Job shadowing means following someone around at work for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Job shadowing allows you to see firsthand what professionals actually do, what their working environments are like, and what kinds of people they interact with. You can also make contacts that will help your future job search. If you are interested in a broad career field, consider shadowing a variety of professionals in order to get a sense of the specific kinds of work available.
To find someone to shadow, first try your social network. Ask friends, relatives, and neighbors for suggestions. Contact your academic department or the university alumni office for the names of former students in relevant careers. Professional associations often have region-specific directories you can use. Finally, you can simply look up a particular organization in the phone book or online and ask them for the names of employees who might be willing to be shadowed.
Most professionals will be happy to offer you the opportunity to observe them at work. Once you've scheduled your job shadowing experience, prepare by researching the organization and the larger industry. Learn the meaning of any jargon you may hear in that environment. You might also want to prepare a list of questions and request an informational interview as part of your job shadowing experience.