• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

One year, 52 jobs: the man who spent 2013 job-hopping to find his dream role

A man who changed his job every week for a year to discover his dream role has finally settled on a career.

Matt Frost went the whole of 2013 without any time off, travelling the country to get a greater insight into future employment after having an epiphany while working as a shop manager 18 months ago.

The 30-year-old, arguably Britain's hardest-working job seeker, donated all his wages to charity at the end of every week, cashing in favours and living on sofas as he dipped into his savings undertaking his challenge.

His temporary colleagues included presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, as well as politician Tom Watson, while his "office" varied from a school classroom to a beef farm in freezing conditions.

Mr Frost, from Liskeard in Cornwall, managed to go the whole year without getting sacked or walking out - despite narrow escapes inadvertently discovering an "overly amorous couple in a lay-by" while working with police officers, and accidentally emptying a glass of red wine in a lady's handbag.

He said: "It's been probably the most rewarding, amazing thing I have ever had to do, but it has probably also been the toughest.

"It's not been the most glamorous of years - I've been sleeping on a lot of sofas, taking the cheapest possible buses, trying to group the jobs together. I can't complain, but it has been tough."

The former retail manager found himself at a crossroads in 2012 after a head injury at work forced him to consider his future.

He has managed to raise more than £10,000 for the Prince's Trust - one of his 52 temporary employers last year - although some charity placements were voluntary and did not contribute any wages.

"It's been an incredibly tight year," he said.

"I've been incredibly lucky that some places have paid for my lunches. Socially, it's been an interesting one. I've not been able to see friends I would normally spend time with and I have had to pass on a lot of IOUs to people for birthdays or presents - there's going to be a lot of catching up to do when I earn some money again."

Some of his more successful placements included time as presenter Phillip Schofield's personal assistant, as well as taking photographs of pop star Jessie J during her concert at the Eden Project.

Mr Frost said: "Carrying Phillip Schofield's lemon curd and hearing his stories with Holly Willoughby about his mother's Tupperware while in the dressing room at This Morning, learning to fillet fish alongside Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at River Cottage - it's been great."

But the year also threw up some less pleasant experiences.

"The first time you get hit as a stunt man, it's all right, but then you realise you're going to be hit 60 times that day rehearsing a fight scene - I am not really built for that," he said.

"We also found an 'overly amorous' couple in a lay-by while working with the police.

"There have been some jobs that have been tougher to get to grips with than others. Being a waiter - it wasn't a bad job, I was just very bad at it.

"It's the only place where I was looking at my watch and thinking how long have I got left - not because I wanted to get out of there, but because I didn't want to make any more mistakes.

"There were a couple of days I can remember specifically - like during the locksmith week - when I thought it was just going to be so hard to move and get on with things.

"As much as I had enthusiasm for this there were times when I did question the year, whether I could pull it off. Not just physically but kind of emotionally and mentally. But I think people respected I had gone 40-odd weeks without a rest and accommodated me."

Mr Frost said he is planning to spend "one or two weeks" with his family in Cornwall before following up on job offers received during a year which featured 52 bouts of first-day nerves.

And he has decided he would like to work in the computer games industry, having spent multiple placements in this sector. He said: "It's been an interesting year trying out so many different industries. The one I have enjoyed the most has been video games. It's been a phenomenal experience.

"I've discovered that a lot of these jobs are whether you get on with these people - if you have the same interests as your colleagues it makes a big difference.

"I wouldn't recommend trying a full 52 weeks of different jobs to people. I took it to an extreme and I set myself a challenge - maybe that knock on the head had something to do with deciding to do this."

For more information, visit princes-trust.org.uk or oneweekjob.com/uk.

Matt Frost's list of placements, which started working alongside his father in his home town of Cornwall, featured:

1 - Photographer - Rob Frost Photography, Liskeard, Cornwall

2 - PR assistant - Onshore Media, Plymouth, Devon

3 - Crowdfunding producer - Peoplefund.it, Newquay, Cornwall

4 - Beef farmer - Lower Dalton Farm, St Neot, Cornwall

5 - Journalist - The Sunday Times, London

6 - Film stuntman - stunts4reel, London

7 - Fundraising executive - The Prince's Trust, London

8 - Campaign manager - UK Together, Newquay, Cornwall

9 - Copywriter - Exchange Holiday Homes, Draynes, Cornwall

10 - Blacksmith - Kevin Gerry Gates and Railings, Longdowns, Cornwall

11 - Special needs teaching assistant - Woodlands Special Needs School, Plymouth, Devon

12 - Pizza delivery boy - Papa John's, London

13 - Marketing executive - Monster.co.uk, London

14 - Waiter - Le Bistro Pierre, Plymouth, Devon

15 - Picture framer - Studio 4 Framing, Liskeard Cornwall

16 - Outdoor instructor - Adrenalin Quarry, Menheniot, Cornwall

17 - Gardener / farmhand - River Cottage, Axminster, Devon

18 - Film director - Community Film Unit, Ashford, Surrey

19 - University lecturer - Plymouth University, Plymouth, Devon

20 - Graphic designer - Rilke, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

21 - Pub landlord - The Barley Sheaf, Liskeard, Cornwall

22 - Curator - The Science Museum, London

23 - Account executive - Flint PR, London

24 - Festival planner - Vision Nine, London

25 - Aquarium executive - National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, Devon

26 - Lighting technician - Sterts Theatre, Upton Cross, Cornwall

27 - Surf instructor - Wavehunters, Polzeath, Cornwall

28 - Horticulturist / press photographer - Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall

29 - IT technician - Infinite Computer Solutions, Cornwall

30 - Film journalist - Empire Magazine, London

31 - Radio presenter - BBC Radio Cornwall, Truro, Cornwall

32 - Production runner - Boardmasters Surf Festival, Newquay, Cornwall

33 - Estate agent - Early's Property Lettings, Liskeard, Cornwall

34 - Advertising creative - McCann, Birmingham, West Midlands

35 - Production co-ordinator - Topps, Milton Keynes

36 - Employment adviser - Job Centre Plus, Liskeard, Cornwall

37 - Locksmith - Southwest Locksmiths, St Cleer, Cornwall

38 - Personal assistant - Phillip Schofield, London

39 - Media relations executive - Eurogamer Expo, Earl's Court, London

40 - Policeman - Devon and Cornwall Police, Plymouth, Devon

41 - Builder - D&G General Builders, Liskeard, Cornwall

42 - Video producer - Mind Candy, Shoreditch, London

43 - Groundsman/ statistician - Aston Villa FC, Birmingham

44 - Zombie zone controller - 2.8 Hours Later, London

45 - Headteacher - St Cleer Primary School, St Cleer, Cornwall

46 - Video game developer - Lionhead Studios, Guildford, Surrey

47 - Social media co-ordinator - Cornish Tea Company Ltd, Looe, Cornwall

48 - Athlete liason - Freeze Festival, Clapham, London

49 - Librarian - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vauxhall, London

50 - MP in training - Parliament, Offices of Tom Watson, Westminster, London

51 - Presenter - Explosive Alan Productions, Borough, London

52 - Cornwall County Councillor - Truro, Cornwall

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.