If you are thinking about joining a company that runs 24/7, you may be looking at shift work. What will your schedule look like? And, how can you decide which shift is best for you?
Traditionally, the day shift runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, some companies begin an hour or two earlier from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Many people prefer first shift;
- Your schedule probably will fit better with your friends and family; and
- Regular working hours may help you led a healthier lifestyle.
- Most likely, you will have a busier and longer commute; and
- Entry-level employees often must work their way into 1st
The swing shift covers the hours between the day and night shifts. Hours usually go from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. or 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- Even with less traditional hours, you could still get a full night’s sleep;
- You may have a shorter commute when traveling during off-hours; and
- You can run errands during less busy times (late morning/early afternoon).
- Working every evening makes it more difficult to connect with friends and family;
- You may need to adjust your sleep schedule to make sure you get enough rest.
The graveyard or night shift runs overnight. Typical hours are 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. but, as with the other shifts, starting and ending times may vary by an hour or two.
- Offering to work the night shift is a smart way to get your foot in the door;
- Some companies pay more for third shift work;
- With fewer people and fewer distractions, you might find you get more done;
- You may have a shorter commute when traveling during off-hours;
- You can run errands during less busy times (early morning); and
- Parents who work opposite shifts may be able to reduce childcare costs. Although, this generally works best with school-age children.
- Working at night and sleeping during the day makes it difficult to connect with friends and family;
- Scientists have linked long-term shift work to several chronic illnesses including obesity, cancer and heart disease;
- Shift work disorder also increases the risk of mental health problems like depression;
- A natural dip in alertness at night leads to an increase in on-the-job injuries;
- You will need to pay close attention to your sleep schedule to make sure you get enough rest; and
- When you take time off, you may struggle to adjust and then readjust your schedule.
Additional Questions You Should Ask Yourself
- Are you a night owl or a morning lark?
- Could you start at third shift and eventually move your way up to second or first?
- Would you have to switch between shifts on a regular basis? (This increases the number of health risks.)
Are You Searching for a First, Second or Third Shift Job?
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