I worked weekends for over a year. This is why I'd recommend it to any young professional.

working weekend ben goggin

  • I worked as Insider’s weekend editor for over a year. 
  • At first, I wasn’t sure how the schedule change would affect my
    life.
  • Now, as I’m moving into a new role, I can see how the change,
    along with obvious sacrifices, helped me make positive changes in
    my personal life and career.
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A little over a year ago, I made the decision that many
privileged people tell themselves they’d never make, and many more
less privileged people don’t get to make for themselves — I opted
to work weekends. After being laid off from another media job, I
had lived the life of a freelancer for a few months, successfully
producing just
one feature
. So when Insider offered me the job as their
weekend editor, working from Friday to Tuesday, I jumped at the
opportunity.

At the time, I saw the weekend schedule as an entry fee into a
thriving news company and a stable salaried media job. Now, as I’m
moving on from the weeked position into a new Monday-to-Friday role
at the company, I’ve come to realize that, along with the
sacrifices, the decision to work weekends was transformative for my
life and career. Here’s what I learned from my year on
weekends.

Weekend work can be an opportunity to stand out
professionally 

In journalism, weekend shifts or other positions often seen as
part of “paying your dues,” are conceptualized as inherently less
desirable. But in my experience, weekend jobs can be a professional
boon. 

Weekend workers are doing the work that the rest of society
would prefer not to do, so naturally, weekend teams tend to be
smaller than weekday teams. Besides having fewer resources to work
with, this also means that the work you do will be high visibility.
If you do the work well, people are much more likely to see and
recognize it and be grateful that you’re doing it while they’re
relaxing.

There’s less competition during the weekend

On top of allowing you to stand out, weekends are beneficial
from a competitive standpoint, especially in the media industry.
While weekend shifts are often generalist positions, they give you
access to huge opportunities in many different areas.

There are far fewer people working during weekends, creating
space for those who are working to go for the biggest and shiniest
scoops and stories. 

Frequently, I found our weekend team would break stories simply
because we were the only people to reach out for comment that day,
or the beat reporters, who would have normally gotten the scoop,
were offline. Getting these stories was exciting, empowering, and
impactful  — and they can be huge for one’s reputation and
career.

This principle of less competition also applies to how consumers
react to weekend work. During the weekend, there’s the same, if not
more, hunger for news, but there are far fewer people producing it.
Generally, this means that each story tends to get higher return on
weekends. 

There’s oftentimes more responsibility and autonomy on
weekends

Aside from the competitive edge that working weekends can give
you, they can also provide more creative freedom and opportunity to
build your skills. 

Weekend workers generally carry more responsibility on their
shoulders, and are forced to learn more skills. In turn, successful
weekend workers become more valuable assets, and more autonomous,
which can be an advantage at their current workplace or in the job
market in general.

In the same vein, weekend workers also tend to have more freedom
to work how they’d like and with more creative latitude since there
are generally fewer layers of supervision.

There are personal sacrifices to working weekends, but also
some advantages

Before I started working weekends, the prospect of such a
schedule was a giant mental hurdle. It felt like I was going to be
giving up my entire social and personal life for work. 

At first, adjusting to a life that felt out of sync with the
rest of the world and my social circle was difficult. It took more
effort to plan get-togethers, activities, and vacations.

But, as time went on, I learned to be a bit more flexible and
active in making time for people and things I care about, and I
learned what things I thought I should be doing on weekends that I
didn’t really need in my life (like staying out until 4 AM).

I also learned how to find joy on a free weekday — New York
City’s offerings are surprisingly accessible when everyone else is
at work. 

Overall, I found that working weekends was a great platform for
me and the reporters that worked with me to prove our worth and
work on exciting, major stories. I’d encourage people not to
discount weekend job opportunities or the people who choose to take
them.


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I worked weekends for over a year. This is why I'd recommend it to any young professional.