Hi everyone! Sorry I have missed a few posts; I was busy preparing for my race, job shadowing, and just relaxing! I need a certain number of observation hours of physical therapists in order to get into physical therapy school. While I just finished my freshmen year of college, I decided to start early and have already gotten some of my hours done. This has brought me to the topic of today’s post which is career shadowing. Career shadowing/observation is a great tool for high school and college students to use to help determine a major and a future career.
What exactly is career shadowing? Shadowing is following an individual around while they do their job. The time frame can be whatever you and the individual decided.
To start career shadowing you will need to pick a few careers that you think that you will like. Then contact individuals with these careers; this can be through calling the company that they work at or by emailing them. Then set up a time and date to shadow. I recommend shadowing for the whole work day so you can get a feel of what the entire day is like, instead of just a couple hours.
Shadowing can help you choose a career and/or a major. If you find a career you love you can find a major that will help you to get that career.
Shadowing can also save you time and money. If you do shadowing early enough (high school or freshmen/sophomore year of college) you have plenty of time to pick/change your major if you end up not liking the career. Try to shadow a few different places just in case you don’t like one setting; you may love a different work setting of the same career.
I have shadowed in two areas so far, an outpatient sports medicine clinic and in a pediatric setting. I love being active and running so it was interesting to be at the sports medicine clinic but I really enjoyed shadowing the pediatric setting which is what originally interested me about physical therapy. I had been second guessing my major for a little while but shadowing has reassured me that physical therapy is the career for me! Career shadowing can also help you if you are second guessing your major/future career choice.
I recommend that high school and college students try career shadowing/observing to help decide on a college major and a future career.