S1.08 - Career and Job Exploration, Page 2

Job Sampling

Job sampling is similar to job shadowing but varies (1) in the amount of hands-on experiences that an individual performs, and (2) the length of time that an individual spends on the job. The purpose of job sampling is to provide individuals with practical work experiences in various occupations as part of their career exploration. Through detailed observations during the job sampling period, the individuals’ should learn to clearly identify and define skills, capabilities, and interests. Job Sampling has proven successful in matching individuals with jobs because they often spend more time (for example, three days to three months) at the jobs.

As individuals will most likely spend more time in a job sampling experience, it is critical that the coordinator spend time cultivating relationships with employers. Often times employers are more than willing to accommodate a short-term job sampling experience (one month, for example) for an individual, but might require more training for their own employees in assisting job sampling individuals or more paperwork requirements for the individual to complete. Every employer is different so the coordinator should be prepared to ask the employer the types of requirements the individual needs to meet before she/he is placed.

Steps to Creating a Job Sampling Experience:

The Job Sampling steps are similar to those of job shadowing but differ in the

  1. Gain an understanding of the individual’s interests before the job shadow experience. This may be accomplished by interviewing the individual or administering interest inventories or the “Workplace Environment Rating” form.
  2. Recruit employers who are interested in sponsoring job sampling individuals for an extended period of time and whose employment positions are the closest match for the individual’s interests and skills.
  3. Identify employees (workplace mentors) who will assume a key role in leading individuals through the observational, questioning, and hands-on experience processes.
  4. Begin the job sampling day with an orientation session to the company, introductions to employees, and the daily schedule.
  5. Individuals and coordinators should complete the “Business Inventory” form to determine particular workplace factors.
  6. Coordinators should complete a task analysis form to determine specific duties and factors required of the particular job they are performing.
  7. Individuals should ask questions to gain a better understanding of the job history, duties and requirements (see “Job Shadowing/Sampling Questionnaire”)
  8. Monitor the individual’s job sampling experiences through ongoing evaluation and a debriefing session.
  9. Upon completion of the job sampling experience, apply or add new skills to the individual’s resume or portfolio.


Page updated 11/1/06

End of basic content. Credits, navigation links and, where relevant, reference citations follow.

All instructional content © Copyright 2006 by Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.
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Web Resources:

Hughes, Carolyn. (n.d.). Blank Forms. In Virginia Commonwealth University, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, Self-management and self-determination strategies: promoting independence in the transition to adult life. Retrieved March 1, 2004 from http://www.vcu.edu/rrtcweb/techlink/GEB/hughes/tc7i.html

Sarah Mason. (1996). Critical issue: developing work-based learning opportunities. (Center on Education and Work University of Wisconsin at Madison). In North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, Developing work-based learning opportunities. Retrieved March 1, 2004 from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/stw/sw300.htm

Supports 1 Index | S1.01 | S1.02 | S1.03 | S2.04 | S2.05 | S1.06 | S1.07 | S1.08 | S1.09 | S1.10 | S1.11 | S1.12 | S1.13 | S1.14 | S1.15 | S1.16 | S1.17 | S1.18

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