In college, we declare a major but for the longest time, we don’t think about future careers. Pretty soon we will be second-semester juniors and will start to panic because we are trying to determine where we want to end up after graduation. Potential employers are being researched, employment sites are being flooded with your searches, and career fairs are life or death. We have finally reached the point where we need to actually figure out what we want to do for the rest of our lives. We might think that have the company we aspire to work for all planned out but yet we have never worked for said company.
This was my situation this past semester. I had my heart set on one division within one company until I job shadowed someone in this position. I quickly realized that position was not what I thought it was or how I wanted to spend a good portion of my life. Since then, I’ve been job shadowing an array of people at companies I have never even considered.
What I love about job shadowing is that I can see what their work environment is like, how the employees interact with one another, and exactly what the person does on their day to day job. These are the people who have the career we one day aspire to have, so why not ask them questions and see exactly what they do? You truly have no idea the environment your dream career has until you are there, so job shadows are a great way to get that experience. It gives you a taste of what your future can be like.
The people I have job shadowed have been extremely honest with me. They tell me the ups and the downs of their job and what struggles they have faced where they are at. Being there in their office lets me see what they enjoy the most and the aspects of their job that make them happy where they are at. People love to talk about themselves and getting a chance to show off what they do who might share the same interest helps make their week.
Job shadowing has really helped me as a college student figure out where I want to be after graduation. My plans have completely changed in just a few months because of the organizations that I have met with and gotten insight into what my future could be like. I got to ask the questions I wanted to and watch tasks that I would perform on the daily; I got honesty and real-life experience, not just a mission statement and job description on the internet. So, if you are considering a future career, get in contact with someone who currently holds your dream career. These are the people who can help you land that future career and they might even be your future employer, so why not benefit yourself by displaying your interest in a career with them? Job shadowing can change your future!