MY EXPERIENCE JOB SHADOWING + TIPS

Sunday, June 10, 2018

if you aren't sure what you'd like to do as a career, or even do know, job shadowing might be something that would really help you either way. its an experience I totally recommend! (jsyk I can't say every experience will be wonderful and amazing. but i'm super grateful mine has been <3)

(and if you are curious, I've been shadowing at my local Opthalmology. so, this is based on my experience there. if you do or have shadowed, I hope it is/was as great of an experience as mine!)
WHAT IS JOB SHADOWING?
job shadowing is when you go to somewhere and hang around and observe someone doing the job that you might like to do someday

WHY SHOULD YOU DO IT?
bc its a great way to learn if you'd even like that sort of job without spending or investing loads of time into something!

HOW DO I FIND SOMEWHERE TO SHADOW?
first, figure out what you are interested in - whatever it may be. Then find a local business. Go there in person if you can and ask someone there if they'd be willing to let you shadow for a couple days. asking doesn't hurt one bit, the least they can say is no. that's all I did - there was nothing online or anywhere about any shadowing but I just went there and asked and they said yes!

DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD SHADOW?
if you weren't quite sure what you'd like to do, like me, there are websites online with loads of jobs and job descriptions. write down anything that remotely interests you, and see if there is anywhere that you can locally shadow. who knows, you may end up liking something!
TIPS FOR JOB SHADOWING

  • be confident in your hand-shaking. Be the first to offer, if you can. Show confidence. and when meeting people, introduce yourself with your full name. Sometimes I would explain I was shadowing and why I was interested if my mentor hadn't already
  • make and keep eye contact
  • listen well and take mental notes
  • do NOT be afraid to ask questions. Ask loads of them! And, pre-think questions you want to ask
  • tell them about yourself and what you do, but don’t go super personal. Be real to them and memorable.
  • ask serious questions for things you actually want to know
  • thank the people you are shadowing for letting you do it! Show appreciation for the time they are taking on you
  • ask yourself why you are here and why you want to do this. Cuz they’ll ask it too, and it’s a good thing to know!
  • blend in and don’t be obnoxious (after all, they do have work to do), but show you are interested and ask questions for things you legit want to know. show them your interest!
  • Learn and remember peoples names that work there. This is a tough one to do if there are a lot of people, but try. Sometimes I’d reintroduce myself to people knowing they likely don’t remember my name and probably feel it awkward to ask. One doctor calls me the “Sarah with the H” lolol
  • Be real. Be professional, but yourself.
  • Ask them what they did to get in this position, what they did for college, and what they would recommend you do. They’ve done this. They have wisdom to share, so ask! And ask everyone you can
QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • why and how did you get into this field?
  • would you recommend it?
  • what do you love/dislike about it?
  • how would you recommend i go about getting into this sort of position?
  • what qualities and skills do you think i should have to work in this sort of job?
  • what kind of college/classes did you do?
  • what would you say your "job duties" are?
  • and then normal questions that stem off from whatever you are talking about. such as, "would you say this is the normal busyness?, was this hard for you to learn?' etc,. these question will obv depend on what you are shadowing

- - - - - - -

And as a note, even if you aren’t sure if you’d want to work in a certain field it’s ok to try it. You aren’t committed. It’s just trying something out. You may go into something thinking it’s your dream job, and maybe you find out it isn’t. Or the opposite. You never know. Just ask, and try. I REALLY recommend this - especially before you spend loads on college. 


(i'm really grateful to my parents for helping me figuring all this stuff out and taking the time to care about me and my future. love you both so much! <3) so far I've really been enjoying my time job shadowing. I haven't decided completely yet, but this time has really been helpful. even if I decide in the end that it isn't for me, the experience alone has been so worthwhile and amazing!


HAVE YOU OR WOULD YOU JOB SHADOW?
WHAT FIELD/CAREER ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?

17 comments

  1. AWESOME!! I would love to job shadow and I think there are some places that I would like to job shadow at. This post is so unique! I love it! It's perfect for summer. An awesome "I didn't think of that" thing to do!
    Simply Me

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    1. that would be so great!! i'd totally ask around and do it if you can. aww thank you so much!! it took a bit to write, simply bc I had so much info but haha here it is XD

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  2. Such good tips! and not something people usually blog about, so thank you, Sarah! I interned (which is slightly higher involvement than shadowing, but p much the same thing) last summer at a place that I thought I wouldn't be really interested in, and now I might be studying that in college! Getting a little experience is super valuable!

