What is Job Shadowing?

Definition: Job shadowing is a training method that involves experiencing the day to day activities of certain job position with an experienced individual. This technique allows the person being trained to observe closely and learn the position’s dynamics and challenges.

What Does Job Shadowing Mean?

The purpose of ‘shadowing’ a person during his journey is to facilitate the incorporation of academic knowledge with field experience. This is the reason why job shadowing is frequently employed to train college students that are new to workplace experiences.

On the other hand, job shadowing can also be applied to leadership or career development efforts. In such cases, the individual already has workplace experience but the company requires him to develop certain skills that can only be enhanced by observing an individual with such capabilities. A growing company that is constantly requiring new leadership positions to be fulfilled will probably design a job shadowing program for employees with leadership potential.

These individuals will spend a considerable amount of time sharing experiences with seasoned executives where they can learn crucial teachings about how to handle themselves with subordinates, stakeholders and within different corporate environments.


Matt has a Bachelor in Business Administration that he recently obtained from a well-known university. He was employed by a firm called Orange, a large telecommunication company. As part of his training, the company assigned him a mentor, one of its Regional Digital Marketing Manager, Phillip.

Matt has to spend a lot of time with Phillip during his work routine. He has to participate in meetings, prepare presentations, deal with Phillip co-workers and he also has to engage in the creative process of the Department. The company expects from this experience to train Matt for a similar job position in one of their Latin-American branches. This ‘job shadowing’ programs have given birth to many of the executives that the company has required recently due to its exceptional growth.