Finding the right shift will make or break the job. Why? Because you end up building your life around work, in most cases. There are pros and cons to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shift, but the trick is to figure out which one is right for you.

1st, 2nd, or 3rd?

In a production-driven environment, there are usually three shifts that keep things running smoothly night and day:

  • 1st shift is the typical 9 to 5 work environment, although it could start and end earlier; 7 to 3 is one variation.
  • 2nd shift is the swing, which runs in the latter part of the day to the middle of the night, usually, 4 pm to 12:00 am.
  • 3rd shift is known as the night shift. This is the midnight to 8 am typical shift.

If you have three choices on when to work, which is better for you?

The first question to ask is whether you’re a morning or night person. You don’t like the typical sleep pattern of about 11 pm to 7 am, it may make more sense to do an alternative to the 1st shift. In our experience, we see a lot of morning people struggling to do the swing shift. At the same time, night people often are less productive during a 9 to 5 1st shift.

The second question is related to the situation your family is in. For example, your spouse may work the 1st shift. Would it make sense for you to take care of the kids during that time and then work the 2nd, or 3rd shift? Many times, you can get higher pay for working swing or 3rd, so that, plus what you’d save on daycare could make it compelling for your family to work split shifts. Or, perhaps you are going to school. What shift accommodates your class schedule? Or, if you’re caring for a sick relative, what schedule could work best.

If you have schedule flexibility, consider the pay of these positions. Many companies pay an incentive if you’re: a) Willing to work something other than 1st shift, or; b) Able to switch to overnight or a swing shift periodically. If you have some clear financial goals, it may be worth working overnight even if staying awake during those hours doesn’t come as naturally as you’d like.

Some of the pros of working a more “unusual” schedule include:

  • Better pay.
  • Better lifestyle choices to suit your family situation.
  • Fewer commuter hassles (you travel to work at non-peak times which lessens traffic).
  • A quieter shift, for example, after hours at a retail store is typically a customer-free job devoted to cleaning or stocking shelves.

Looking for a New Job? People Plus Can Help!

The point here is that if you’re considering alternative shifts to the typical 9 to 5, you have options today. Talk with the team at People Plus about your experience, your goals, and your situation. The chances are high that we have a job that fits. Call on us to find out more.

Nov 25, 2021 By Amy Sanderson