Shadowing the Shadower | Oliver

As I mentioned last week, we strongly urge our employees to test out the job shadowing process. Although our employees have usually found a career that they are already passionate about, we want them to really understand why this is such an important experience not only for the job seekers, but for companies as well. Having happier employees means you have a more productive workplace. You have employees that WANT to accomplish something (and not just kill time by checking their Facebook…incessantly). Moreover, you reduce turnover, and what company couldn’t benefit from that?

For a lot of people, it’s hard to imagine leaving their job to pursue something more meaningful…but I’m here to tell you… it can be done. This week, we spotlight our Project Manager, Oliver. He quickly learned that even the people he was shadowing, could have benefited early on in life from an experience like this. Not to mention they would saved a lot of time and energy, not just for themselves, but for their previous employers as well. Enjoy…

“Every day here at Betagig, we work with students and job seekers struggling to find a fulfilling career. Often they feel trapped in the wrong major or exhausted by a mundane office job. Through our online marketplace, we match them with job shadowing opportunities in a totally new craft. In just a few hours spent on site with their host, shadowers get a real sense for what a prospective occupation looks like in practice. Sometimes, it’s a fit. Sometimes, not so much.

As I’m new to the Betagig team, I felt it was essential I test out our job shadowing platform for myself. So, Friday morning, I tried on a second career as a software engineer with our friends over at 1iota. I got a chance to hang out in the ‘dev’ room and wrap my head around a role in software development.

Over the course of the day, 1iota’s incredible team of engineers illuminated their own paths into the industry for me. One had found programming after a short-lived career as an oil prospector. Another had spent a year as a lumberjack back east. They all agreed that what was needed to become a brilliant coder was not, in fact, a computer science degree, but an analytical mind and a penchant for patience. It’s a specific skill and one uniquely suited for a certain kind of personality. Friday morning, I explored whether I might fit the mold.

At Betagig, we often boast the value of job shadowing for students and career changers. After my own experience using our platform, I’m convinced that companies as a whole can benefit from its use. As a product manager, I’m immersed in the features I design but rarely consider the code that supports them. After a day spent shadowing, I can now add a fresh perspective to my toolset. I have a better understanding of the engineers I collaborate with every day and I’m a better PM for it!”

Some people think they are too far into life to change careers because they didn’t major in that field in college. Others think they know what they want but come to find out that the day in and day out of a career is not at all what they had expected. If you had an opportunity to really spend time and find out what career or company made you happier….wouldn’t you take it?

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