|CAREERS AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
and distribute these activities. Students may work independently
Changing Night Shift
As Will Durst says in the introduction, night shifts
“aren’t just for cops and comics anymore.” Growth in the high tech
sector is increasing the need for employees who can work all night
long. How do you think overnight jobs will change in the future
in response to the demands of our changing economy:
some research or conduct interviews to find out what jobs have
involved overnight work in the past. You may want to look at the
web resources on the "Night
out what kinds of jobs are experiencing an increase in overnight
shifts today as a result of developments in the high tech industry.
Also think about the kinds of jobs you saw in “Night Shift.”(Segments
3, 7, 9, and 11) The website above can help you here as well.
a chart in which you list night jobs and categorize them as belonging
to the traditional economy or the new economy.
your classmates and friends. Find out what types of work they
think will have the largest increase in night-shift jobs in the
your results to create a collage, time line, or other graphic presentation
in which you show your predictions for future developments on the
night shift. Display your work in class or in an appropriate public
area, such as a space where job notices are posted.
The employees in “Night Shift” choose to work those
hours for many different reasons. Some of them, such as Amy Petrarca,
truly love being awake and working at odd hours of the night. Others,
such as Carol Lin, feel that working overnight is necessary for
their career advancement, but would rather be working more traditional
hours. In almost all cases, there is a trade-off that employees
make; in that they have to balance the benefits and drawbacks of
two of the stories profiled in “Night Shift” in which you think
employees have made a choice after carefully weighing the benefits
and disadvantages of night work.
a chart in which you list what the pros and cons of the night
shift are for each person, and why he or she has chosen to work
the night shift.
an analytical paragraph in which you discuss whether you think
the trade-offs are worth it for each individual. If so, explain
why. If not, offer what you think might be other options for these
may want to interview a night shift worker in your community.
Find out why they chose to work at night. Then assess the pros
and cons of night work for this person, and decide which of the
stories in "Night Shift" this person most resembles.
your analysis and opinions with the class. Also discuss what kinds
of trade-offs you might be willing to make in your own future career.
Anchorperson Carol Lin and her husband have a very
limited amount of time together because she works a different shift
than he does. Such a situation is not uncommon: “Night Shift” reports
that fifty percent of women in America work different shifts from
their husbands. Consider the following scenario and the impact on
family life if a couple work different shifts:
husband and wife are trying to support themselves and their two
children on a modest income. Both parents hold 9-5 jobs; they
are able to cover monthly expenditures (rent, food, clothing,
child-care, medical expenses, and basic household expenses) with
their pay, but they have almost no money left over for luxury
items or vacations. Imagine that either the husband or the wife
is offered a night job at an Internet service provider at a rate
50% higher than his or her current income. Should that parent
take the job?
several other students, conduct a debate on whether the parent
should take the job. Support your position with information and
examples from the video, as well as your own knowledge, experience,
and values. You can also use as supporting examples the stories
parents at .
the Good of All
The night shift causes many stresses and health problems
for its workers. But some companies, such as Lucent (Segment 11),
provide services and support to overnight workers, such as a twenty-four-hour
onsite gym to promote fitness. What are some other ways that companies
can help keep employees on the night shift healthy and happy?
list problems night shift workers must deal with as a result of
their unusual hours. For each problem, think of a possible solution
that could involve the company.
jot down notes about how some of the companies shown in “Night
Shift” help workers get through the night. (You may want to consider
CNN, Globex, San Francisco General Hospital, and Lucent.) Find
out some ways people are surviving the night shift at www.pbs.org/livelyhood/nightshift/surviving.html,
or investigate more sites at www.pbs.org/livelyhood/nightshift/webresources.html.
Which of these ways seem the most effective?
Then do research in your own community. Find out if any companies
in your area have special plans for helping workers on the night
shift. You might interview an employee or an employer to find
out the facts.
combine your ideas with those shown in “Night Shift” to create a problem-solution
chart in which you illustrate the ways that a company can improve
the night shift for the benefit of employees. If possible, share this
information with the management of a firm in your area that has employees
working the night shift.