Job Shadow Guide

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Job Shadow Guide

What is a job shadow?

A job shadow is a learning experience that takes place at a business or organization in your community. It usually lasts three to six hours. During a job shadow, you follow a worker (called your “host”) on a typical workday, observing them and asking questions about their work. You also complete written assignments that help you understand; think about; and record the things you see, hear, and learn.

Why are job shadows important?

Job shadows give you a chance to:

  • Identify career interests
  • Observe workers’ daily routine
  • Learn about the academic, technical and personal skills required for particular jobs
  • Understand the connection among school, work and your goals
  • Practice communication skills by interacting with workers
  • Realize that different jobs are characterized by different work cultures and environments
  • Explore your community by traveling to and from the job shadow location

Student Voices

“Job shadows help you see what you need to know to do different jobs. You get to see what a job is really like before you make up your mind about what you want to do.”

Three Parts of a Successful Job Shadow

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Prepare


Gather important information

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Participate


Ask questions and observe what people do

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Reflect and Learn


Think about your experience