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Old 01-14-2008, 04:43 PM   #1
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To those that work the nights

I'm just finishing up my Microsoft Certifications (MCDBA, MCSE and MCSD) and am getting ready to start on the path towards my eventual career as a Database Administrator.

Tomorrow I have an interview for a position that will hopefully do just that while also almost doubling my income (from $35k to $62k). The main problem is that the hours are 9pm to 5am and it's a one year contract.

I've had shifts that lasted until 1:30 in the morning before, but never something quite as "swing" as this. My question to all of you is whether or not it's worth it? I know a number of people on here have jobs that keep them around pretty late and I'm wondering what your opinions are on these types of positions.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
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Two things to consider.

1. Can you get sleep during the day. Do you have kids, wife, dog, deliveries, friendly neighbors, etc. that will be interrupting your sleep.

2. Can you adjust your schedule to get all your "chores" or odd jobs done. You will have to run errands before work. Do the places you frequently go to stay open late. That makes it a ton easier to get stuff done on the way to work.

My experience was I was routinely woken up for a phone call or whatever and I fell way behind on projects. And my Weekends were all jacked up too because I didn't want to mess up my routine. Which was unavoidable.

Having said all that. If you don't need a lot of sleep and can get enough rest. It isn't a bad way to go. But, it is a little harder to "live" with the rest of the world being on opposite ends of the clock. Once I got used to it, it wasn't a problem.

Now that I have a child. I don't think I could do it since we both work. I can totaly be done. I just wouldn't want to.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:04 PM   #3
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I did night crew (stocking shelves) for 3 years before t got into the IT dept. Its doable, its great for appointments and car stuff (can do things during the normal business day without taking off work). The hardest for people is sleeping during the day, it was normal for me because I lived in Alaska prior to the job (daylight all day in summer, darkness all day in the winter)

For a short term (year) I'd say go for it. A lot of entry level stuff even in our dba dept is always nights until you get seniority. That and the experience is invaluable, nights make you work on your own without backup so you learn to rely on what you know or can figure out.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Two things to consider.

1. Can you get sleep during the day. Do you have kids, wife, dog, deliveries, friendly neighbors, etc. that will be interrupting your sleep.
No kids, dog, or anyone coming to my door. I do live my girlfriend and a roommate who both work normal hours.

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2. Can you adjust your schedule to get all your "chores" or odd jobs done. You will have to run errands before work. Do the places you frequently go to stay open late. That makes it a ton easier to get stuff done on the way to work.
Yeah, they're all open until at least 9pm. Why would this be an issue though? I'd be free all day long, I would be able to make it anywhere before they closed.

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My experience was I was routinely woken up for a phone call or whatever and I fell way behind on projects. And my Weekends were all jacked up too because I didn't want to mess up my routine. Which was unavoidable.
That's one thing I'm worried about. I'd be off on weekends, but I'd still be used to the opposite scheduling. Although, I've noticed when traveling I have little to no problem adjusting to different time zones, it may be kind of the same idea.

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I did night crew (stocking shelves) for 3 years before t got into the IT dept. Its doable, its great for appointments and car stuff (can do things during the normal business day without taking off work). The hardest for people is sleeping during the day, it was normal for me because I lived in Alaska prior to the job (daylight all day in summer, darkness all day in the winter)
I also grew up in Alaska, so I know what you're talking about with the nighttime daylight. If I'm tired, I can go to sleep anywhere, anytime.

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For a short term (year) I'd say go for it. A lot of entry level stuff even in our dba dept is always nights until you get seniority. That and the experience is invaluable, nights make you work on your own without backup so you learn to rely on what you know or can figure out.
That's one thing I'm considering, I know I won't be able to start any job as a DBA right away, but how hard would it be to get a similar job that will pay the same and get me on the path towards my career during normal hours?

I'm going to do the interview, but before deciding whether or not I'd accept the job, I'll have to do some more research into other openings..
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:54 PM   #5
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No kids, dog, or anyone coming to my door. I do live my girlfriend and a roommate who both work normal hours.
I'm not assuming anything about your personal life. But, a girlfriend/roommate can make this real hard for you if they don't understand.

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Yeah, they're all open until at least 9pm. Why would this be an issue though? I'd be free all day long, I would be able to make it anywhere before they closed.
For me I had trouble with things like banks that would close by 5 stuff like that. So I'd go run to the bank then head back home and wait to go to work or find something to do. Just kinda messed up the day.

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That's one thing I'm worried about. I'd be off on weekends, but I'd still be used to the opposite scheduling. Although, I've noticed when traveling I have little to no problem adjusting to different time zones, it may be kind of the same idea.
I got used to it. I usually got a little sleep Sat morning and went to bed early for work on Monday.


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That's one thing I'm considering, I know I won't be able to start any job as a DBA right away, but how hard would it be to get a similar job that will pay the same and get me on the path towards my career during normal hours?

