Job Shadowing is an opportunity for you to get a first hand look at the world of work by allowing you to see and participate in the workplace. Although the products or services provided by a workplace may differ, you still will have the opportunity to see your particular career interest.
How do I find a place where I can job shadow?
First, see if your school has a program already in existence to help you find a job: talk to your Career Center Specialist or teacher. You parents and their friends are great resources for opportunities to visit various workplaces. Ask your friends' parents. Perhaps you already know somebody in the field you are interested in - your veterinarian, garage mechanic, and cosmetologist; ask them if you could shadow them.
What should I do to prepare myself to job shadow?
Most importantly, get permission from your school to be absent for this special time. Learn more about the job you will be visiting by taking advantage of websites such as Career Cruising (see your career center specialist for a login and password) or Virginia Career View. Prepare a list of questions you would like to ask your host, including: required educational and work training, length person has been at job, explanation of the position, job responsibilities, and what the person likes and dislikes about the job.
Remember to dress and act professionally.
Post student evaluation reflections:
List what you did from the beginning of your workday until you left. Which parts of the job were the most interesting to you; what did you find boring? List interesting facts that you learned about the job that you didn't know before; did anything surprise you? Would you consider a career in this field? Are there other careers related to this field that you might now consider? What are you learning in school that will be helpful to this job? What knowledge and skills will you have to expand and strengthen to make you successful?
Remember to send a note thanking your host for the experience.
Career Connections Specialist
January 4, 2012