In high school, I shadowed a magazine editor for one day for our designated career day. At the time, it was a profession I thought was interesting, but I hadn’t seriously considered it as a career possibility. Now an editor, I think back to that day and have applied that to the work I’m doing now. Imagine if I’d spent more than a day seeing how it all worked. There’s no telling how much I would’ve learned!
Throughout my four years of college, I changed my major five times and took an entire semester’s worth of classes that I didn’t need (including chemistry—not a class I would ever take just for fun), solely because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do.
The second time I job shadowed, it was on the opposite end of the professional spectrum. I shadowed a physical therapist. I can still recall going home afterward and my mom asking me about it. I rattled off every detail about the people I had met, their life stories, how many pets they had and anything else I could possibly remember from the conversations I’d had with them. Not once did I mention anything relating to physical therapy. I’m pretty sure that’s when I realized it wasn’t the right job for me.
Finally, with the guidance of my parents and amazing advisers that laid out all the potential careers in various majors, I settled into public relations and couldn’t imagine a better fit. If only I’d taken advantage of job shadow opportunities earlier, I might’ve spared myself (and my parents) quite a bit of stress!