Job shadowing has many benefits for high school students, and three of the most important are discussed below.
- Learn about different jobs
Usually, the biggest benefit of job shadowing is that it lets you directly observe different jobs so you can better understand what different careers entail.Shadowing a job can help you learn if its really something you would enjoy.For example, you may have always dreamed of being a journalist, but shadowing one may cause you to realise that you dont enjoy all the research and editing they have to do. On the other hand, you may find a different job much more interesting than you originally thought it would be.
Job shadowing is a great opportunity for high school students because it lets them learn about different jobs in a risk-free way before going to study further.Its much better to learn which jobs you like and dislike now,rather than wait until after youve graduated only to learn that you dont like any of the careers studied for.
- Network with professionals
When you job shadow, you will get the opportunity to speak with professionals in that field.Job shadowing typically involves spending the majority of your time with one person, your mentor, but almost all job shadow experiences also includeinteracting and speaking with other workers at the company.
You can use this opportunity to ask them about their job, what they like about it, what they dislike about it, and what advice they have for a student who wants to go into that career field.Making connections with professionals can also make it easier for you to find a job or an internship in that field down the road because you have already established a relationship with people working there.
If you had a great job shadow experience at a place where you’d like to work,try to nurture the relationships you created and keep in touch with the people you met.This can include sending them an e-mail every few months mentioning something you read or learned about that’s relevant to their job, meeting them for coffee about once a year to discuss the career field and your goals, or applying for an internship there. There’s a long period of time between high school and when you’ll begin your job search, and keeping up with your relationshipswill help keep you fresh in their memory,so they are more likely to help you when you’re looking for a job.
- Be introduced to the workforce
Another benefit of job shadowing is that it lets you experiencewhat having a job and being in the workforce is like.During your job shadow, you can get a better idea of what its like to go to work every day, interact with co-workers, and have a boss.This can be useful for students thinking about applying to their first job or internshipbecause it will give them a better idea of what to expect when they begin working.