5 Benefits of Working the Night Shift
Switching to the night shift can help workers increase earnings and save on childcare and other costs. An Aerotek expert shares key considerations.
With so many of our daily rhythms thrown off course by COVID-19, modern households need to find new ways to make life more livable.
If you're looking for new ways to make ends meet, you may want to consider altering your work schedule. A switch to night shift employment creates new possibilities for earnings and career growth.
But since the night shift represents a big change, it comes with a few strings attached.
We spoke with Aerotek Industrial Practice Lead Erin Maloney to find out about the potential benefits and necessary considerations workers should keep in mind before flipping their daily schedule upside-down.
The night shift has its challenges, but many people love it
Changing to a night shift position requires an adjustment period. Everyone can expect challenging moments, but you’ll soon get accustomed to your new workday.
“Some people are reluctant to take on night shift work because it’s so different than anything they’ve ever done,” says Maloney, “but the people who do work the night shift tend to want to stay there — there is a culture and a camaraderie to it.”
If you’re a night owl, and if you often find yourself exchanging knowing nods to pre-dawn toll both operators and convenience store clerks, you might fit right in.
The night shift can put your foot in the right door
The existence of a night shift opportunity can clue you in to the health of a company. Employers only open a night shift if they have enough customer demand to justify it. Such companies also have more difficulty finding great candidates to fill essential roles on the night shift than they do during the day.
Employees looking into night shift opportunities may find better options than usual.
“When you start to look at night shift openings,” says Maloney, “you find yourself more likely to work for a company with better retention or more prestige - a preferred employer.”
The night shift can pay more, both in the short term and the long run
Companies with night shift positions understand they need to entice people to work through the wee hours. They tend to offer increased base wages to help lure late shift workers.
The night shift also reduces competition for promotions and career growth for those who demonstrate an ability to take on more managerial roles.
Every organization with multiple shifts needs high-quality workers distributed across day and night. If you can bring your A-game to the night shift, you’ll earn notice faster.
“Top employees are even more valuable on the night shift because there are fewer candidates,” says Maloney.
The night shift gives you flexibility to reduce your cost of living
Work/life balance can get a little easier to maintain with a switch to the night shift. Imagine less strenuous childcare requirements, clear lanes of traffic, and shorter lines at the grocery store.
The potential for immediate time and cost savings can make an even bigger difference to your bottom line than increased wages or a cleared path to career growth.
“If you’re looking to save on household costs like missed work for essential services or childcare,” says Maloney, “look into the night shift.”
Night shift employers can help you make the adjustment
Before you switch, understand that you’ll need time to adjust. Changing your sleep cycle won’t happen overnight. Expect a difficult first couple of weeks.
"Wait for a month or so before rushing to judgment on whether or not the change is worth it for you,” says Maloney.
You’ll also want to consider the night shift’s impact on the rest of your life. Often, get-togethers with friends and family will conflict with your new work schedule, so you’ll also need to adjust your social calendar.
If you’re worried that night shift employment will mean giving up on routines and services you rely on, ask about employee resources as a part of your night shift job search.
“Employers with night shifts often have plenty of resources available, such as food service or even gyms,” says Maloney. “Look into amenities first before you worry - a lot has changed with the night shift that might not fit your preconceived notions.”
Curious about what the night shift might hold in store for you?
Search for opportunities in your area on our job board.