Tips for a Successful Job-Shadowing Experience

November 21, 2016

Job shadowing allows an individual the opportunity to observe and work alongside an experienced worker to help gain insight into their particular work area. Job shadows typically last a few hours or a full day. Some companies offer job shadows that last for several days.

Along with informational interviews and internships, job shadows can help you learn about different occupations, which can lead to informed decisions about career choices.

During a job shadow, you will learn firsthand the role and the responsibilities of an employee and may perform simple tasks, and interact with the staff.

Most students directly contact companies or organizations they would like to job shadow with and arrange job shadowing themselves. School counselors, local chambers of commerce, and colleges' career centers can also help you arrange a job shadow.

Before a job shadow, research the employer, industry and the career field you are interested in. Be familiar with the products or services the employer offers. Be ready to discuss your career goals and interests. Prepare questions in advance. Take your notes compiled from your research that went into setting up the job shadow. Plan to arrive ten minutes early on your job shadow day.

When job shadowing, it is important to act professionally. Stay focused on your host's job and career field. Be thoughtful of the host's time constraints. Try not to ask questions that can be easily found on internet.

After the job shadow, be sure to thank your host by sending an email or a handwritten note.

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