What is a Job Shadow?
A job shadow is a form of experiential learning where a student or individual is given the chance to observe a professional at work and gain insight into a career they are interested in. It is a hands-on way to learn without the pressure or expectations of being a permanent employee.
Benefits of a Job Shadow
- Gain real world experience
- Connect with potential employers
- Expose yourself to different job roles
- Gain a better understanding of the tasks and requirements of the job
- Learn directly from professionals
How Job Shadowing Works
Job shadowing typically includes attending regular meetings and events, interacting with colleagues, participating in informal conversations and examining job tools and techniques. It provides an opportunity for the job shadow to observe how the profession operates in real life, from the conversations that take place, the way people dress and how they interact with each other, to the technologies and resources used to get the job done.
Job shadowing can be informal, such as a one-day or even one-hour experience, or it can be a longer, more formalized experience. In an informal job shadowing arrangement, the job shadow is usually given a more personalized experience and may have an opportunity to submit questions and speak to the people they are shadowing.
A job shadow is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insight into a career path you are interested in. It allows you to see first-hand the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of a professional and to witness the activities and culture of an organization in practice. The main takeaway is that job shadowing can give you the experience and connections you need to move forward with your career goals.