When the month of February begins, many are eager to know if the groundhog will see his shadow or not. According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks.

Since 1996, however, the beginning of February has also marked a new holiday and initiative called National Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Groundhog Job Shadow Day is a joint effort of America’s Promise – Alliance for Youth, Junior Achievement, and the U.S. Department of Labor in which students of participating schools are paired with a mentor from participating organizations, who they will “shadow” throughout the day, to experience how the skills they learn in the classroom can be applied in the real world. National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, celebrated the first week of February, is currently most commonly practiced in middle and high school settings, but grows as a national initiative each year.

Job shadowing can be important…

  • in your own personal career development. By overseeing someone in a particular profession, you can get a sense of what working in a position like theirs would entail and if it’s an area you could see yourself pursuing a career in. Some job shadows may even result in future internships or jobs.
  • on your resume. All job shadows may be unique in some way. Some may include hands-on experience, while others might include observing research in a lab. Either way, job shadowing can show experience on your resume, in addition to skills like communication, time-management, and professionalism.

So, while there is a chance that the groundhog may not see his shadow this year, know that more than 100,000 businesses will have shadows: those of more than one million students participating in National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, which you can become a part of by considering a job shadowing experience. For more information about job shadowing, check out the Career Services website.

Reference: http://www.ahla.com/groundhog/

Posted by Erica Evans, Career Services Assistant