Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Matt made career of changing jobs

Matt Frost, 29, from Cornwall, attempted to work 52 jobs in a year in order to find his new career (PA/oneweekjob.com/uk)
Matt Frost, 29, from Cornwall, attempted to work 52 jobs in a year in order to find his new career (PA/oneweekjob.com/uk)

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.

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