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Night Jobs: How to Function Like a Normal Person if You Have a Night Job

Updated on February 22, 2010

The Upside of Night Jobs

Lets take a minute to reflect on the good parts about having a job where you have to work at night. Sometimes its a drag and you'll feel like you're not living like a normal person, but there are definitely some good things about working the night shift.

1. You probably make more money than the person that does your job during the day. Most companies pay anywhere from 10% - 20% more for working the night shift. Chances are, they're appreciating you as well.

2. Less meetings and an overall lower stress worklife. If all the head honchos are sleeping, you probably don't have to sit through a lot of meetings or worry that the big boss is going to stop by your workstation.

3. You probably don't have to battle the traffic for a night shift job. This leaves you more personal time and less time sitting in your car just trying to get to and from work.

4. You'll probably get more promotions, more quickly than your daytime counterparts. There's less competition and you get more time to get really good at your job without distraction.

5. The night shift might save you money at home and give you more time with your family. Lets say you work 11pm to 7am. You could come home and sleep until the kids get home from school or practice and then be there to hang out with them and prepare for meal time. Then you have a few hours to yourself later in the evening before heading back to work. It might save you money on childcare.

How to work night jobs
How to work night jobs

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Survival Skills for Night Jobs

1. On Fridays or Saturday morning, depending on your schedule, it's going to be tough but TRY to get on your families schedule before the weekend starts.

2. Eat something healthy and 'normal' before your shift starts and after it's over. At night it's more tempting to eat bad food or just eat 'survival' food (aka vending machine goodies), but try to resist the urge and eat right. 

3. If you decide to sleep when you first get home, avoid getting sucked into mind numbing and time sucking activities like watching tv and seeing what your friends are up to on facebook. 

4. Do a normal sleep ritual no matter what time you go to bed. Brush your teeth, read a book etc.

5. Invest in black out curtains or blinds. They will be your best friend when you're trying to fall asleep at 10am and the sun is shining in.

6. Stay away from sleeping pills. It's tempting if you're switching your sleep schedule, but try to avoid them. Your body will figure out your new sleep schedule within a couple of days.

7. Make time for all of your normal activities like, exercise, playing with your kids, going to happy hour with friends and anything else 'normal' that you can fit in.

8. If you can, do a few things that day people rarely get a chance to do. Volunteer at your kids school for a couple of hours before your bedtime or meet your spouse for breakfast.

9. If you're doing the night job so that you can advance, remember that and always be working towards it. Doing something tough feels better if you can see a positive outcome and you know you're doing it for a reason.

10. Do your errands at off peak hours. Most of your daily tasks like grocery shopping, sitting in traffic etc. all get to be done when not many other people are doing it, so hopefully everything will be faster!


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