How to Use Job Shadowing to Boost Your Career
Job shadowing can help you find new opportunities that are good for your career. This activity is often used to help those in high school and college. However, established professionals can also benefit from job shadowing.
Consider these ideas to enhance your career with job shadowing:
- Explore new possibilities. Job shadowing allows you to explore new fields with little risk. You can try new career areas and discover a new way of looking at work. Shadowing a job helps you focus on the positive and negative aspects of the opportunity, and a commitment is not necessary. If you’re thinking of entering a new field, then job shadowing is an easy way to see how it fits your current skills and needs.
- First-hand experience can help you narrow down choices. By being in the workplace and seeing the daily interactions and tasks of someone with a particular job, you can make decisions that better support your goals.
- Dress appropriately. Ask questions before the job shadowing begins so you can dress appropriately for the position. Does the office follow a business casual look? Or does everyone wear a suit and tie? By dressing the same way, you’ll blend in better and gain more respect. You’ll also discover if you’re comfortable with the dress code.
- Discover the details. Job shadowing gives you a unique chance to ask those involved questions about their career and work-life balance. Your questions matter. This is the chance to show the office your ideas and skills. Although it’s important to ask questions, they need to be related to the work being performed.
- Stay open to changes. Job shadowing can involve more than sitting in an office all day and watching others work. You may be asked to join them in meetings at restaurants or attend events at other offices. It’s important to keep your schedule open and accept changes. These may be unique opportunities that offer your career an incredible boost.
- Bring a lot of unique business cards. Offer a card to everyone you meet at the job shadowing opportunity. In addition, consider making them unique, so people will remember you.
- Take notes. You can use a digital device or a traditional notebook. You may be presented with a great deal of information and ideas as you job shadow. Notes can help you keep track of the important points. You can also use them to keep a list of your questions. Taking notes shows other workers you’re interested in the job and want to learn more. Although taking notes can help you, pay attention to the policies in the office. If notes are avoided during certain meetings to protect client privacy, then you’ll need to follow this.
- Send a hand-written thank you note to multiple people. Although online communication is faster and easier, hand-written thank you notes show you care about the opportunity and are grateful for it. Taking the time to write a note by hand is important. Also, sending notes to more than one person matters. All of the people who took the time to help you or answer questions deserve a note. People in power also deserve a note, so they will remember you with fondness.
Job shadowing offers you the chance to experience a new field and learn more about a career. Taking full advantage of this opportunity will help lead you down the path to success in your chosen field.