benefits of job shadowing

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Benefits of Job Shadowing – Professional Development

Ever wish you could get a sneak peek into a day in the life of someone in your dream job? Well, you can- it’s called job shadowing! It’s like getting a backstage pass to the working world, giving you a firsthand look at what it’s really like to do a particular job.


But the benefits of job shadowing go way beyond just getting a glimpse into someone else’s workday. It’s a powerful tool that can help you make informed career decisions, gain valuable skills, and boost your confidence.


Whether you’re a student exploring career development options, someone considering a career change, or just curious about different professions, job shadowing has something to offer you.


Organisations that implement job shadowing programs experience a significant increase in employee engagement, with 89% reporting positive results. So, what exactly are these benefits and what are the best practices to get them? Let’s dig in and find out how job shadowing can be your ticket to a brighter future!


What is Job Shadowing?

What exactly is job shadowing? It’s a bit like being a fly on the wall but in a good way! You spend a day (or sometimes a few hours) observing someone in your dream job or a field you’re curious about. You might tag along to meetings, watch them do their day-to-day tasks, and even get a chance to ask questions.


Think of it as a real-world sneak peek into a particular profession. It’s not about getting hired or doing the work yourself- it’s about learning, observing, and soaking up the atmosphere of a workplace.


The benefits of job shadowing are huge, whether you’re a student figuring out your career path, someone thinking about a career change, or just curious about different jobs and job search strategies. You can taste different roles and industries, figure out if the job is really what you want, and even make valuable connections.


3 Examples of Job Shadowing

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of job shadowing with some real-world examples. This will give you a better idea of how it works and how you can tap into the benefits of job shadowing:


Student Job Shadowing

A college student considering a career in marketing might shadow a marketing manager at a local company. They’ll attend meetings, learn about different campaigns, and even get a glimpse into the day-to-day tasks involved in the role.


Career Change Job Shadowing

Someone working in finance who’s interested in switching to human resources might shadow an HR specialist for a day. This could involve sitting in on interviews, learning about employee benefits, and seeing how HR handles various workplace issues.


Professional Development Job Shadowing

Even experienced professionals can benefit from job shadowing. An engineer might shadow a project manager to better understand how projects are planned and executed. This could help them improve their own project management skills and potentially open up new career opportunities.


Remember, these are just a few examples of job shadowing. The possibilities are endless, and the benefits of job shadowing can be tailored to your specific interests and goals. 


5 Benefits of Job Shadowing in the Workplace

We’ve seen a few examples of how job shadowing works in practice. Now, let’s dig deeper into the benefits of job shadowing in the workplace. This isn’t just about spending a day with someone- it can have a lasting impact on your career journey and personal growth:


Here are 5 key benefits of job shadowing to look out for:


Gain Real-World Insights

One of the greatest benefits of job shadowing is the opportunity to gain firsthand insights into a particular career or industry. You get to see what the job really entails, beyond what you might read in a job description or textbook. 


You can observe the day-to-day tasks, challenges, and rewards of the profession, giving you a realistic understanding of what to expect. This real-world experience can help you make informed career decisions and set realistic expectations.


Build Your Network

Job shadowing isn’t just about observing- it’s about connecting with people in your field of interest. You get to interact with professionals, ask questions, and even get advice and mentorship. These connections can be invaluable as you navigate your career path, providing guidance, support, and potential job opportunities.


Develop New Skills

While you might not be doing the work yourself, job shadowing allows you to learn new skills by observing and asking questions. You can pick up industry-specific knowledge, see how professionals approach different tasks and even learn about software or tools that are used in the field. This hands-on learning experience can give you a head start and make you a more attractive candidate for future job opportunities.


Improve Your Resume

Job shadowing is a unique experience that can make your resume stand out. It shows potential employers that you’re proactive, eager to learn, and have taken the initiative to gain real-world experience. Moreover, you can use the skills and knowledge gained during your job shadowing to strengthen your resume and make you a more competitive candidate.


Make Informed Career Decisions

Choosing a career path is a big decision, and job shadowing can help you make the right choice. By experiencing different roles firsthand, you can assess whether a particular career fits your interests, skills, and personality. 


This eliminates guesswork and allows you to confidently pursue a path that aligns with your goals and aspirations. The benefits of job shadowing in this regard are truly invaluable, as they can save you years of pursuing the wrong career.


5 Best Practices for Job Shadowing

Now that you understand the benefits of job shadowing, let’s make sure you get the most out of it. Remember, job shadowing is a learning experience, and like any good student, a little preparation goes a long way.


Here are 5 best practices to maximise the benefits of job shadowing:


Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Before you start your job shadowing experience, take some time to think about what you want to get out of it. Are you hoping to learn a specific skill, get a feel for the company culture, or make connections in the industry? 


Setting clear goals helps you focus on your experience and maximise the benefits of job shadowing. Talk to the person you will be shadowing, and make sure you’re both on the same page about what you hope to achieve.


Prepare Questions in Advance

Don’t be shy about asking questions! Job shadowing is a learning experience; the best way to learn is by asking thoughtful questions. Before your shadowing day, brainstorm a list of questions you’d like to ask. This shows your interest and engagement, and it helps you get the most out of the experience.


Be Professional and Respectful

Remember, you’re a guest in someone else’s workplace. Dress appropriately, arrive on time, and respect everyone you interact with. Be mindful of confidential information, and avoid interrupting your host during important meetings or tasks. 


A positive attitude and professional demeanour will go a long way in making a good impression and maximising the benefits of job shadowing.


Actively Participate and Engage

Don’t just be a passive observer! Take notes, ask questions, and actively participate in any discussions or activities. When appropriate, offer your own insights and opinions and show enthusiasm for learning. The more engaged you are, the more you will learn and the more valuable the experience will be.


Reflect on Your Experience

After your job shadowing day, take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned. What did you like most about the job? What were the challenges? Did it change your perception of the career? 


Writing down your thoughts and observations can help solidify your learning and give you clarity on your career goals. It’s also a good idea to send a thank-you note to your host, expressing your gratitude for their time and insights.


How 6 Pence Helps

At 6 Pence, we understand the benefits of job shadowing and the importance of finding the right fit for both businesses and job seekers. We can help connect you with opportunities for job shadowing, allowing you to explore different career paths and gain valuable experience.


We operate as staff outsourcing services in Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, and Iraq. Contact us today if you’re looking for guidance on your career journey. Drop your CV by visiting our careers page!


Frequently Asked Questions

How to make job shadowing effective?

To maximise the benefits of job shadowing:

  1. Be proactive.
  2. Set clear goals beforehand, prepare thoughtful questions, actively engage with your host, and take detailed notes.
  3. Be professional and respectful, and always follow up with a thank you.


How much time does a normal Job Shadowing session last?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as the duration of job shadowing can vary depending on the role and company. However, a typical session can range from a few hours to a full workday. Some job shadowing experiences might even last for a few days to give you a more comprehensive understanding of the role.


Is Job Shadowing restricted to learners?

Absolutely not! While job shadowing is a great tool for students and those starting new careers, it’s not limited to just learners. Experienced professionals can also enjoy the benefits of job shadowing as a way to learn new skills, gain fresh perspectives, and explore potential career paths within their current company or a new industry.


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