February 24, 2024

What is job shadowing? Observing an experienced professional at work can give you an idea of what you can expect from a potential job. Job shadowing is a technique for putting what you’ve learned about a job to the test by observing someone at work. Keep reading!

What is Job shadowing?

Understanding what job shadowing is and how to have a good experience will assist you in determining whether a position is right for you.

In this post, we answer the question “What is job shadowing?” and discuss how it works, who uses it, why it’s important, and steps you can take to prepare for your experience.


What is Job Shadowing?

Job shadowing is the practice of following a professional through their daily work routine. Job shadowing experiences might span a few hours, days, or even weeks, depending on the conditions.

Job shadowing is primarily used by students and college interns, however, businesses frequently offer job shadowing to their employees to see what other types of roles they might be interested in pursuing.

Job shadowing may also be seen as a significant component of some companies’ employee onboarding and training programs.

How Does it Work?

Employers might arrange job shadowing through structured programs or through informal inquiries.

Formal courses, such as shadowing someone in a comparable role for a few days before starting work, could be part of the onboarding process.

Schools may also provide structured job shadowing courses to allow pupils to observe a regular workday. Individuals can sign up to shadow guidance or advisory office volunteers.

Informal shadowing is when an employee asks to shadow someone else in order to learn more about their job.

Who Uses Job Shadowing?

Several sectors use this method to train and educate their employees and potential employees:

Health care has many broad procedures, such as safety and hygiene, but individual activities necessitate practical training and work shadowing.

Aspiring or inexperienced nurses or physicians may shadow existing specialists to learn how to use equipment and interact with patients.

Marketing job shadowing can teach students or new workers about different parts of marketing and the jobs they perform.

Shadowing social media experts, graphic designers, or brand employees can provide you with a thorough insight into the marketing industry.

Finance professionals are in charge of a wide range of tasks, including as data analysis, forecasting, accounting, and research. You can learn about these vocations by shadowing accountants, analysts, investors, and auditors.

Educators study a wide range of concepts and practice during their education, but shadowing can help clarify what it’s like to be in a classroom.

You may see classroom management, successful course delivery, and conflict resolution while shadowing an instructor.


Participating in a job shadowing program might give you a variety of benefits. Examine the examples below to understand how you might benefit from shadowing jobs:

  • It helps you to interact with and learn from professionals in your subject of interest, which allows you to network:

It also connects you with potential employers and allows you to form vital professional ties with people who can help you advance your career.

  • Aids in determining whether to study or work in a specific field:

Job shadowing can help you get clarity about your professional aspirations, whether you’re attempting to select which institution to attend, which major to pursue, or which opportunities to apply for after graduating.

This is due to your observation of the daily work environment and job responsibilities linked with a given job title.

  • Gives you the opportunity to discover more about a company:

If you wish to research career opportunities with a specific business, job shadowing is a fantastic way to determine whether a company’s work culture and values align with your needs.

  • Allows you to identify temporary positions in your company:

Employment shadowing is a great way to look at different career paths while remaining working at your current employment.

Working with the HR department, you can watch your coworkers in different departments and decide whether you want to make a transitional role move if there is a job opening.


  • Assists you in determining which professional areas require improvement:

Take note of any technical or interpersonal skills that a specific job title requires on a regular basis while job shadowing.

This helps you determine what additional education and skills you will need to qualify for and succeed in that role.

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