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A Building Block to Success: Job Shadowing

By Macy Schneider, Iowa State University, Agricultural Communications Student

How do you know if your dream career is the right fit for you? There are hundreds of tests and quizzes online to assure you. You can spend hours and hours in the classroom and in college lecture halls filling your toolbox with information you hope to be able to put to use one day. There are even job descriptions available for job seekers which give a broad overview of the exact position you may wish to fulfill in the job market. However, none of the tests or quizzes, endless lectures, or job descriptions will give you as much reassurance as job shadowing a professional in your future career field.

The first step to any successful job shadowing experience is to determine what you wish to gain and what you want to learn more about. Once you have your overall objectives in mind, you can then look online or through your current networking contacts to determine who will help you meet those goals. It is always best to contact the person in the position you wish to job shadow first by email or phone. Always remember to be polite and professional, identify who you are, what you are wishing to achieve, and ask if such opportunities are available.

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