Different Shifts, Different Benefits

What shift should you work if given a choice?


The path to the “hustle” life is not direct.  Even when you have it going, you might take a “regular” job for a short time because you need to, the money is just too good, or it is a part of your plan for being a BPB.  Jobs come with work hours.  Even when these hours have flexibility, your boss expects you to show up at a set time most to all days.  Normally, you have no choice.  But if you do, consider the shifts that area available and the plusses and drawbacks of each.



Classically called “9-5” but usually 8-5, 8-4:30, or something near those times.  The shift that the postwar office worker worked.  Plusses are that this is the most “social” shift.  The big bosses will work when you work so you will be plugged in to what is going on at the office.  If you join a social organization that has evening meetings you will easily be able to attend and even have a few drinks if you want.  There will be the most jobs to choose from as this is the shift business is built around.  It also fits the best with natural sleep patterns.

The negatives are your days are filled.  To see the doctor or dentist means to use your personal days or lose pay.  When you go to dinner after work, everyone else is there.  Any place you have lunch will be jammed.  Should you desire to take an evening class for whatever reason there will probably be one night to choose from, one time.  You will be worn out from working all day when you go to your hustles.

WHO WORKS IT?  This shift is taken by most people, but you will find mainly mainstreamers her.  People who want to go home to the family at the end of the day, and are happy with their 30 year mortgage on a property in a HOA, looking the same as every other house on the block.  They plan on having car payments for life or even lease so they can drive newer, nicer cars.

VERDICT: Not the best, not the worst.  Living in limbo.  Just do not fall into the trap of living the salaryman life.


“Swing Shift.”  a/k/a “Night Turn,” “Dead Man Shift,” “Evenings” or “B-Shift”

This is the shift that takes over when Day Shift leaves, hours run 3-11 or 4-12 with the same 8.5-9 hour timeframe the extra time being an unpaid lunch.  The bosses have gone home for the day, except in places like casinos or other leisure industries where this is the shift that produces the most revenue so is most important.  For this reason it might be more relaxed an atmosphere than the day shift.  The nice part of this shift is it leaves your days free.  Need to see the doctor and you go before work, easily able to pick most any time you want.  Taking a class is easy, many days and times to choose from.  Hustles are mixed, you cannot work evening hustles like working parties, OTOH you can do your won day hustles.

The negatives are a few.  You will have little social life as everything happens when you are at work, when you do get off then everyone is done for the night.  Sleep can be tough as it may take time to wind down after work and you get to sleep no earlier than 2-3, sleeping to nearly noon if you allow yourself.  It can be easy to fall in with a party crowd as you are getting off at the peak party time of the night.  Be careful to avoid this.

WHO WORKS IT?  A few kinds of people.  The husband or wife who need to work an opposing shift to the spouse so someone is home to watch the kids at all hours.  People trying to break-in to a company or industry.  The aforesaid party-animal types who want a job it is next to impossible to oversleep.  But also the hustler who always seems to have several different business schemes all in various stages of development.  They might have rental property or are rehabbing a house.  Might deliver morning newspapers as they get off work.  Taking classes to learn a skill.  Doing freelance work.  Be the last type!


“Night Shift.” a/k/a “Graveyard”, “Overnight,” “C Shift”

This is an interesting shift.  In some places it is just a person, sitting mostly bored out of their mind, keeping service or/and security for the overnight hours.  Or it can be the lifeblood, when the business is restocked and reset for another buys day starting in the morning.  Know what you want to accomplish here.  If you are taking a class and want a paid place to study, do not bother applying to a grocery store as you will be busy start to stop.  On the other hand, if you need any kind of job to pay the bills, those stores are nearly always hiring since it can be hard to fill this shift, just as hard to keep people on it.  Your days and evenings are free, though you cannot have a few beers as you watch the game.  You will sit in little to no traffic.  High-level bosses are rarely if ever around, so not much hassle over “nonsense” things that can draw attention during the day.

Like the other shifts, there are some negatives.  For at least 4-6 months your life will consist of trying to stay awake.  Eventually, you will need perhaps 6 hours of sleep on nights you work but will collapse to bed one night and need to catch up.  This is simply how the body works.  Sleep gets “borrowed” when you do not get enough, sooner or later the body takes it back.  These kind of jobs require a person who can-do.  If you are alone and a problem comes up, there may be nobody else to ask for help.  If you work on a crew of people, you had better be a man about life as this kind of work can become the kind of people who talk and yell rough during the job, but all is forgotten at the end of the shift.  Some people cannot handle this.

WHO WORKS IT?  The biggest variety you can find.  I volunteered for it right out of high school for more hours and it paid $.30 more per hour, or about $500 per year, a lot of money for me at the time, about $1,000 in today’s dollars.  Many people do the same, it is a shift where you can get more hours since it is harder to fill.  So that is one type you get, the kind that want to earn more.  Others like that you might get to be alone more of the time, or at least left alone.  This is a big selling point for many people, including myself.  One thing is when you are working nights, you mostly deal with people who work nights.  These people tend to be more the kind that know what needs to get done and want to get it done.  It is not that they are rude, but they have their jobs to do and know you do, too.  It is a unique subculture.  Once you start working it, for some reason it is easy to get drawn back to doing it.  Somehow a boss can sense you would be a good fit.  As to how it works with hustles, it can be pretty good once you train your body to it.  Concentrate on doing that.


“Mid-Day Shift”

This is a shift where you work perhaps 11-7 or 12-8.  In most cases this is an East Coast thing so that the entire country can be serviced during business hours.  It should be avoided as it leaves no time morning or evening for any personal pursuits.  I once took it as I had no other choice.  The only good thing is it lets you interview for something better if you get a first thing in the morning appointment.  Do not take this shift as a “break-in” attempt for some dream job.  It will take forever to get off of it if you ever do.  Just say no.


“Power Shifts”

These can be a variety of arrangement.  I interviewed for one that was 10 hour days F-S-S-M, the night 12 hours.  It was funny since they pressured me to make some kind of decision so I “didn’t lose the shift.”  I asked if that would happen on such a shift.  They sheepishly said, “no” and let me have the leeway I needed for a delayed start date.  Other things I have seen is nurses working 12 hour days Saturday and Sunday then the next week nights, but they got paid for 40!  Oil workers can do 14 days on then 14 days off, or 21/21.  This is for offshore or remote fields that have to run 24/7.

Think hard before you take this.  Anyone can say they will work 14/12s, until they do it.  When you come home it will take 3 days to recover, but then much time off to do whatever else.  Not to mention there is probably no vacation or PTO when you do this with so much time off to start.

Other than the nurses, my experience is it is almost always men who can and do this kind of shift.  If they do not have a hustle when they start, sooner or later they get one due to boredom on the off periods.  At the least, give it a try, but if you are the type to be lonesome for home or even just like keeping pets it may not be for you.