Seddiqui traveled frequently, but still never got the opportunity to really experience the cultures in other states.
"You really have to see it to know it — you can't rely on stereotypes," said the Los Altos, Calif., native. "I used to wonder how people could live anywhere besides California, but now I wonder how people can live in California."
After sampling different areas of the country, he expects to settle down in either Chicago or Birmingham, Ala.
Several of the places he worked have offered him permanent jobs. He said he would be interested in being a high school football coach if the pay was better.
After his 50-week journey is over in September, he plans to work on his book, which he expects to be in stores by Christmas, and perhaps do a speaking tour. In fact, this week, he took advantage of his time at CorpCo to officially reserve the name of his business, Living the Map.
In most states, he had lived with a host family, making the experience more of a cultural immersion. In Delaware, he is staying at a hotel, but Snow and the rest of the CorpCo staff have showed him around the state.
He toured Wilmington and the University of Delaware campus and took a trip to Dover, where he met Gov. Jack Markell. The only thing left to do, he said Friday afternoon, was to experience traditional Delaware food, something he likes to do in each location he visits.
"For lunch, we're getting a Bobbie from Capriotti's," Snow said.
This article originally appeared in the June 20, 2009 edition of The News Journal.
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