Job shadowing entails spending quality time observing an expert at work. You could improve your knowledge of the expert’s specific profession by observing them over working days to many months.
Learn more about how the process works, the advantages it offers, and how you should make preparations if you plan to shadow someone else.
What is job shadowing?
Job shadowing is a functional way to gain knowledge about a specific job and discover what it entails. Following an expert in the field who does the work, you wish to complete could be eye-opening because you are given a 360° perspective of all that it entails.
It could be extremely beneficial in determining whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the position. You can observe the required soft and hard skills, in addition to how tasking or challenging the profession is.
Many shadowing possibilities only last one full working day, whereas some may last several days. Regardless of how long the experience lasts, it’s your opportunity to inquire about concerns regarding the job, acquire new knowledge as well as create a positive impression that could lead to future employment.
Given how long you shadow a staff, you may very well gain knowledge about job-related skill sets. Some staff will allow you to ask more questions during the day or after the experience.
Job shadowing could be planned unofficially or as a part of structured activities organized by a college or university.
How Does Job Shadowing Work?
While each experience will differ based on the kind of profession, the precise goal of the training, as well as other characteristics, entails following and watching a staff all through their daily task. During training, some individuals take on a more hands-on role and perform several duties.
Job shadowing could be planned unofficially or as a part of structured activities organized by a high college or university.
A professional job shadowing program could typically be found via your high school counselor or your university’s career counseling office. Colleges and universities could also keep a record of former students many of whom are prepared to let students shadow them on the job.
If you are unable to locate a defined process through your school, you may consult with a college counselor for assistance in locating a shadowing opportunity or connecting with individuals in your network. Some big corporations and federal organizations also provide students with job shadowing opportunities.
If you’ve been considering a career change, job shadowing could be beneficial. Begin by going to meet with a career coach or contacting your school’s career counseling desk, if one is available to old students. Alternatively, you could simply contact your professional network, relatives, and friends to determine whether you could spend an entire day at the office with them.
The Advantages of Job Shadowing
- Job shadowing could be beneficial in a variety of ways, such as determining the extent to which you’d appreciate and be enthusiastic about a job. You’ll also discover whether your skill sets complement the profession field of interest and if your skill sets from university or past employment could transfer to this job.
- Because job shadowing is a brief encounter, it could be an excellent method of determining whether you would like to pursue a career choice before submitting applications for jobs or internships. Job shadowing could assist you in determining if you would like to pursue a profession by providing a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a professional. It may also help you figure out whether you possess the necessary collection of soft and hard skills to perform the job.
- Job shadowing also allows you to make connections in your desired chosen profession. When you shadow a professional who is knowledgeable in their line of work, you can learn valuable things as you start to search for and submit applications for positions and internships. Job shadowing could also be a fantastic way to connect with individuals who are employed in or intend to find employment in your industry. Creating professional relationships is critical if you possess little experience.
- It is an excellent method of giving interns and staff helpful professional experience. In contrast to internship programs that only require conducting simple, routine jobs, this form of on-the-job training could assist interns to discover new techniques while also gaining knowledge of the profession and the position.
- Job shadowing is a far more rewarding experience than having to read job requirements or attend an explanatory workshop on the job position. Job shadowing gives new staff practical experience, hands-on knowledge, and a deep understanding of an important job position or role.
Pointers for Interns and Employees on Job Shadowing
As an intern or employee, it is critical to make the most of a job shadowing opportunity. Below are some pointers to enable you to get the most out of your training:
- Organize Your Schedule
Choose a time you’ll be able to maintain. If you’re a student, this could be during the warmer months, early summer, or winter holidays. Moreover, you should also take into account the job. For instance, if you would like to shadow an educator, it’s going to be more difficult to locate somebody available during the summer.
- Make preparations and carry out research
Before you show up for the job shadowing, double-check the location, the time you have to arrive and also how it will take you to get there, and the dress code. A suit may be necessary if you are job shadowing in an advisory or legal office; alternatively, smart casual attire is possible to be better suitable.
The organization dictates how officially you should dress. Meanwhile, you would like to leave a good first impression, so ensure the outfits you wear are appropriate for the occasion. Given that you are going to someone’s place of work, you must look presentable, which varies based on the position and sector. While in hesitation, seek advice from your counselor, or even the individual you are shadowing.
Discover everything possible about the organization, including how they operate which products they sell, who its customers are, as well as what its aims are. Examine the LinkedIn profile of the individual you’ll be shadowing. Planning some great research-based questions is also likely to wow the boss.
Also, consider what you’re able to contribute to the organization and what you hope to gain from the job shadowing experience.
- Ask questions
You may not always be capable of asking questions as they come to mind. If this is the circumstance, make a note of it and ask them afterward. Bring a notebook and pen with you as well. During your training, you should take some notes and write down any questions you have. Bring a notebook or a smartphone or tablet, to ensure you could do this.
You would most likely be allowed to ask the worker questions regarding the job, so make preparations in advance. You need to also be prepared to discuss your career aspirations, prior employment or internships, and the reasons you’re seeking the position.
- Take responsibility.
Inquire if you could assist with any duties; this may enable you to learn the required skills for this particular profession and what you should anticipate in this kind of position.
- Concentrate on creating a favorable first impression.
How you communicate with the individuals you come across will ascertain how much you benefit from your job shadowing experience. Introduce yourself respectfully to everybody you encounter, discuss the reason you’re there, and make eye contact. Send them a special thank you note or email at the end to leave a lasting impression.
- Write notes
Ideally, you’ll gain a great deal throughout your job shadowing experience, and you probably even recollect it all the following day or week. Take some notes to help you remember details, or document your observations as voice messages.
- Select a suitable time
Choose a time that is convenient for you. If you’re a student, this may be during the summer or some other spare time during the year. Job shadowing could be difficult to fit in, so consider your schedule as well as the industry.
What does job shadowing entail?
- Direct observation of customer meetings and conversations
- Complete workplace duties or assist with projects.
- Perform information interview sessions with professionals and administrators.
- Keep track of the responsibilities and duties of a particular profession.
- Take a look around the property.
- Evaluate the organization’s mission/vision declaration and organizational charts
- Fully comprehend the company’s procedures and guidelines.
- Analyze the existing professional development programs.
- Learn about career opportunities in the organization and career.
- Work collaboratively with major performers in the company.