I was always very creative ever since I was a child. I enjoyed playing with molding clay and making little collages with rice and beans. As I grew older, I started drawing sketches and making watercolor paintings. Funny thing though, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always “doctor” I always saw doctors as heroes who saved people’s lives. I didn’t know much then but I knew I wanted to be someone important, a hero. Looking back now, I realize that I would have made a terrible doctor. This can be attributed to my fear of needles and my general dislike of hospitals. I am glad I didn’t pursue that career. I am a graphic designer now, and I love it.
Many people choose their careers without really knowing what it entails. It is important for someone to research what a typical day in a certain career involves. There are many ways of conducting such research but so far, job shadowing is the most effective.
What is Job Shadowing?
It is an activity that exposes students to the world of work. In short, the student gets to follow and observe a trained employee to get the picture of what an employee who holds a particular job does every day. Cool, right?
Do I really need Job shadowing?
The answer is, definitely. Job shadowing can save your life literally. Research shows that most people who are in the wrong career often end up being depressed. Cases have been reported of students who dropped out of school or got into drugs because they felt trapped in the wrong careers.
Why you need job shadowing
- It gives you a richer and more detailed experience of a particular career than reading a job description. You get first hand information on what people in that career do daily. This way, you will know whether it is your preferred career.
- It helps in easing the fear of the unknown. Most students may shy away from a career because they feel like it is too difficult or complicated. Once you spend time in that career, you may discover that it was not as difficult as it seemed
- It introduces you to careers that you may not have considered. By exploring different careers and spending time observing the employees, you may discover new careers that you enjoy.
- Expands your networking contacts. Job shadowing allows you to interact and create professional relationships with people in the working world. We all know how important networking is.
- You gain experience which you can include in your resume.
- You understand better what you want and don’t want; this means that you may discover that the career of your choice involves tasks that you don’t enjoy doing. You therefore get a chance to choose another career before it’s too late.
Writer: Penny Ann Njeri
Intern in DYC