I'm going to do the interview, but before deciding whether or not I'd accept the job, I'll have to do some more research into other openings..
That's a huge pay increase. I wouldn't turn it down lightly. It doesn't sound like you will. Best of luck. Keep us posted.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:58 PM   #6
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I also grew up in Alaska, so I know what you're talking about with the nighttime daylight. If I'm tired, I can go to sleep anywhere, anytime.
Kind of off topic, but where in Alaska? I grew up in North Pole, graduated high school there in 99 and moved here to AZ later that year.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:12 PM   #7
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I've lived a few different places in Alaska. Wasilla (6 years), Peters Creek (1 year), Anchorage (2 years), Cordova (5 years), and Sitka (4 years). I've been to North Pole a couple of times. It's a very... cheerful place. With candy cane light posts, giant igloos and all kinds of Christmas stuff. At least that's what I remember, I was probably like 8 years old the last time I was up there.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:57 PM   #8
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I work the night shift now (I'm browse the boards mostly from work). I work 5:30 pm to 2 am. My g/f lives at her parents house and I have 2 dogs to take care of. I don't work quite at late as you but I always stay up playing World of Warcraft when I get home for at least an hour. I normally go to bed around 5-7am and wake up around 11:30am to 2pm. Plenty of time to run errands, check e-mail, enjoy the daylight, and then go into work as it gets dark.

A note about this. I am nocturnal, I dont get tired till around 4:30am unless I'm sick or completely worn out by my g/f or basketball. I have functioners and my body feels the most rested when I have between 2 and 6 hours of sleep. Any more and I wake up even more tired than when I went to sleep. My g/f understands that I work these hours, I only get to see her when I don't work on Fridays and Saturdays. I do get to have lunch with her anytime I want though.

All in all, I have a good life in exception of there's no room for promotion in my job. I'd love to find another job that pays as well that allows me room to move up though.

You just have to weigh the pros and cons. Double your salary will allow you to live as you are now and have almost enough to buy a full camaro at the end of your first year. That's quite a lot of money you can put away if you don't change your lifestyle. If you do, than you can enjoy a lot more luxuries and continue saving up as normal for your camaro. If you can live with the opposite time schedule as your lady and can still find time to spend with her/your family, I would say it's worth it. If you want to spend each night with your g/f, go out nightly in the middle of the week, and limit going to the bank/paying bills, making appointments to Saturdays only, then stay with a day job.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:18 PM   #9
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I 've been working 9pm to 7am shifts for almost 7 years now.

I'm STILL not used to the erratic sleep schedule, but the extra money certainly helps.

Plus i could never go back to days, simply because im so used to being alone at work now.
I don't want that daytime drama.

It's not for everyone, thats for sure.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:01 AM   #10
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I have been on 10pm to 6am for the last 2.5 yrs, 6 days a week. I found that if you can sleep as soon as you get home, or within an hour or so you can get much more done than if you stay up and sleep until you have to go in. That and I think the key to this shift is routine routine routine....if you can't keep one it just makes it harder.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:06 AM   #11
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I can keep a routine as long as I don't have to wake up early in the morning.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:09 AM   #12
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I've worked the afternoon shift 3PM-11PM for about 17yrs, but with Hazard pay and inconvenience pay not doing to badly. Tried day shift for awhile, but loss of inconvenience pay hurt a little, tried 11- 7AM shift, never again, could never get used to sleeping in daylight hours. Guess each shift depends on the person.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:20 AM   #13
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I really like working nights. I work 11pm -7am or 7pm -7am depending on the day of the week. I usually go to sleep with-in a couple of hours of getting home in the morning and I find it fairly easy to shift my sleep schedule if I need to get something done during the day. It's great for my dog too, because she's not left alone very much. I enjoy the time alone when my wife is working her day shift and we can spend most evening's together when she gets home. It's definitely hard to get accustomed to at first, but after about a month, it's not bad.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:22 AM   #14
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My last post just bumped me up from junior member to member!
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:55 AM   #15
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Going to have to go back and read all the posts, but yes, it is worth it. It won't last forever. I, too, get paid for the different and somewhat late hours. You're talking about doubling your income. Take it and do the year deal. If after you've done it for a while and haven't adjusted to it, you can change back after a year. You should get used to it after a while. But, I think it's worth a shot.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:27 AM   #16
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I love working nights...I work nights for two months at a time and then days for two months and then back to nights and back and forth all year long. I like working nights because I just come home in the morning, go to sleep and wake up without an alarm clock. I get my running around done in the afternoon when everyone else is at work, and I still have some time to get together with friends or family before going back to work. I highly recommend investing in some great black out curtains though. Good luck!
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:12 PM   #17
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Thanks for all your input and advice. It's been more helpful than I thought.

