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Is Working The Graveyard Grind Really A Lucrative Option?

We asked night owls how much they earn and what it’s actually like to live life in reversed hours
by Anne Mari Ronquillo | Dec 25, 2017
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“It will mess up your body clock,” they said.

The industry of business process outsourcing (BPO) is responsible for the graveyard grind boom in the last two decades. People started dressing up in the afternoons to prepare for their desk jobs that start at around 9 p.m. They would make their way home just as urban children start waking up for school. They sleep during the day and try to squeeze in some normalcy, like talk to their mothers, if their energy isn’t completely depleted.

But is the graveyard shift really as dreadful as concerned elders make it out to be? The shift premium makes for a strong incentive to alter your daily sense of time, but you’re also running with morning snatchers and rapers.

We know how much you just love to grill your friends and relatives about their night shift work whether it’s out of love or curiosity. You also want to know how much they’re making, but they probably wouldn’t tell you. We asked a bunch of night owls just how much they’re really earning and what it’s actually like for them to live life in reversed hours.

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1) Bryan

Occupation: Technical Support for IT Operations
Shift Hours: 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight
Monthly Salary: P25,000 to P30,000 

My job has to be done at night because we are supporting the BPO employees who are supporting US-based companies. Though we are operating 24/7, the peak hours are still during the night shift. IT personnel handle the troubleshooting of technology items, replacement of defective hardware, deployment of software, inventory, maintenance, and dealing with the leaders of each program.

Before this job, I used to be a part of the a team that handles the schedules and adherence of the agents of a program in another BPO company. I decided to move on to this department I’m in now because I want to see the bigger picture of the business in a more technical perspective, which also suits my skills and interests more.

My night shift job made me appreciate the hours with the least traffic in the metro. Going to the office, the heat of the sun is not an issue. I still appreciate a full eight hours of sleep during the night, which I rarely have.

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The biggest struggle I have with my job has to do with the salary and benefits. It is enough for a single person like me, but I will have a family eventually, and the never-ending bills will follow. I don’t have issues like burning out, as my boss always make sure our personal leaves are approved. We have our schedules in place and he always has time for anyone in the team to discuss issues. I don’t have problems with co-workers, either. They are all easy to get along with, and we are always helping each other out to make the work easier and faster.

I can’t see myself doing this forever because I’m planning to establish my own business in my province.


2) Wee

Occupation: IT Manager
Shift Hours: 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Monthly Salary: P100,000++

My job has to be done at night because majority of the people I handle and manage are working on the night shift. I do monthly one-on-one meetings with them, talk to clients for additional work, or even special projects needed to be done by my team. I also conduct team meetings for work and project planning.

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Before this job, I was an Operations Lead in a different IT company. That former employer did not have good career opportunities in the long-term, and my work was not properly compensated.

My night shift job made me appreciate weekends and most especially the restaurants that are open 24 hours or close at late hours.

The biggest struggle I have with my job is the time that it demands from me—since I’m closely working with people and my team is made up of 24 different individuals who have different work ethics and personalities that I need to manage. Plus, being a manager means we do not have overtime pay, night differential, or even hazard pay.

I can see myself doing this forever because managing and developing other people’s careers can be really gratifying. I know that this is what I’m good at and this is what makes me happy.

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3) Astrid

Occupation: Team Leader
Shift Hours: 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Monthly Salary: P40,000

My job has to be done at night because we support clients who work normal work hours in the US. As team leader, I have to oversee all activities and be on top of any work issue that arises.

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Before this job, I was with Sales. I decided to leave because I’m not good at it.

My night shift job made me appreciate sleeping at night. Every time I hear someone complain about how they stayed up all night working on something, I think to myself, “try doing it every night.”

The biggest struggle I have with my job is my safety going to work. My travel hours are done in the dark, more often than not. That’s when crime usually happens.

I can’t see myself doing this forever because I get tired of socializing on a daily basis and I want to have my own business.

4) Markle

Occupation: Server Administrator
Shift Hours: 9:00 p.m. to: 6:00 a.m.
Monthly Salary: P90,000 to P120,000 (+ 20% night differential and transport allowance)

My job has to be done at night because our clients are based in the United States and we have to follow their business hours to collaborate effectively with them.

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Before this job, I was in the same industry, but I moved here because I wanted to explore better opportunities.

My night shift job made me appreciate the compensation and benefits offered by the company to those who work at night, as well as the convenience of traveling to my workplace without getting stuck in traffic for hours on end.

The biggest struggle I have with my job is being sleep-deprived whenever I have to run errands during the day.

I can’t see myself doing this forever because I know the hazards associated with night shift work. I also want to retire young.


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