Shifting gears – benefits of shift work for your career

Shifting gears – benefits of shift work for your career

In Ireland there is a growing move by Life Science companies to operate 24 hours a day, in order to meet global demand for their products, and allow for greater productivity and economic benefits. For employees, this changing landscape has made it more fulfilling to work shift cycles. Imagine higher pay, more autonomy, greater skills development and a flexible workplace – things most professionals look for in a job.


It is estimated that over 15% of the Irish workforce now work shift cycles. In order to gain an insight into what life is like for a shift worker, we recently engaged with Julien Vincent, IPC Senior Analyst with Hovione. Julien and his team are responsible for the analysis and release of In-process samples from production. The team covers production 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Julien has been working shift cycles for nearly five years.  Currently his shift cycle is 4 x 12 hours - 2 days (07:00 – 19:00) and 2 nights (19:00 – 07:00).  He has four days off between each shift.  Julien believes working shifts has afforded him several opportunities that he may not have had he worked normal days.  











Julien, why do you like working shift?

I like autonomy. You have to manage your shift and your planning on your own especially during weekends and nights.  Another good point is you need to handle all types of analysis.


Does working on shift give you a good opportunity to work with different teams in Hovione?  
Yes, during the week I work with all the different teams of the lab: raw material, finished products and stability. I also work with QA and I participate in different types of meetings. I conduct training with new people in the lab too.


How does working shifts give you increased autonomy?
While working on weekend and night shift, there are only two or three in the lab and I must manage the planning and the priority for my team. I also have to face all the potential issues of the lab and make sure the communication between production and the lab is clear.


Do you believe working shifts has enabled you to increase your skills, knowledge and/or experience in the role that you would not have obtained working normal days?
Definitely.  When you are on your own, in front of a problem, you have to find an answer or to fix it. This is definitely the best experience (for me) to learn and practise. I also have more time to share with my colleagues to make sure they don’t need any explanation of clarification for an analysis.


Will you continue working shift cycles?
I am really happy with this routine and I would definitely apply for shift work again if I have to move.


As Julien has highlighted, there are undoubtedly a number of positive benefits to working shift cycles.  Below are Fastnet’s top 8 reasons. 


  1. Ability to earn a higher income, with a shift allowance
  2. More autonomy and responsibilities for career progression
  3. Better productivity, organisation and structure
  4. Broader knowledge of techniques as engaging with cross functional teams
  5. More flexibility to attend professional courses
  6. Better work life balance
  7. Lower childcare costs
  8. Avoid traffic congestion at peak hours


Fastnet has a number of shift roles with our Life Science clients.  If working shift cycles sounds good to you, contact T.J. Vinod today to learn more!


About the author:
Laura Curtin
is Marketing Manager with Fastnet – The Talent Group®, a member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, and recently was accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute.  She is a graduate of Cork Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Carlow, University of Limerick and NUI Maynooth.  Laura has over 20 years’ experience in Marketing and Corporate Communications.  She has worked for global organisations including Cadbury, Kraft Foods, Aramark, Glanbia, Musgrave, and Flex developing and managing the Marketing, Corporate Affairs, Internal Communications, and CSR functions in many of them. She is a highly skilled and well-trained communications professional.


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