Job shadowing aids in career achievement
When Daniel Fowler took part in Franklin County Junior Leadership job shadowing more than 10 years ago, it confirmed for him a career interest that had already begun to develop – chiropractic care. It helped to set Fowler on a trajectory that would see his career goal become a reality.
In mid-2015, after years of higher education, Fowler – a 2004 Russellville High School alum – joined Plaxco Chiropractic Clinic in Muscle Shoals. He is now one of two physicians there providing chiropractic care to all ages.
Job shadowing is still an impactful part of Franklin County Junior Leadership to this day. Near the beginning of February each year, 40 high school juniors from across Franklin County try their hands at pharmacy, veterinary science, education, law, journalism and other professions. It’s a program, chamber director Cassie Medley said, is always well-supported by local professionals who agree to host job shadowers for the morning.
“I think the businesses are proud of what they do, and they want to show a younger generation what they do,” Medley said. “I think they get excited because somebody else wants to do that job too.”
For Fowler, he was given the chance to shadow Dr. Tom Morgan. Apart from the Junior Leadership program, he also learned from Dr. Tim Bishop, from whom he had received treatment after a youth trip all-nighter left Fowler with a crick in his neck.
“He would bring me into his office and take an hour and just talk with me,” Fowler said. Fowler then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama and complete chiropractic school at Life University in Marietta, Ga. He graduated in in June 2015 and started to work right away with Dr. Mitchell Plaxco and father Dr. Jerry Plaxco; uniquely, Jerry Plaxco’s father once owned and operated the practice purchased by Bishop, who mentored Fowler as he pursued chiropractic care.
Fowler looks back fondly on his job shadowing experience.
“It let me know that was the right path for me,” Fowler said. “Whatever field you’re interested in, you should go shadow that field to see what a day in the life is like.”
Medley said the same is true for dozens of junior leaders each year – job shadowing confirms their career goals for them. For others, job shadowing can be equally beneficial to show them their chosen career isn’t really what they want to do after all.
“I don’t want to crush their dreams, but at the same time, it opens their eyes to things they didn’t think about,” Medley said.
Fowler encouraged young people considering being a part of Junior Leadership to pursue involvement for the opportunities and experience it will open to them.
Fowler is married to Brandi Fowler, and they have two sons, Brody and Braxton.