One of the best ways to explore is to spend time in the job you're interested in. This can be as formal as a post-secondary course or as informal as an afternoon visit.
Job shadowing involves spending time with a person at work. While on the job, you'll take part in some activities and get a good picture of what's involved. A job shadowing opportunity often grows out of an information interview.
How to set up a job shadow:
Work experience, internship and co-op programs
Take advantage of high school work experience programs if you can. They allow you to get on-the-job training with an employer. To find out more, check with your school or school board.
After high school there are other programs like this. Post-secondary programs can include internships and co-ops that provide hands-on experience. Examples include social work and engineering. Students in these programs work in paid and unpaid positions. Visit OCCinfo and look for programs that offer internships and co-op opportunities.
Exploring on the job
Working part time or in an entry-level position can increase your knowledge of an industry. Working with co-workers and customers helps you learn more about the job and other related occupations.
Use these suggestions to make the most of your on-the-job experience:
- Learn from everyone around you. If you don't know, ask. Observe your co-workers, customers and suppliers.
- Use your newfound knowledge to refine your occupational research.
- See if you can find a mentor in your workplace. A mentor is an experienced, trusted advisor who supports, guides and encourages you in all aspects of your career. Check out the article sheet Mentoring: Finding and Working with a Mentor.
Things I can try…