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Working the overnight shift.

XX55XXXX55XX Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I am currently studying accounting at the university. Unfortunately, as a rising senior, I haven't been able to land an internship for the summer, and it's unlikely that I will. Of course, this constrains my ability to stand out when applying for fulltime positions, so I've been considering alternatives.

Anyways, a buddy of mine was telling me that I should apply for positions in night audit (an accounting/customer service function) at a local hotel or something once I graduate and if I can't find an actual day job in accounting. I looked it up, and found at least a dozen open spots for night audit in nearby hotels within a ten mile radius from me.

The hours run from 11:00PM to 7:00AM in most of the places. They do not require degrees, but most of them list a four year degree as "recommended". However, I'm a morning person at heart (I get up at 6:00AM on most days and go to sleep at 11:00PM). and I'm not sure if I'll be able to adjust to not having a life during the day.

Has anyone here worked overnight positions or are currently working graveyard shifts? Because I am considering doing this for a while if I can't be an actual accountant.

Posts

  • TraceofToxinTraceofToxin King Nothing Registered User regular
    Working nightshift is the best shit ever. Less bullshit to deal with, tons of free time at work.

    However, if you're a day person at heart, it'll be tough to adjust to. I suggest sleep deprivation for a day or two to start the cycle and melatonin to make sure you can fall asleep when you lay down in the morning.

    Lots of people I work with use energy drinks, I advocate just good sleep patterns and hydration.

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  • EthrinilEthrinil Registered User regular
    I have worked the night shift and graveyard shift in the past. I loved it except for the impact it had on my social life. I am a night person at heart and would have kept that schedule in a heartbeat if it hadn't been for my inability to have a good social life.

    2nd Shift - I typically worked when my friends were hanging out and having fun, slept when they were at work and was awake when they slept, it kinda sucked. I loved my sleep schedule, but it sucked for my social life.

    Graveyard - I Tried approaching this two ways, one was working first then hanging out in the day. This was cool because everything was open and i could hang out in parks on the nice days or go out and do what i wanted (or stay in and play some games) But then i would sleep while my friends got out of work. The other way I tried was to end my day with work. I would sleep when they in the morning right after getting home from work, then I would be awake and able to hang out with my friends, and then go to work. The latter worked out decently but i always had a hard time going to sleep right after work because I was so wound up.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Ethrinil wrote: »
    I have worked the night shift and graveyard shift in the past. I loved it except for the impact it had on my social life. I am a night person at heart and would have kept that schedule in a heartbeat if it hadn't been for my inability to have a good social life.

    2nd Shift - I typically worked when my friends were hanging out and having fun, slept when they were at work and was awake when they slept, it kinda sucked. I loved my sleep schedule, but it sucked for my social life.

    Graveyard - I Tried approaching this two ways, one was working first then hanging out in the day. This was cool because everything was open and i could hang out in parks on the nice days or go out and do what i wanted (or stay in and play some games) But then i would sleep while my friends got out of work. The other way I tried was to end my day with work. I would sleep when they in the morning right after getting home from work, then I would be awake and able to hang out with my friends, and then go to work. The latter worked out decently but i always had a hard time going to sleep right after work because I was so wound up.

    I definitely recommend the latter...wake up in the afternoon, hang out, then work, then sleep. If you have "daytime stuff" you need to get done, either stay up "late" or get up early. You'll be a happier camper. Though yeah, you'll eventually miss the sunlight.

    But whatever you do, don't get into the whole energy drink and fucked-up sleep cycle thing. Set up your hours, and try to follow them (as much as you would follow a "regular" sleep cycle, that is). I did the stocking shift at Target (3am to noon) for a while, and failed to do this, and it was absolutely brutal on me.

    Spoiler:
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I worked the weekend grave for 7 and a half years. Complete lack of social life ensued, but I'm pretty much an anti-social introvert at the best of times so it wasn't a huge loss for me. I liked it, and the shift worked for me. It was a 4x10 though (9pm-8am), so I had a three day weekend in the middle of the week.
    Schedule wise, I typically woke up around 5-6pm, had a few hours to wake up/eat before I started work. Got off about 8 in the morning, had an hour or so to play with before I went to bed.

    Staying awake can be tough, I personally recommend against the steady intake of caffeine and sugar that most of my co-workers lived on while they burnt out. Get a good water bottle, fill it and freeze it during the day and bring it with you so you'll have ice-cold water on hand. Keep some healthy (or semi-healthy) snacks to give you a bit of a boost. Granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit and the like.

