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Not Your Regular 9-to-5 Job

For many, waking up for work at 1:30 a.m. sounds more like a nightmare than a dream job. But for recently retired French baker Michel Fiat, that wasn't the case. He spent a good part of his career working for the dining services department at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

An early riser, Fiat enjoyed his work. ¿At most bakeries and restaurants, the bread has to be ready by 6 a.m.,¿ says Fiat, so workers like him are often in demand.

If you're looking to work atypical hours, there are a number of options. And the advantages to this schedule span beyond merely accommodating your biological clock's early-bird or night-owl preference.

The Opportunities

The hospitality industry never sleeps, so there are countless opportunities to meet anyone's desired schedule. Happy Fuentes, director of human resources for Hawk's Cay Resort in Duck Key, Florida, looks for candidates who enjoy working opposite hours from the rest of the world. ¿The candidate profile for these positions run the spectrum,¿ notes Fuentes. Hourly options include positions in housekeeping, front-desk reception, night audit and security.

If you are neither a night owl nor an early riser, check out telemarketing and customer-service industries. According to Barbara Stark, director of marketing for A New Horizon, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida-based nonprofit credit counseling services, shifts are available for employees who need a little bit more time to get their children off in the morning or for exercise die-hards who must get a run or swim in before starting their day. ¿Customer service representatives work 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. as well as Saturdays,¿ says Stark.

The Advantages of Working Off-Hours

  • Free Daytime: For early risers, there are numerous benefits for finishing your shift by 10:30 a.m. ¿You can have another job during the daytime if you want to earn extra money,¿ says Fiat. ¿Your whole day is free. You can get errands done on off-hours and avoid traffic on the way to and from work.¿

    Stark points out that working unusual hours provides people with a great deal of flexibility for scheduling personal appointments. Fiat knows how true this is. At a time when most people were in the employee kitchen pouring their second cup of coffee, Fiat was rushing out the door to make his daily appointment on the ski slopes in Vermont.
  • Peace and Quiet: For late-night workers, ¿there are fewer interruptions, hence more time for job productivity,¿ says Fuentes. Even though some people accept positions on the third-shift just to get their foot in the door, at Hawk's Cay Resort, most employees who begin on the third shift tend to continue working those hours.
  • Good Pay: ¿We get students, retirees and people who may be looking for a little extra money, as [off-hour] positions often pay a little more than regular, business-hours positions,¿ says Fuentes.

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