Job Shadowing: Research your Future

Are you wondering if the career you have chosen is really the right choice for you? Many college students wonder the same thing. How can you really determine whether it is the right option for you without getting a job within that career field? There are actually several options that will help you to learn more about prospective careers before you actually graduate and become engaged in the career search.

One way to learn more about a prospective job is to research information online. Performing research online certainly will provide you with a wealth of information about that particular job. Unfortunately, researching online will only provide you with impersonal information; it cannot give you a real sense of what it is like to perform that job.

Job shadowing is an excellent alternative that can really give you an idea of what you can expect in a job. The purpose of job shadowing is to help you discover what you like about a particular job and what you do not like about it. This is a great way to narrow down potential possibilities as you move through the career search process.

Furthermore, finding possible job shadowing opportunities does not have to be difficult. Consider contacting your college’s career center to inquire about possible job shadowing opportunities. You might also consider simply asking someone you know who is involved in an industry that you find interesting whether they would be willing to let you tag along behind them for a couple of hours.

In order to make sure that your job shadowing experience is a positive one, there are some steps that you can take.

First, take the time to research the job that you will be shadowing so that you will be properly prepared for your job shadowing experience. Researching the position will provide you with the chance to ask questions that are informed and will also demonstrate respect for the person you will be shadowing.

It is also a good idea to email your host ahead of time with a few questions that you would like to have answered during your shadowing experience. This will provide your host with the chance to determine the areas in which you will be most interested as well as offer them an opportunity to provide you with answers that are more in-depth.

Finally, make sure that you display appropriate professional business etiquette during your shadowing experience. Take the time to dress professionally, arrive on time and demonstrate politeness during your time shadowing. In addition, always be attentive throughout the entire experience. Even if you realize right away that this particular job might not be right for you, complete the job shadowing and remain positive. When the experienced has been completed, follow-up with a thank-you note. This demonstrates good professional courtesy as well as helps you to maintain a connection that might lead to future possibilities later on.

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