Job Shadowing (Work Shadowing)


The term job shadowing refers to working alongside another employee to learn about their organization, skills, roles, and responsibilities.  Job shadowing provides an opportunity for participants to share knowledge, hone their leadership skills, and have a better understanding of their career options.


Also known as work shadowing, job shadowing provides participants with the opportunity to learn more about an organization as well as the roles and responsibilities of a specific position.   Generally, there are three beneficiaries of these programs:

  • The mentor is able to demonstrate their expertise and leadership skills in addition to expanding their network of business contacts.
  • The protégé is able to learn more about the company, department or business unit.  The program also allows them to have a better understanding of their career options.  Finally, they can increase their knowledge through the training they'll receive from the mentor.
  • Companies sponsor these programs since they help build bench strength as well as increase employee engagement.

Job shadowing can be as simple as a one-time event or as complex as a rotational program.  For example, a product manager can job shadow a call center representative and listen to customers voice their opinions and complaints.  New employees can be assigned to a number of departments on a rotational basis, spending weeks shadowing a number of employees.

Related Terms

career path, career assessment, career objectivecareer counselor, career planning, employment contract, job sharing, lateral job transfer