    The most important bit of advice I can offer though has already been stated. Set a sleep schedule that'll get you enough shuteye, and keep to it. Trying to rely on energy drinks to keep you up is a losing proposition, and an expensive one at that.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • EthrinilEthrinil Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Ethrinil wrote: »
    I have worked the night shift and graveyard shift in the past. I loved it except for the impact it had on my social life. I am a night person at heart and would have kept that schedule in a heartbeat if it hadn't been for my inability to have a good social life.

    2nd Shift - I typically worked when my friends were hanging out and having fun, slept when they were at work and was awake when they slept, it kinda sucked. I loved my sleep schedule, but it sucked for my social life.

    Graveyard - I Tried approaching this two ways, one was working first then hanging out in the day. This was cool because everything was open and i could hang out in parks on the nice days or go out and do what i wanted (or stay in and play some games) But then i would sleep while my friends got out of work. The other way I tried was to end my day with work. I would sleep when they in the morning right after getting home from work, then I would be awake and able to hang out with my friends, and then go to work. The latter worked out decently but i always had a hard time going to sleep right after work because I was so wound up.

    I definitely recommend the latter...wake up in the afternoon, hang out, then work, then sleep. If you have "daytime stuff" you need to get done, either stay up "late" or get up early. You'll be a happier camper. Though yeah, you'll eventually miss the sunlight.

    But whatever you do, don't get into the whole energy drink and fucked-up sleep cycle thing. Set up your hours, and try to follow them (as much as you would follow a "regular" sleep cycle, that is). I did the stocking shift at Target (3am to noon) for a while, and failed to do this, and it was absolutely brutal on me.

    I agree 100% about the energy drink advice. Keeping your sleep schedule "regular" is what is really important.

  • Mad JazzMad Jazz Registered User regular
    I'm posting this from the ER of the hospital where I work 7p-7a a few days a week. At various times over the past several years I have worked this job exclusively, in tandem with a food service job, and while carrying both a full course load and clinical load as I finished paramedic school. Lots of this advice is great, especially about the sleep schedule. Everybody is different, and everyone runs differently on different amounts of sleep, so try and find the amount that works best for you. For me, I can make it through a week on 3 hours of sleep per 24, but I'll crash pretty hard at the end. To stay happy and even keeled, I need about 6 hours, and on my fridays I tend to sleep for about 10.5.

    Once you get your sleep pattern set, make sure you do what you need to do to stick to it. Turn off your phone, cover your windows if you can't sleep when it's light, tell your roommates to keep the noise down while you're at home in the mornings, whatever. Also, if this job has lots of downtime, find something to occupy yourself while you're there so you don't get bored and go all Shining on your coworkers. Oh, and make sure you cook yourself lunches that are at least reasonably good for you, eating fast food or whatever shit is open at 4am is a good way to feel like ass for a while after a shift.

    Honestly though, for all the social and circadian difficulties that come with it, night shift is awesome. Fewer bosses, cooler people, more autonomy. The only shift I've found that I like more is working 24s as EMS.

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  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 VictoriaRegistered User regular
    Mad Jazz wrote: »

    Once you get your sleep pattern set, make sure you do what you need to do to stick to it. Turn off your phone, cover your windows if you can't sleep when it's light, tell your roommates to keep the noise down while you're at home in the mornings, whatever. Also, if this job has lots of downtime, find something to occupy yourself while you're there so you don't get bored and go all Shining on your coworkers. Oh, and make sure you cook yourself lunches that are at least reasonably good for you, eating fast food or whatever shit is open at 4am is a good way to feel like ass for a while after a shift..

    This, this, this. While I don't work nights normally, I've done split (4 pm - midnight) and multi-day project implementations where I work until the work is done.

    "Easy" food is so high in sugar / caffeine / fat that the down is way worse than the high. Water and real food is much better.

  • BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus The quackiest of psy's Registered User regular
    Ive worked the graveyard shift for about two years now and I can definitely say without a doubt that getting a regular sleeping pattern and avoiding the high sugar/caffeine stuff is the most important.

    Once you can work out a good schedule, working this kind of shift is great. I work a 11PM to 7PM shift and am able to hang out and get all my crap done in reasonable time.

  • harry.timbershaftharry.timbershaft Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    [deleted]

    harry.timbershaft on
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    Be careful with provigil, that is some heavy stuff. To my understanding, on the stimulant scale its closer to meth than 5 hour energy. That said, it may be useful.

