Jobs in the adult world are frightening to think about. There’s a plethora of diverse jobs in this nation; yet, none of them seem like a good fit for us. The fact that we, as students, have to go to school every weekday is dreadful. Then, as the transition into adulthood approaches, we come into a staggering acknowledgement that there will be an approximate 50 years of work in a job field that you are about to enter into. We definitely don’t want to be stuck with a job we abominate for the rest of our lives. Even if we think we are interested in becoming our job, the reality may turn our decisions back, dragging us into a despondent cycle of regrets. Before setting our resolute goal on a career we’re not fully informed about, why not gain a clear insight into “the day in the life of a (job name)”? Don’t just peek into the job’s average salaries and dive into that profession; you must thoroughly learn about the daily joys and, more importantly, the struggles and the limitations of the profession. Learn from others’ experiences to earn a different perspective to expand your knowledge about what you are about to get yourself into.
All of the above is achievable through job shadowing. Job shadowing is a valuable opportunity for a person interested in a particular career to observe or “shadow” someone else doing their work in the professional field. Working alongside an experienced employee can help you learn a lot about the career field.
As a junior starting to ponder about what I want to major in college, I explored various fields through volunteering, to discover my passion. I have volunteered at my local hospital, Cedars Sinai, and that experience allowed me to broaden my interests into health-related careers. Unfortunately, at Cedars Sinai, my position as a student volunteer was pretty limited: working at the same nursing station with the same nurses every shift. But thankfully, I had a really precious opportunity of job shadowing this summer. Every time anyone asks me about my dream now, I mention my fascinating job shadowing experience and how it really gave me an idea about what I want to be. I’ve always dreamed about becoming a doctor, but I never had a clear plan regarding my dream.
My experience of job shadowing through a program–called Camp CHLA,Children’s Hospital,– truly inspired me to pursue a health career and become a pediatrician like Dr.Kuroki, an attending physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. I really loved accompanying her on rounds at the inpatient area, visiting sick kids from all over the world. Under the tutelage of Dr.Kuroki, I was able to have valuable conversations about her experience as a doctor, what motivated her to devote herself into the rigorous and notorious medical studies, and even her personal stories about her love for children. In addition, Camp CHLA allowed me to job shadow other careers in the hospital: pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, and nurses. My knowledge about the medical field was very narrow before job shadowing. That experience helped me delve into studies about the lives of diverse career options that sparked my innate enthusiasm for a career in the medical field.
Everyone should take advantage of the beneficial opportunity of job shadowing. Instead of sitting at home anxious about what your future might look like, go throw yourself into the bustling workplace! Who knows if you might find a lifelong role model to follow their footsteps after, someone who will genuinely motivate you to be the best version of you, like how I did through shadowing Dr.Kuroki. Or maybe get disgusted at the job you’ve been previously fantasizing about. It’s far and away better to get the feel of the job before you go in and have no way out. Look before you leap into your journey!
There are multitudinous job shadowing opportunities for high school and college students. Check to see if your school has a job shadowing program, or if a school counselor or teacher can assist you. Some large organizations and government agencies offer profuse job shadowing programs to students. It’s a brilliant idea to check out organizations of interest to see if any of them have such a program. Also, if you are a high school student, passionate about the health field, apply to the camp CHLA program at https://www.chla.org/camp-chla-health-care-career-exploration.
Goeun Lee, Grade 11
Larchmont Charter School