Tips for Job Shadowing

February 14, 2024

Job shadowing is a career-exploration activity that allows you to spend time observing a professional doing their job in real time. It is a great way to decide if the day-to-day responsibilities are appealing to you. Usually, job shadow opportunities last a few hours or one work day; they are not long-term opportunities. It is important to make the most of your time.

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

The easiest way to set up a job shadow is to contact companies or organizations directly. School counselors, local chambers of commerce, and colleges’ career centers can also help you arrange a job shadow.

Before your job shadow, make sure to do your research. The organization’s website is always a good place to start. Be familiar with the products or services the employer offers. Be ready to discuss your career goals and interests. Ask what to wear to the job shadow in advance. Depending on the work environment, the required dress can vary. Prepare questions to ask the employer in advance. Plan to arrive 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 through the Internet. Stay off your phone and give the job shadowing experience your full attention.

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

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