How I did it: Zeynep Saka, New Shifts

The New Shifts Services founder and CEO, Zeynep Saka, talks about the barriers in conventional thinking that she overcame to start her innovative business
New Shifts founder and CEO, Zeynep Saka,
By Staff writer
Tue 19 Sep 2017 08:21 AM

Founded in April 2016, New Shifts is a company that helps people who want to change careers to try alternative types of work, using the skill sets they have gained from other industry sectors.

Saka’s innovative New Shifts business model helps the business ecosystem by providing the necessary manpower to start-ups, SMEs and larger businesses on a temporary basis, while helping individuals to transition to new career environments. This is her story…

I worked in construction for more than 10 years then did and MBA because I was always looking to see what else I could do to develop myself within my career. It was only when I was thinking about my progress in a really focused way that I realised that there was very little opportunity to find an outlet to try out new career options.

I wondered if there was a way that I could try out a different career, before making any commitment to it. All of the recruiters I had spoken to told me that if you work in a certain industry for more than 10 years, it is very difficult to change and I was better off staying in my sector.

I realised that in my previous procurement role, I had certain skill sets such as project time and people management and realised that the construction environment is actually very similar to a start-up environment, because every day on a construction site, multi-dimensional daily problem-solving is required. So I took a leap of faith, quit my job and volunteered for a start-up for a few months, which proved to me that I could use my existing skills in a different sector. The day I left, I went out and got my trade license for my own business before I had even fully decided the business model.

After a few months of in-depth research, I could confidently disagree with the conventional advice of recruiters who had told me that people are better off sticking to one field. My research had proved that professional skills that people have can be applied to other industry areas, not just their existing career path.

So I pursued the idea of a business that helps to facilitate a change of career and created as a platform to match people seeking a career change with employers that need the skills and experience they bring to the table. The premise behind New Shifts is to connect career change-seekers with businesses that need extra manpower, on a voluntary basis, in order to give candidates exposure to new work environments and facilitate the growth and development of the businesses.

New Shifts is a different way of networking and provides a very real value exchange between skilled staff and business that need them,” Saka concludes.

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Last Updated: Wed 04 Oct 2017 05:25 PM GST

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