Explore Your Horizons

Looking for inspiration to change your career? Find out how Founder of New Shifts, Zeynep Saka took the Leap of Faith.

With more choice than ever before in our modern day lives, finding satisfaction across your personal life and career can often be an endless task of trial and error. If you’re seeking a new direction in your life, or perhaps just want to find out if you’re chasing a pipe dream, look no further. Here, Zeynep Saka discusses how she took a Leap of Faith that helped her change course in her career, which ultimately led to her setting up her own exciting new start up, ultimately aimed at helping others do the same.

Having established herself as a successful Civil Engineer early on in her career, Zeynep’s career soon navigated towards Procurement, working on multi-million dollar projects in the UAE. She
is the first to admit, “it was never really my true calling, I never felt comfortable and was always in search of this ‘one thing’ that I wanted to continue”.

In her quest to find this ‘one thing’, she embarked on a MBA which did help to broaden her horizons. But it still didn’t provide the answer as she was looking to get involved in something she truly loved. Instead, she took a leap of faith – or jokingly, something she describes as her very own “mid-life crisis”! After taking some time away from the day job, she took a very methodological approach to discovering if she had the traits required to become an entrepreneur. After a period travelling and soul-searching, she unearthed the concept of New Shifts. But still didn’t have the confidence to go full steam ahead.

However, the turning point was at the beginning of 2016 when she volunteered her skills and expertise to a local startup to try and understand if she had the transferable skills necessary to take the huge step towards launching New Shifts herself. She smiles, “Turns out it was a very good thing to do”, because at the end of 3 months, she took just one day to set up the company.

Fast forward six months, and New Shifts is thriving with a life of its very own. The concept is based very much on founder Zeynep’s very own experiences. “The concept is for people like me who have worked many years in a certain function or industry, who want to make a change in their lives, but don’t know where to begin”. It is based on the reality that there are currently not a lot of opportunities available for individuals to try something for a short period of time to understand if it really is their calling. This is indeed where New Shifts comes in. New Shifts is a platform that ultimately provides individuals with the opportunity to match with their ideal ‘opportunity’ partner, and date their future career or employee for short period of time to see if the partnership or opportunity is compatible with their career aims or business objectives.

For individuals, they can offer anything from 2 weeks to 3 months of their spare time, without having to quit their day job and make other daunting sacrifices that might affect the status quo in their lives.

For SMEs or Startups, they can gain true expertise and quality talent to help them establish their business with skillsets they may not otherwise be able to afford. It also gives them a great solution to discovering the type of talent they need to grow their business.

This exciting new platform is absolutely free to join, all users have to do is create a profile to summarise what they can offer (skillset, experience, network exposure). Companies can similarly do the same, adding a profile that includes information of what they are looking for and can provide (ie, industry exposure, work experience). All profiles are anonymous, and only once each party shows a mutual interest, users pay just $5 to unlock their profiles and get the opportunity to engage with each other.

Based on the quote that sits on Zeynep’s office wall, ‘If you don’t know what to do next, do something’, she really has practiced what she preaches. She commented, “if you live by this mantra, it stops you waiting and contemplating and allows opportunities to present themselves, which could well help you achieve your life dreams”.


So, what are you waiting for. If, like Zeynep, you’re searching for that ‘something’, but don’t know what to do next, do something! Create a profile on New Shifts and see where it can take you. All it’ll cost is your time, so what could be a better opportunity to test the water before you make that Leap of Faith!