Is a Second-Shift Job Right for You?

When it comes to job satisfaction, sometimes it’s not just what you do but when you do it. While many jobseekers don’t have much flexibility in selecting a job shift due to family or other concerns, some are able to choose their preferred work hours. If that’s your situation, you might want to consider a second-shift job. While most of the workforce opts for the first shift (usually 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., give or take an hour), the second shift, which usually runs from 4 or 5 p.m. to midnight or 1 a.m., has plenty of unique benefits. We’ll focus on four below.

Second Shift Comes With Better Pay

For many job seekers, salary tops the list of considerations when selecting a job. And as it turns out, a second shift job often comes with a pay bump compared to similar first-shift positions. This could either take the shape of either a flat rate or a percentage increase. Business Yield predicts the average shift differential pay for hourly workers in 2023 will range from a 5–15% increase or an additional 50 cents to $1.25 an hour.

Some employers, rather than offering increased pay for second-shift workers, will instead provide additional paid time off for those taking the second shift. Either way, you can expect to find tangible incentives for working “the shift less traveled.”

Waking Later and Sleeping Easier

Not a morning person? The second shift could be perfect for you. One of the obvious benefits is the ability to sleep later in the morning. And not only that, since you’ll be getting home around midnight, you’ll most likely have fewer distractions, which means going to sleep could be easier as well. Because of these two factors, your waking hours can be more productive, as you’ll feel well rested.

Fewer Distractions and Less Traffic

While a second shift makes for fewer distractions as you’re going to bed, it also provides fewer distractions while you’re working. Because most employees work the first shift (around 84%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), those working the second shift enjoy a much quieter workplace, allowing for greater focus.

A similar phenomenon occurs during office commutes. You’ll find you fight much less traffic during your second-shift commutes. In particular, you’ll find yourself getting home quicker when your workday is done.

Getting a Head Start on Advancement Opportunities

Some benefits of working the second shift are less obvious, but no less important. For instance, second-shift workers have a unique opportunity to build their status through a “keyholder role.” Literally, this means that you may be entrusted with a set of keys to let yourself and other second-shift workers into and out of the building. This responsibility improves your reputation for trustworthiness, which could work in your favor if you’re ever up for a promotion.

Shift Your Job Search into High Gear

Think about your lifestyle, your preferences and your priorities. Once you have a shift in mind, the professionals at Arrow Staffing can match your skills, experience and desired schedule with great employment opportunities. We’re an employment agency working with employers in Riverside and throughout Southern California and Grand Rapids, and we’d love to help you. Start here to learn more.

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