    Midnights are the coolest shift, unless you are one of those guys who physically cannot sleep during the day. Black out curtains, ear plugs, and sleeping masks all help. The work generally has less bosses/supervisors, and as someone else said, you can still either go out in the evening, or during the day when all the suckers are at work.

    As others said, cook yourself some damn food. The "lawl cops and donuts" stereotype come from back in the day when the only place to get coffee/food at 3am were doughnut shops. If you do need fast food in the morning, places like wawa are lesser evils, with their 24hour sandwiches.

  • Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    I currently work the shift at a hotel right before night audit. Be careful before doing this. Depending on the hotel you may be the only employee there and it comes with more than just handling the audit. You'll be Doing desk work and dealing with upset people most of the time.

    That being said it pays better than other positions and on e you learn it you can easily get a job. This is based off my hotel which is a solidly middle class place.

  • PelPel Registered User regular
    When I worked third shift my best schedule tended to be sleeping immediately after work, with an occasional nap before work. This means going to sleep at 8:00 am and waking up at noon-1:00 for me. I actually really enjoyed it and it worked for me, If I didn't get a couple of hours of sleep before work I wasn't completely bushed and could make up the difference with a normal dose of caffeine, and If I did, it was probably better than a first shift schedule overall for me. The down side is that the 10-11:00 pm start of many third shift jobs was just too early for me to do social stuff.

  • starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    You should reach out to some local accounting recruiters. Not sure where you're at, but Robert Half is a lot of places.

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  • harry.timbershaftharry.timbershaft Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    [deleted]

    harry.timbershaft on
  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    Making sure your room is light proof will help with sleeping at the odd hours as well.

  • sportzboytjwsportzboytjw squeeeeeezzeeee some more tax breaks outRegistered User regular
    Black out the room you sleep in. Shut off all the lights and then see where you see light coming in (under doors/windows) and hang blankets over the offending windows and put things against the bottom (or all over) of the door. That way you can simulate nighttime and not do the miserable light sleep that can happen on this shift.

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  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    In regards to your caffeine intake. It's no different during the day.

    Stop drinking it before going to bed.

    I don't drink caffeine after 3pm.

    I would also look at your curtains. Shitty curtains can wreck day time sleep. Even something simple like an extra sheet to block more light can do wonders.

  • harry.timbershaftharry.timbershaft Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    [deleted]

    harry.timbershaft on
  • harry.timbershaftharry.timbershaft Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    [deleted]

    harry.timbershaft on
  • NylonathetepNylonathetep Registered User regular
    http://voices.yahoo.com/night-shift-health-risks-3107026.html

    Personal Experience:
    I used to work at UPS and study Accounting at the same time. My sleep pattern is completely messed up and I can't even finish the course. I'll go to work at 11 pm, worked till 6 Am, go to sleep when the sun comes up and wake my grouchy around 3 Pm. I can't concentrate and by the time my mind's back into it it's 11 Pm again.

    Then again you'll be working at a desk job and that mean you might have time to study while you are on the job. You'll just have to ask yourself this question, can you get your mind back together when you get back up in the afternoon?

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    It's really difficult to regulate your life pattern around a sleep schedule like this since basically every other social cue revolves around the standard 9-5 workday (or at least a second shift workday.) Basic errands like buying food have to be kind of re-learned or re-scheduled, and it demolishes your social calendar.

    When I used to work overnights my problem wasn't adjusting my sleep schedule (it adjusted on it's own in a couple weeks), it was adjusting everything else.

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  • spookymuffinspookymuffin ( ° ʖ ° ) Speicher, GermanyRegistered User regular
    I used tin foil and tape to black out my windows when I was on nights.
    When I used to work overnights my problem wasn't adjusting my sleep schedule (it adjusted on it's own in a couple weeks), it was adjusting everything else.

    This. I always hated going to bed right when I got off of work so I could wake up "early" at 3pm and get things done before places closed.

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  • Mad JazzMad Jazz Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    grocery shopping at 7am is totally boss and is my favorite way to do my shopping.

    I don't know what your regular social circle is like, but I've found that I'm able to interact with people pretty normally, as well as get to all the stuff I need to get to without any extra effort beyond waking up between 2 and 3 in the afternoon. That said, since I work 12s, I'm only scheduled 3 days a week at most, so working five 8s a week, ymmv.

    Mad Jazz on
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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    Yeah, adjusting sleep time isn't difficult - first night I worked nights was really rough, but after that it all just kind of fell together.

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