L-83 hosts man working 50 jobs in 50 states

Career-seeker Daniel Seddiqui, second from left, gets some first-hand experience with a tube beveling machine at Local 83 in Kansas City, Mo. From left are welding instructor Mike Anderson, Seddiqui, welding instructor Clayton “Lumpy” Knepp, and BM-ST Randy Cruse.

Daniel Seddiqui adds “boilermaker” to list of occupations for new book

LOCAL 83 (Kansas City, Mo.) hosted a most unusual guest the week of January 5-9 — a man who hopes to work 50 jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks.

Daniel Seddiqui, 26, began his remarkable quest last August after discovering that a degree in economics from the University of Southern California did not automatically translate into a job. After 40 fruitless job interviews and a few temporary positions, Seddiqui decided on a completely different approach to finding a career. He set out to travel the country, work a different job in each state, document his experiences, and write a book about various career paths.

By the time Seddiqui arrived in Missouri (week 17 in his quest), he had worked as a border guard in New Mexico, a logger in Oregon, a rodeo announcer in South Dakota, and in 13 other occupations. Seddiqui’s exploits have drawn the attention of national and local media, including CNN, Inside Edition (CBS), and World News Tonight (ABC).

The Los Altos, Calif., native wound up at Local 83 after his research indicated that boiler-making, blacksmithing, and welding were skills that are in some ways representative of work done in Missouri. A Google search on the Internet led him to the Boilermakers’ Web site, and ultimately to contact L-83 BM-ST Randy Cruse.

“One of the things I’ve been impressed with is that he is doing this out of his own pocketbook,” Cruse said.

Some of Seddiqui’s one-week stints pay him a wage, others are on a volunteer basis.

Cruse said his local brought Seddiqui in to the lodge for some “entry-level training,” including basic welding and tube beveling. “We also took him on a tour of our national training center in Kansas City, Kan., and to our International headquarters there. We introduced him to the folks at MOST, the Construction Division, and various departments. We even arranged for him to travel onsite to a power plant and shadow one of our members on the job.”

Seddiqui maintains a blog site — www.livingthemap.com — where he chronicles his experiences. “I get like 30,000 hits every day,” he said.

On his trip to the local power plant, he accompanied a crew from Associated Mechanical, Inc. (Olathe, Kan.) that was working a boiler outage. Writing for his blog, Seddiqui recalled: “I don’t think I could ever get comfortable working at the heights” Boilermakers work at. “The boiler at this plant was around 450 feet high. The most impressive part of the day was how these larger Boilermakers [larger than Seddiqui’s six-foot-two, 150-lb. frame] can fit into the entrance of the boiler. I could barely fit inside.”

So what does Seddiqui think about a career as a construction Boilermaker? “It seems like everybody enjoys what they’re doing,” he said. “And the benefits are phenomenal.”