The Benefits of Job Shadowing



Photo credit: – Chris Sardegna

For young job seekers and college students, trying to land a summer internship can be a tough process as the landscape tends to be quite competitive. Job shadowing can be a worthy alternative to an internship or even enhance an internship and the job search process for most applicants. Accurately understanding what your desired industry or job entails is one of the most important parts of growing a successful career. Job seekers today want to be put on the right path with a company that understands their long-term career desires. But first, you must understand your own long-term needs in order to find companies that can help you get to where you want to go.

Here’s what you can gain from actively pursuing and engaging in job shadow opportunities:

  1. Information on company culture. Although job shadow programs vary by company, often, a job shadow opportunity will not only explore a specific employee’s day-to-day schedule and duties, but also offer an inside look into the organization’s culture, telling a narrative around the history and mission of the company and how other employees got their start in the industry. Job shadowing allows you to be part of the company’s culture for a short while and absorb what the atmosphere is really like. More importantly, you can accurately assess if you would fit in with it.
  2. Face time with potential employers. Job shadow opportunities can incorporate interactions with a company’s CEO or other C-level executives. Other types of job shadows will often include a panel or Q&A with top executives to offer advice and discuss the opportunities their company has to offer.
  3. Professional development. There’s so much that can come from something as simple as watching a person interact with their coworkers. Having the ability to actually follow someone around in the office and gain insight into how they solve problems and conduct themselves in a workplace environment will aid you in the future –not only in your job search but further along in your career. There are a lot of interpersonal skills that as a new employee, you may not have, when entering the workforce. A job shadow experience can help you realize the importance of those skills and improve upon them.
  4. Expert insights. One of the best things about job shadowing and internships in general is that college students and job seekers are able to learn what they like and what they don’t like. Unlike some choice internships, job shadowing is 100% about learning (not fetching coffee). If an employee is playing host or hostess, you are going to witness actual work happening. Even if you leave a job shadow experience realizing you no longer desire a job in that chosen field, the experience is still a worthwhile one.

If given the opportunity to shadow an employee, you should grab hold of it. Building a successful career can be easy if you know what you’re looking for. Job shadowing can give you that understanding through experience.

****For this insightful post, Campus to Career thanks Rich Thompson,

Chief Human Resources Officer at Adecco Group North America!!****


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