Job Shadow. It’s probably the best way to get a realistic job preview. If you have a job that you’re simply curious about or have even gone so far as to declare it your future profession, I recommend you find someone who is working in this job and follow them around for a couple of hours. You will learn what it’s like to work a typical day in this field. You may learn that you would be on your feet for hours at a time, or that you wouldn’t have a chance to eat a proper lunch because you are so busy, or that you would be staring at a computer screen for most of the day. These are the types of job environment cues that can either make or break your career plan.
If you’re fortunate, you may have already had the opportunity to job shadow someone as part of your school’s curriculum, or you may have completed a co-op or other practical job orientation program. If so, I hope you fully appreciated the influence and importance of this step in determining your career path. It is simply the best way to gain exposure to a specific career.
For those of us who have not had such an opportunity handed to us on a silver platter, we’ll have to embark on our own personal quest to seek out these golden opportunities. It takes some effort to research the job, network with professionals, nail down a contact, and ask for the opportunity to job shadow. But it is completely worth it. The experience you will gain is second to none (except for ultimately landing the job, I suppose, but job shadowing will help you get your feet wet in the event that you do secure a job in your field of choice).
Today I’m posting the first in my series of posts on the virtual job shadow. I’ve featured a video of a job shadow in the pharmaceutical industry. This virtual job shadow will allow you to learn more about the job of Pharmacy Technician through the eyes of a young person who is experiencing the job first-hand. It’s the next best thing to doing it yourself. The video was filmed as part of a television program in New Zealand called “Just the Job.” It’s cute and cheeky (maybe because of the NZ accents!) and engaging. I will be posting more virtual job shadows from this source and others so stay tuned for more…