I had my phone interview today. It only lasted about 15 minutes, but I think it went pretty well. They want me in for a face-to-face tomorrow afternoon. They didn't ask me any of Microsofts famous questions like "How would you move Mt. Fuji?" They're moving away from those types of things. They did ask me a question about driving though, which I thought was interesting. Before I give you my answer, I want to hear some of yours.

"You're on the freeway in bumper to bumper traffic on your way to give a presentation in front of Bill Gates. You know you're not going to make it in time sitting in that traffic, but the car pool lane is wide open. What do you do?"

I thought it was a pretty good question. Your answer says a lot about you. It was less a personality question than it was a problem solving question though.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:37 PM   #18
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Taking the carpool lane will most likely compound the problem. Better to call them from a cell and explain the situation, apologize for delaying Mr. Gates as you're sure he is very busy. And ask if they would like to reschedule at his convenience or wait for you to arrive.

This shows that you trust people (even someone as high up as Mr. Gates) to be understanding when events are out of your control. And you are willing to make it up when they are available.

Otherwise you might have to explain that you couldn't call right away because you were getting a ticket and the officer wouldn't let you make a call. Or you would have to lie altogether.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:43 PM   #19
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That probably would have been my second choice for an answer. This is actually an issue I have pondered many a time while on the freeway and late for work, so the answer was actually quite easy for me.

I said that I would take all the cash out of my wallet, grab some homeless guy from an on ramp and zip on into that HOV lane. They all laughed and said that was something they hadn't heard before, but I think they liked my answer.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:21 PM   #20
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That's a pretty nice answer, .
I'd have said something along the lines of...well, I'm not one who's apt to get caught in rush-hour traffic in the first place - so...I'd pich myself, wake-up, and get to work so I can deliver that presentation.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:32 AM   #21
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That probably would have been my second choice for an answer. This is actually an issue I have pondered many a time while on the freeway and late for work, so the answer was actually quite easy for me.

I said that I would take all the cash out of my wallet, grab some homeless guy from an on ramp and zip on into that HOV lane. They all laughed and said that was something they hadn't heard before, but I think they liked my answer.
I would have done basically the same thing. Ask some of the passengers stuck in traffic if they would like to make a few quick bucks…
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:27 PM   #22
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I said that I would take all the cash out of my wallet, grab some homeless guy from an on ramp and zip on into that HOV lane. They all laughed and said that was something they hadn't heard before, but I think they liked my answer.
Quote:
I would have done basically the same thing. Ask some of the passengers stuck in traffic if they would like to make a few quick bucks…
Was indeed my first reaction as well.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:15 PM   #23
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I'd tell'em....

First off, If I was meeting w/ Bill Gates, I'd show up at least an hour early. I'd have gone over all my info numerous times and would have been meticulous about everything. Therefore, there's no way that I could have been stuck in traffic. Seriously? I would NEVER put myself in a situation where I could be late for something important. I always show up well ahead of time to prevent crap like that from happening. Now...if I left early and ran across an accident that kept up all the traffic, I'd call explaining about the accident on the freeway, I've been sitting there for X amount of time (still plenty of time before the meeting, of course), and ask what they'd like to do. I could be on time and I could be late. Don't know how long this is going to take. Personally, I'm not letting some stinky homeless guy w/ hepatitis (take your pic what type) and any other disease known to man to get into my car. It sounds like a good idea when you say it, but is a whole different story when it comes time to do it. Believe me.....I know.
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:52 PM   #24
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Personally, I'm not letting some stinky homeless guy w/ hepatitis (take your pic what type) and any other disease known to man to get into my car. It sounds like a good idea when you say it, but is a whole different story when it comes time to do it. Believe me.....I know.
Yeah, in reality my answer wouldn't even work. How many homeless people do you actually see on the side of the road on the freeway? On the ramps, sure, but it's illegal to stand or walk on the freeway. At least, it is here.

Realistically I would do what you said Tag. I'd try and leave way too early, and if I still thought there'd be a possibility that I wouldn't make it, I would call in and explain the situation to someone.

I knew they were looking for something innovative and "outside the box", so I went with my original answer.

On another related note, I had my face-to-face interview yesterday. I just got a call this morning telling me that they wanted to give me the job! :party0048:

So, starting January 30th, I will probably not be on here nearly as much as I am now. My current job consists mainly of sitting at a desk and answering the phones if/when someone calls us (maybe 4 calls a day?). So I have plenty of time to browse the forums.

My new job, however, will be working with a team that is "understaffed and overworked" so I will be keeping quite busy. I may have to start turning on my computer at home to get my Camaro fix!

Still, this job is my ticket to getting those keys as soon as the Camaro becomes available, so I really can't complain. Not to mention the fact that it's going to launch my career in the IT industry.

I'm 21 and making over $60k a year, and it can only go up from here!

(Please god, don't let computers become obsolete for at least 40 years!)
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:10 PM   #25
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Congrats Pencil!
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