Shadowing

June 10, 2019

The first day of work is always simple: Here’s your desk, here’s your computer, and here’s what we have around the office. Help yourself.

But there’s more I can help myself to: people who are already working that I can shadow and learn from.

At first, I was too scared to ask people if I could shadow them, but I got over that when I remembered it’s only my first week—the perfect time to be a fly on the wall and just learn. Besides, when I asked, nobody thought to say no.

There’s a story from The Third Door by Alex Banayan where Alex gets to shadow Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) for a day. While he’s at the office, one of the Zappos employees says that he would love to shadow Tony for a day. Alex asked Tony, “Why don’t you let your employees shadow you?” to which he said that nobody ever asks.

And that’s the secret. Few people ask. So long as I get over my nervousness and ask, I have the opportunity to learn a lot.