Choosing a shift for your next job can be an easy or difficult question to answer. For some, there may be only one or two things to think about. For others, there may be many. Hopefully, we will be able to help you pick a work shift & help you decide what your next job will be.

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What’s the difference between work shifts?

You may be familiar with what shifts are, but what are the differences between them? Typically, there are three kinds of work shifts at any place of business: first, second, and third shift.

First shift. This is one of the more common work shifts, also known as a “9 to 5”. Although, most first-shift jobs don’t operate on a 9-to-5 schedule. First shift positions begin in the morning and end in the afternoon or evening. An example of first-shift hours are 7am-3:30pm, but the start time varies.

Second shift. Second shift is the less common option of the three, but still has its place in many industries. Second shift typically begins in the late afternoon and ends late at night. It is a common shift for part-time workers, but for many other workers, it conflicts with their schedules. Some second shift positions also come with a small pay differential (higher hourly pay than first shift). An example of second shift would be 3pm-11pm, but like first shift, this also may vary.

Third shift. Third shift is the often referred to as “night shift” or “graveyard shift,” in that it takes place at night. It is very common for a company’s first shift and third shift hours to be opposites of each other. For example, they may have a first shift team work from 7am-4pm, and a third-shift team work from 7pm-4am. Since third shift is a big adjustment for some people and may disrupt their lives outside of work, third shift often comes with a pay differential, and in some cases its even larger than second shift.

Which work shift should you pick?

Now that you know the difference between the shifts, which one should you pick?

Your schedule. This is probably the most important thing you should consider. Which work shift best lines up with your schedule? If you have children that go to school, you might want to consider a first or third shift position. If you prefer to do your grocery shopping in the morning, this may not be feasible on second or third shift, as you may be sleeping when most stores are open.

Your income needs. You may also want to choose a shift that offers the most pay. In some industries, third shift offers the most take-home pay due to the pay differential. However, a company that pays high salaries and has great benefits may only have first shift available.

Your personal preference. The shift you pick should also line up with your personal preference. Let’s face it. For some, a third-shift job is a major adjustment and may not be the best choice, especially if they’ve never worked the night shift before. The reverse is also true; if you’ve always worked third shift, switching to first, or even second, might be very difficult. Always take into consideration what you will be able to handle.

Choosing a work shift can be difficult. Fortunately, we can help! Contact us today to find out how we can help you find the best job that fits your schedule, your income needs and your personal preferences!