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    1. I agree, which was part of the reason I decided to post on it. and yup, I'm also looking into possibly interning for a bit. but we'll see XD and i'm so glad that your experience helped you!! that's amazing

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  3. Oh, this was super interesting, Sarah! I'd actually NEVER heard of job shadowing before you mentioned it... (I bet they call it something else in Australia. Or maybe I just live under a rock. :P) That's a super interesting place to job shadow at, too! Ophthalmology... wow. (What a mouthful, haha.)

    I would definitely consider job shadowing... although I would definitely be terrified to go in and ask. :P But as it is, I don't really need to at the moment. I actually got a job recently! (wahoo!) My elder sister works at a cafe, and I've ALWAYS wanted to be a waitress at a cafe... it's actually our friends who own the cafe, and they were short on staff, so I went in for a bit of a trial day, decided I liked it, they decided they could use me, and now I get to work 2 days a week! Admittedly, most of the time is spent doing dishes, but I do get to do "waitressing" and helping with the food and drink. I love the Hospitality industry. :) And actually, I did ask a lot of questions like the ones you mentioned - as I'm learning my way around it, I'm almost shadowing the other staff members, haha. But anyhow, that was super exciting, so now I can work and finish off my school at the same time. :D

    Good job on working towards what you want to do! My hat is off to you. :)

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    1. really?? ohh well yeah that's probably it. i do know that people do it over there (youtube, lolol). well, thanks!

      it is slightly scary, but really, people are usually very interested in helping other teens out. more than you would think! and go you!! it def takes an extroverted person for that type of job, and if you love it, do it! and i'm glad you were able to do a trial day. starting out two days a week is also super nice (especially while still in school)

      thank you!! <3

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  4. A great post, full of excellent tips! So true! Job shadowing is important to finding a possible career or job.

    Livvy

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    1. so glad you enjoyed it, Livvy! its so true..an option that many more people should think about and do!

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  5. really loved this!
    i'm pursuing a degree in communications & criminology right now, but i really have certain clue what i actually want to do. job shadow-ing may be a good way to get my feet wet!

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    1. so glad!! <3 oh wooww, that is super neat. i'd REALLY recommend job shadowing in some related area to your degree. do it now, and really ask others what you want to know about it. it answers so many questions to be there in legit life. ask around -- job shadowing can only be a day or two if you'd like, and it makes a huge difference! it can either empower you to keep going and drive a love, or show you that maybe there might be something else for you <3

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  6. Thanks for this helpful post, Sarah! It sounds like your job shadowing experience was very valuable to you. :)I think it's a great idea! I haven't job shadowed, because the area I'm interested in (and have now studied) is counselling, so I can't shadow because of confidentiality, etc. But I really wish I could, because it would be great to see someone more experienced in action!

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    1. of course, Jess! it really was..i'm so grateful for the experience i've had. ohh true. well, with that, maybe you could get together for a bit or communicate with another counselor and still ask some of these sort of questions/get advice. i'm sure even that would be really helpful!

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  7. I agree with your post Sarah! As a college graduate, I also recommend doing this before going to college. Although, I hadn't done this before but I heard this from a friend and I think it will really help especially to those who still doesn't know what career to pursue.

    Have a nice day :) Great tips btw!

    Life in Sugar & Spice

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    1. same! i'll be a senior this fall, so i'm super glad i'm doing this now. its good to get your feet wet and start thinking about things before you are graduated fro sure! haha, that about sums up me XD

      thank you and same to you! <3

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  8. AMAZING post, Sarah! Thanks for sharing such incredible advice. I've recently been thinking about how important it is to ask questions, too, so it's really neat to hear your thoughts on it. (and those are GREAT questions!) ☺

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    1. awh, thanks, Grace! it really is..questions are good things I'm realizing, as long as you really want to know the answer. I think people can really tell the difference. so glad you liked it!! <3

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  9. Ok literally did not know job shadowing was a thing but that's so cool!

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

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