Yes, Halloween is in the air – but we are here to talk about jobs! I found out recently that working the graveyard shift isn’t as spooky as it sounds. In fact – it wasn’t terrible at all and lots of folks actually enjoy working during 3rd shift.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I voluntarily quit my 2nd shift job of 13 years to pursue my dream of a cross country bicycle ride. It was awesome and I’m glad I did it. But when I returned from my trip the company I worked for – who fully supported my adventure – no longer had a job available for me. The economy was the worst it has been in my lifetime and I was doing all sorts of odd jobs until I was finally offered a 3rd shift position at my old job. The horror! But I had little choice at the time so I decided to do it. I worked the shift for three months and even though it was a challenge, it wasn’t really that bad.
I’m a “solar powered” person so I decided I had to sleep in two parts so that I could enjoy some sunshine during the middle part of the day. I don’t recommend that approach for other third shift workers though because you never really get a good full day’s sleep and I was tired all the time. If you find yourself working the graveyard shift, you will need to decide if you want to sleep before work or after work. If you are going to work this schedule permanently, I would recommend you train yourself to set a bedtime in the afternoon so you can enjoy some sunshine in the morning. Just leave enough time for a solid 7 – 8 hours of sleep before your shift starts. It will take a while for your body to adjust but you will get used to it. If that schedule doesn’t work for you, then you might want to sleep directly after your shift and get up sometime in the afternoon staying awake until you go to work again. Also, I’m a firm believer in naps so you can fit one of those in with any sleep schedule.
Just keep in mind that you need to be alert and awake for your entire shift. Sleeping on the job is a good way to get fired and with today’s video monitoring you won’t likely get away with a nap at work. Listen to your body and decide what sleep schedule works best for you keeping in mind that we all need a solid, uninterrupted 7 to 8 hour sleep cycle.
Do you have a suggestion for third shift schedule? Have you encountered any unusual situations working the graveyard shift? Please share your comments below.