Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Working Alternative Work Shifts For More Money

Yesterday, I took a personal day off from work and used that time to spend the day with my two kids (one is 11 years old, and the other is 8 years old).  Surprisingly we all had a great time and it got me thinking that perhaps it would be nice to spend more time with them as they grow over the next few years.  The problem is that work gets in the way, but what if I (or we) were to work alternative shifts instead, and at the same time make more money?

For instance where I work at my employer has both a second and third shift.  So let’s say I asked to be put on the third shift instead of the first shift.  Let’s examine the results if I were to be assigned to such a shift:

  1. I’d instantly make 20% more money because of the shift differential.  Cha-Ching, instant bonus!
  2. I would be sleeping when my kids are either sleeping or in school.  During the time they are in school, I’d be home before they get off of school, and this would work out perfectly.  During the summer, I could get a little sleep during the morning or afternoon, depending on what is going on.
  3. Since hardly anyone works 3rd shift and there isn’t much work to do for part of the shift, I might be able to work two jobs at once!
  4. I could even take my laptop in to work and do some side income work related tasks, obviously knowing that I need to do my shift related work first.
  5. There is even the possibility of juggling two jobs and working side income opportunities for a maximum of time usage.  Although this might be difficult, and the “Side Income” tasks would have to be fairly simple in nature.
  6. I would have more time to look for better paying jobs, which in turn might mean a dramatic jump in base pay.
  7. I would be able to work my side businesses during the day, when more people are available for meetings and talking.
  8. Another benefit would be that I could meet with professionals and city workers about issues concerning my side businesses.

Second shift would have some similar benefits, but because your working prime hours (when the kids are home), to me, it wouldn’t be as beneficial to work this shift… unless you could do it while telecommuting in to do it.

I think if you aren’t particularly crazy about your job, and you really value the time with your kids (and obviously get along), this might be a great opportunity.  I think the key to making it worthwhile is if you are willing to fully utilize the advantages of such a shift.  If you aren’t willing to take advantages of the perks, then even with the shift differential (usually 20%) it might not be worth it.  Personally, if I were working third shift, I would try to at least double my income!



19 Responses to Working Alternative Work Shifts For More Money

  1. seems like things are all in your favor for a shift change. You used the word “surprisingly” to describe that you enjoyed time with your kids. Wasn’t it normal that you’ll enjoy time with your family?

    • It was a weekday and my wife wasn’t home, so we went out and did a full day’s worth of activities. It was a blast and time well spend away from work. I just didn’t expect it to be so much fun 🙂

  2. I would recommend against it. That can be hard on your body. No money is worth that kind of misery. I did swing shift for 3 weeks one summer in college (when I was close to my physical prime) and I was miserable!

    • Having worked 3rd shift, I have to agree for the most part. I talked to the guy that normally does third shift and he said that eventually you get use to it. I think he has a few jobs much like I describe above.

      But you are right, I covered for my buddy and it was a horrible three weeks!

  3. I did swing shift for 6 months when I was younger and I loved it. I could enjoy the day and then go in at 3pm until 10pm. The people on first shift work from 9am to 8 or 9pm so it’s much better on the swing shift. This was during a busy time at my job.

    • We call that shift 2nd shift, and it goes from 3:30pm to midnight where I work at. It’s nice but during the winter when school is in session, I’d never get to see my kids during the week. I would be sad..

  4. As long as you can return to your original shift if you loathe the third shift, then go for it. There’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain, right?

    Also, it’s pretty convenient that your employer offers this shift. I wish I had this opportunity!

    -Christian L.

  5. It sounds like it’s worth a try anyway. For some people it is very hard to adjust to swing shift, but for others it is relatively easy. If it can increase your income and allow for more time with your kids it sounds like a win to me. Remember that soon they will be teenagers and it suddenly won’t be ‘cool’ to spend a bunch of time with the folks. So fit in some quality time while you can.

  6. I never worked shift work. At this point in my life, I favor quality of life versus more money. If you can do it temporarily to try it out, why not?

  7. i have known people that work alternative shifts, and while it can help with parenting logistics.. it is VERY bad for a marriage.

    you both feel like single parents, and can lose your connectivity to each other very easily..

  8. I can’t work shifts but my girlfriend can. Unfortunately that would mean that she would be sleeping while I’m home so it isn’t worth it to us. Sounds like it’ll work well for you so maybe you should ask for a transfer!

    • I think it would work for a short period of time, especially if I were looking for another job, but you and Jefferson are correct, it would put a strain on my marriage.

  9. I worked 2nd and occasionally 3rd shifts at a hospital as a respiratory therapist, and always volunteered for holidays because I could get double or triple time along with the shift differential. While 2nd shift was great, 3rd shift was physical torture for me, fighting fatigue. Also I believe there are studies about 3rd-shift not being so great for the health. If you have the biological clock for it, it can be great but it’s not for everyone.