100 Jobs in One Year

By Claire Gordon

A year ago, Dave Herman was just another one of the thousands of struggling actors in New York City, picking up odd jobs to make ends meet. Today, he's a master of productivity, a philosopher of motivation, a self-appointed self-help guru, and full-time brand ambassador. What happened in 2012? Herman had 100 jobs.

Millions of Americans would be thankful to find just one job right now, and Herman now knows how it's done. To complete his project -- 100 jobs in one year -- Herman was a night receptionist, an electrician, a script reader, a bartender, a newspaper boy, a dog walker, and a professional laugher. He also handed out a lot of fliers. With the help of a couple of temp agencies, the website TaskRabbit (where people advertise odd jobs), and friends, Herman completed the challenge, 20 minutes before midnight, as a correspondent on "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly."

The 27-year-old New Jersey native now has a full-time job at a marketing company, as well as tons of exposure (including on the "Today" show, and in a newspaper in Croatia), which is obviously good for an aspiring actor. And he's picked up some good tricks for finding work.

1. Temping isn't always temporary. A lot of Herman's work came through temp agencies, which was perfect for his assignment. The gigs would last just a day or two or three, and then he'd move on to the next one. But sometimes those companies would keep hiring him back for different assignments. (For Herman's purposes, they had to be different, or it would violate his self-imposed rule.) And through networking on those jobs he found more jobs. Herman even had to quit one, because it became so full-time that he didn't have the time to do other random jobs.

2. Expand your options. For Herman's first job as a street musician, he stood on the cold January streets of Midtown Manhattan and played the saxophone -- an instrument that he'd been learning for approximately eight months. "I know a lot of people were judging me, critiquing me, and that's scary," he said. But people stood and listened, they smiled, they waved, and they gave him a few coins.