Directed Learning, Job Shadowing and Job Sharing

Directed Learning, Job Shadowing and Job Sharing

These are all about meeting your development needs with practical experiences. Directed learning usually entails work with specialists external to your organization, to gain from their insight. The other two tend to be internal. Job shadowing entails watching someone at work, but can extend to performing his or her tasks while observed. It is easy to arrange and costs little. Job sharing is more formal, and involves swapping duties for a set period with a peer at a similar level, to experience different activities and gain a wider understanding of roles without actually changing jobs.

Getting best value

Directed learning should provide:

  • In-depth knowledge of an industry or process
  • Technical details that cannot easily be obtained
  • Information that will add value to your work programme

Job shadowing should provide:

  • Insight about how your organization works
  • Useful feedback on your role from peers or managers
  • Information that guides your job aspirations

Job sharing should have

  • A clear purpose
  • Agreement about how new skills will be acquired
  • Benefits for both parties
  • A means to identify and measure them