Understanding The Importance Of Job Shadowing

Understanding The Importance Of Job Shadowing

Depending on the organization, there are different ways of getting new and potential employees acquainted with the job. One such activity is job shadowing. After the orientation process, new recruits can be sent to shadow other staff members in their department or unit as part of their training program. However, work shadowing isn’t restricted to new employees alone; interns, corps members, and even students on holiday can job shadow to garner necessary experience and enhance their professional life. Before we go into the importance of job shadowing, let’s have an insight into the meaning and scope of work shadowing.


Meaning And Scope Of Job Shadowing

Have you just graduated from school and actively looking for a job? Are you worried that you lack the required training and experience to fill certain roles? Relax; luckily for you, there is a way you can equip yourself with employability and work-related skills. You mustn’t beat yourself up because you are unable to get volunteering roles or internship positions. With the world currently battling the setback caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, all you need is to job shadow an experienced worker in your preferred or chosen field. So, what does job shadowing mean? How does it impact the work environment?

Job shadowing can simply be defined as an opportunity to observe workers perform their daily work routine in their workplace. In other words, work shadowing involves on-the-job training, where a potential employee or newly recruited member of staff learns from a more experienced colleague by following them and observing them. The processes of job shadowing enable an individual to have real pictures of the tasks performed for that job, as well as explore specific careers.  Also, it enables an individual to have an effective form of training by learning from a more experienced person.

In addition, job shadowing makes an individual come to grips with the practical aspect of a job. It also enables you to find out if you’re a fit for the job and avails you with first-hand knowledge of the hard and soft skills required for the job. Relatively, work shadowing ensures individuals have a feel of the ins and outs of a job; it also enables them to put themselves in the shoes of the person they are shadowing. Also, they can empathize with them and imagine what they would do, how they would react, and how they would feel in certain situations.


The Importance Of Job Shadowing

Job shadowing provides you the perfect platform and opportunity to witness a day in the life of professionals. Below are the importance of job shadowing;

  • Provision of valuable job experience.
  • It provides a platform for networking and enhances professional development.
  • It informs you about the daily joys/struggles of the profession.
  • The chance to assess the organization’s culture and your fit.
  • It enables you to discover your passions.
  • It builds your resume.


Provision of valuable job experience: Job shadowing provides a fantastic avenue for newly recruited staff and employees to gain much-needed job experience. Unlike internships or volunteering roles where you just carry out easy and repetitive tasks, this form of on-the-job training can enable you to learn new skills and to gain further understanding of the position and industry at large. Gaining experience on the job can take time; shadowing an experienced staff should fasten the process. For example, a newly recruited caregiver can be sent to a care home to shadow experienced caregivers. By following them, you get experience and skills on how to wash clients, hold them without causing injury, and how to assist them with a movement among others.

It provides a platform for networking and enhances professional development: In the job sector, professional development and connection are vital, and so is networking. An easy way of enhancing the aforementioned is through job shadowing. The process not only enhances your limited experience; it also provides you an avenue to meet experts, mentors, and skilled professionals in the field or sector you’re interested in. Also, having and building personal relationships with people in the field can come in handy, when you need recommendations or when searching for opportunities in that field. Having one-on-one time with professionals makes it easier to remember when it comes to application time and keeps your name in mind in the organization.  Therefore, ensure that you make a great first impression and be proactive in staying in touch, with the people after you finish job shadowing.

It informs you about the daily joys/struggles of the profession: Every profession has its ups and downs, joyful and sad moments, and good and bad days. How do you get to find out the daily joys and struggles associated with your chosen profession? One way is by job shadowing. When you job shadow an employer, you get to find out firsthand, the hazards, and benefits that come with the profession. In addition, you find out what makes workers struggle and what brings excitement to them on a daily basis.

The chance to assess the organization’s culture and your fit: Most organizations and companies don’t just lookout for the most educationally qualified candidate when recruiting; they also look for the candidate that will best fit into their work culture. One of the ways of learning about an organization’s culture is by job shadowing. Even as a newly hired employee, work shadowing can assist you to come to terms with the organization’s culture on time. In relation, you also get to find out if you fit into the company’s culture or not when you job shadow. In situations where you don’t, you can make provisions to learn to fit in on time. In addition, you are at an advantage in job shadowing in an enterprise you intend to work with in the future. You will stand out as a better culture fit during an interview, having learned about the organization’s culture during your job shadowing.

It enables you to discover your passion: Before you decide on your future career, it is paramount to know where your passions lie and what motivates and challenges you the most. When job shadowing, you will see what skills the position requires and whether the work you will be doing matches up with your own gifts and abilities. Even if you end up doing something you don’t enjoy, the experience will help you realize what kind of work you are interested in and what kind of work situations you should avoid. Being passionate about the work you do is a good stimulant for productivity at work.

It builds your resume: Most of the time, employers want you to have more than just a four-year degree on your resume. Job shadowing is a great way to figure out what skills you can develop now to help you stand out when it comes to application time. Take your time during your job shadowing experience to ask your mentor, what you can do now to help improve your resume and skills. This not only helps you beef up your resume, but it is also a good way to show the mentor that you are ambitious and willing to put in the extra work it takes to improve yourself. With work shadowing, you can also figure out what employers are looking for in your industry. Think of it as a bit of on-the-job training before you even interview for the job. This will help you build an outstanding resume.


Tips To Help You Maximize Your Job Shadowing

As a newly recruited staff or an intern, it is important to make the most out of your job shadowing. The following tips should help you maximize your job shadowing;

  1. Ensure that you dress in a professional manner.
  2. The time for job shadowing should be convenient for both parties.
  3. Prepare to ask lots of questions to show your interest.
  4. Come along with a notepad to take notes and key points.

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