Business and Industry

Job Shadow

Student standing with Kunau Implements truckJob shadows provide a real-world look into a career.  Participating in a job shadow provides an opportunity for individuals to see first-hand what your workplace looks like, what a day in the life of the chosen career may be like, and ask very specific questions related to your career.

How can Talent Link help?

Sign up for Talent Link to participate. The Talent Link is used in schools in Rock Island, Mercer, Henry, and Stark Counties in Illinois and Scott County in Iowa.  The network also serves as a resource for career intermediaries working with schools and students in Clinton, Henry, Jackson, Louisa, and Muscatine Counties.

Tips for being shadowed

  1. Ask if the student has done some basic research regarding the career being shadowed. If they haven’t, suggest that this is done prior to the job shadow. Check out the resource list on this web site for some good resources.
  2. Connect with teacher or student prior to the activity.
    1. Confirm the day/time you will be meeting with him/her.
    2. Provide instructions about where to go once they arrive at your company.
    3. Remind them of any safety requirements you may have (long pants, close-toed shoes, jewelry, etc.).
  3. Work to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Remember that the shadower is in an unfamiliar place, talking with people who are typically much older than they are. Keep things casual, but professional.
  4. Expect questions. Answer questions as completely and honestly as possible. Do not feel like you are obligated to answer questions you do not feel comfortable answering. For example, how much money do you make? Instead of telling them your salary, you can check online prior to event and be prepared to provide the typical range for your career.
  5. Introduce your shadower to others in your company, and provide a brief description of what they do for the organization.