The 9-to-5 work day can be cruel for night owls. Studies have proven that there are people who are habitually more awake at unconventional hours, unlike morning larks. When forced into a traditional work schedule though, a night owl exhibits poor concentration and sleepiness among other cognitive deficits. Their internal clocks just don’t sync well with the standard 9-to-5.
Fortunately, the amount of jobs that cater to night owls is getting longer. We’ve rounded up some career options that could use your body’s natural inclination to stay awake during the middle of the night:
1. Rideshare Driver
Ridesharing is a service that provides one-way transportation on short notice. Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular rideshare companies in the US, with minimal requirements for their driver-partners. The main stipulations include being at least 21-years-old, have a minimum of one year driving experience, a valid driver’s license, and, of course, your own vehicle.
Being a rideshare driver is a flexible gig that you can do either part-time or full-time. Because there are always people needing cabs at night, there’s never a shortage of passengers. Be warned though, the night crowd tends to be more rowdy so you need to be patient.
2. Food Service Worker
There is a wide range of employment opportunities in the food service industry, from cleaning, hosting to serving guests. If you have more technical training, like culinary arts, many cooks and chefs don’t start until the afternoon to prep for their dinner or late night service. Do note that any job in the food service industry can be demanding, but if you can move up the ranks, the pay can be pretty lucrative. For example, executive chefs can make as much as $86,500.
3. Poker Player
If you have a knack for playing cards, a strategic mind, and the ability to read your opponents, becoming a professional poker player might just be a possibility. You’ll be going head to head with other pros in tournaments that typically start in the evening and end just as the sun is about to rise. These are the games that get the most action and feature the best players.
And depending on how good you are, you might be able to move up to high stakes games after a year or two. For instance, the World Series of Poker events typically start with a $10,000 buy-in, and the prize pools can reach as high as $10 million.
4. Casino Dealer
On the other side of the table are professional dealers. It’s the same industry as pro poker players, but the job has a steadier paycheck with less risk involved. You can also make bank from tips, especially if your patrons are having a good night.
Casino dealers don’t just facilitate poker games — you’d need to train in dealing all table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. Other than an understanding of the game you’re dealing and fast hands, this job requires above average math and customer service skills.
5. Customer Service Representative
Many customer service reps are outsourced and have to work late nights because of the time difference between countries. Additionally, there are local businesses who provide 24/7 customer support and require staff who can work the graveyard shift, like banks. If you have a background in information technology (IT), you can also enter the IT technical support field, which can be lucrative in today’s digital world. The top earners in this field get a weekly salary of approximately $1,200, which equates to about $62,000 a year.
Being a night owl doesn’t have to be a curse, as it can act as your superpower in various careers. From transportation to entertainment, food to customer support, there are many industries that require your chronotype — you just need the skills to match.