What you need to know about job shadowing

If you haven't decided on a career path, job shadowing could help you discover the way forward.

Whether you are in high school or have started a college level programme it's never too early or too late to find out more about a prospective career.

While books and guidance counsellors can offer you some insight into work opportunities sometimes the best way to find the right job is to gain some real-world experience.

In the video entitled “Job Showing” you can learn how to successfully initiate and complete your own job shadowing experience.

What is job shadowing?

This is why job shadowing is so important. “Job shadowing is great way to learn what to expect...” You will discover what a typical day is like in your chosen profession.

You can learn about the type of skills, personality and qualities required for the job. You can also learn about the practical elements associated with the job. Things like general work hours or whether you will be expected to work in a team or on your own.

“ you'll pick up some inside info that might come in handy in future interviews.”

The goal is to find out if the job or industry is a good match for you.

How does it work?

Firstly you will need to identify a professional that you can interview.

You can do this by researching companies in your area or by asking friends, family or faculty members to connect you with people in your prospective career.

Once you find a suitable profeionsal call them and ask to spend some time in their workplace. Job shadowing can be completed within a few hours or a few days depending on the availability of the people involved.

It might be a good idea to request job shadowing during quieter periods in the year. Decide on a date, time and place to meet.

Remember to be professional at all times when dealing with business people, arrive on time and dress appropriately.

While you are there you should take the opportunity to interview your contact person and check out the work environment as much as possible.

What questions should you ask?

The experience of meeting with a professional person at their workplace can be intimidating so be prepared and think about you want to learn.

Here are some questions to start you off:

What are your work hours?
Do you work alone or in teams?
What skills do you need?
Is it a busy or laid-back environment?
What kind of person would enjoy this work?
What don't you like about your job?

What happens after job-shadowing?

Once you have left the workplace take time to reflect on the experience. Did you enjoy it? Can you see yourself working in these conditions? Do you know what is needed to be successful in this industry?

Remember to thank the interviewee for their time. “Keep in contact with this person if you are interested in working in their area of expertise. Look for other work or job shadowing opportunities if you are not.

If this is not the job for you don't become despondent, it only means you are that much closer to finding your dream job.

For more insights watch

Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing