Job shadowing, to help make informed career choices
18 February 2020
Job shadowing gives learners the opportunity to observe and participate in specific tasks associated with a career they may be interested in.
Unemployment, scarce skills, STEAM careers and entrepreneurship are many of the words our youth will hear when entering the job market and although there is no magic formula to dictate the right career path, job shadowing is a CRITICAL part of making good career choices.
Far too often kids will say they want to do a job because it sounds cool, without understanding the specific key performance areas of that job. We talk to learners who say “ I want to be a Sports Psychologist or Physiotherapist” and when asking why, the answer will invariably be, “ because I like sport!”
Our youth must understand the skills and jobs of the future and prepare themselves for skill shortages, in order to play a key role in the talent of our country. While remembering that a person needs to love the job they do in order to be successful.
Here are a few tips to consider when arranging to job shadow:
- Research the company, their vision, mission, goals and company culture to understand if their strategic initiatives resonate with your personal values and beliefs.
- Ensure you have a basic understanding of the career you are interested in "job shadowing," and make sure that the person you arrange to "shadow" performs the job you want to learn more about.
- Introduce yourself to the company, provide a brief background of your requirements and expectations for the job shadowing programme and offer to provide a short summary about yourself, including your achievements and interests as well as the reason you are considering this particular company and the career path you are shadowing.