Make Shift Work #Werk For You

By Engine Room Posted 9mth(s) ago Reading Time: A few minutes


You’ve sat for that final paper, tossed the mortarboard high in the sky, and now, you’re revving slay that proverbial chapter called adulthood. But as a soon-to-engineer, there’s always that one thing about the job niggling at the back of your mind: the prospect of shift work.

There are a number of patterns and purposes for shifts, but most misunderstood is the one that starts when most have come to their day’s end. We know what you’re thinking. Struggling to stay awake, feeling your blood type turn into caffeine and attending fewer parties sound nothing like a dream job, and hey - we’re not denying the challenges that the night shift will surely bring. But before low-key dismissing jobs that list the unimaginable in their description, we thought we’d take a moment to tell you just why it can be worth pursuing a role that keeps you up and out even while most of the world turns in.

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Get a leg up over the competition

In most workplaces, a nine-to-five life means you get to enjoy the benefit of having more than a couple of colleagues to depend on. When you work irregular shifts, though, the stakes are usually raised because people count on you to keep operations running like a well-oiled machine – figuratively, or maybe even literally.

Is it more responsibility? Yes, but because of it, you’ll almost definitely master the ropes quicker and with more sharpness. Nailing the job that many fear won’t come without a little time and a lot of grit, but showing that you’re in control of your tasks and environment regardless of time and team could very well place you in prime position for professional development. And this brings us to our next point!

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Fast track your #careergoals

Hustling when most co-workers have called it a night often means that you’re left only with your skills and smarts to navigate challenges, develop solutions and make (hopefully, good) decisions. While the autonomy might seem scary at first, seasoned engineers have experienced first-hand the wonders it can have on your growth potential. Micron Technology’s Central Team Process and Equipment Engineering Director, Sim Kim Seong, shared, “Shift work makes you more independent and able to think on your feet. It really accelerated my learning path.”

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It is also far easier to be productive given the lower volume of disruptions during later shifts. If you’re planning to go into manufacturing, for example, the quiet of the night just might be when you can run tests on ideas to improve on a production process. Shift work offers you more opportunities to hone your skills and work on projects that add value to current systems, which are undoubtedly qualities that put you on an upward track, period. 

Enjoy more free time

If everything you’ve read so far sounds like all work and no play, you’ll be glad to know the truth is quite the opposite. Longer hours? Sure. But also, fewer work days. You get almost twice the amount of time to rest and recharge compared to the rest of us common folk. Yep, we were shook at first too.

The length of shifts vary from firm to firm but for many engineering companies, shift blocks span between 10 to 12 hours. Daniel Lim, Photo Process Associate Engineering at Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC), shared, “I like shift work because there’s more free time. And I have a better social life! You work two days and rest two days – that’s why some people actually don’t want to move off shift.”

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‘Nuff said.

Ace #adulting

Finally, one of the greatest perks of working a late shift is the convenience it offers in the day time. While everyone is off at work, you get to take an idyllic stroll down the aisles of FairPrice, blow off steam at a gym class with half as many active bodies, and you’ll never miss a delivery! Plus, the time it usually takes to run regular errands will be neatly slashed by half, not just because there are less people out and about, but also because you get to avoid sitting in traffic altogether. Now, wouldn’t that be a good lewk?

Many late shift workers also use the time to engage with their own special projects – something they might otherwise never be able to do working regular hours. From natural light photography, taking a cooking class to going back to school, even. Sure, you might need to sacrifice a couple hours of shut-eye, but as a shift worker, you’ll start moving to your very own special rhythm.

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And there you have it – four wonderfully compelling reasons to take a chance on shift work if we may say so ourselves. As they say, you’ll never know if you never try, so give it a shot. We’re rooting for you!

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