You and Your Shadow

Posted on October 21, 2011. Filed under: Career | Tags: , |

This week I received a phone call from my beautiful niece,  who is a senior in high school.  It’s  always a pleasure to talk to her; she’s as smart as she is sweet! She was  calling to get the status on a job shadowing opportunity that I have been  trying arrange for her.

Last year I learned that she was contemplating a career as a  pharmacist, but had never really had any exposure to the field. So I did what  any loving (buttinski) aunt would do, and made it my mission to organize a job  shadow opportunity for her.  Since I have a good friend who is a pharmacist, this seemed to be the obvious next step.

Job shadowing can take many forms, from a one-time peek at a  day in the life, to an organized learning opportunity.  If the shadow is arranged through school or a  youth organization, there may be some suggested activities for the time spent together, or associated reflective exercises for the teen to complete.  Even an informal job shadow still provides the youth with an opportunity to get a “feel” for the field.

By the time they are juniors in high school, students are expected to know what they want to study in college, which has a direct  connection to their future career options.  These days it’s hard to find the time or the money for career preparation courses or career advisors in high school.  More often than not it is left up to the parents (and aunts) to connect these teens to the resources they need.  This means that 16-year-olds are making  decisions about the rest of their life.  As long as options have been explored and decisions are informed ones, this is a positive step in their transition into  the real world.

So, who is going to step into your shadow?


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