Job shadowing is an increasingly common technique being used by employers to train new employees. It involves spending time during your first weeks on the job with seasoned team members, observing and learning from the things they do during the course of the day.
Shadowing may begin on your very first day on the job or after a period of general orientation. Either way, it can be very beneficial as you get a genuine feel for your new company, its culture and work environment.
The major advantages of job shadowing include:
It helps you fit in and hit your stride.
Changing jobs consistently ranks as a leading lifetime stress factor. Shadowing helps you to feel less intimidated and to build confidence around your new role.
- Because you’re literally spending time “in the shadow” of a person currently doing the job, you get a realistic preview of what to expect. You may have the opportunity to attend meetings, take part in planning and brainstorming sessions, and learn how you can contribute to projects and initiatives. In addition, you get a feel for relevant systems, procedures and processes.
- Shadowing helps you to absorb the values, norms and standards of your new company, as you see them in everyday action. You observe the day-to-day patterns and rigors of the job and have the opportunity to ask lots of questions. You experience the more experienced employee’s approach and the interpersonal actions required, as well as the steps and components required. These are details that your supervisor or trainer may not think to mention.
It enables you to build relationships with coworkers.
Shadowing can be an excellent time to establish and develop relationships with coworkers, managers, customers, vendors and other key stakeholders.
- Build rapport. Integrate into your new role more quickly and efficiently. Observe, listen and learn. Gain a sense of who the key decision-makers and influencers are so that when the time comes, you can work with them to advance your ideas.
It provides a feel for future opportunities within the company.
Even for its wealth of information, the Internet cannot beat the experience of learning about future growth opportunities at your new company from the perspective of a professional who currently works there.
- Gain a broader understanding of the variety of jobs and functions within the organization. This insight gives you a glimpse of how you might grow within the company, versus outgrowing it and eventually leaving to work elsewhere.
- Hone your skills. According to 75 percent of participants in one recent study, job shadowing proved effective in helping new employees build their professional skills through observation of the best practices of others.
It’s no wonder that among employers studied, an increasing number indicated that although their firms don’t currently have job shadowing programs, they plan to implement them within the next two year.
Do you want to learn more about tools, tactics and strategies for taking your career to the next level? Consider working with a specialized recruiter from PrideStaff Modesto as you investigate the right path to follow. To learn more, read our related posts or contact one of our team members today.