Using Design Thinking to Craft your Future Career

The world we live in today provides more opportunity and choice, both personally and professionally, than ever before. The option of a career for life may no longer satisfy many individuals, instead, setting up a small business or becoming a part of the fast-growing freelance population demonstrates how this has evolved over the years.

However, it’s often the burden of choice and a range of opportunity that often leaves individuals overwhelmed and disillusioned about how they can put their many ideas into practice.

What do you do when the career path you had initially elected to follow is not the one that you want to pursue any longer? It’s not about just changing from one job to another. It’s a whole new paradigm shift because your new life goals are no longer coherent with the career path that you had so long felt a part of.

As well as providing the platform to launch a new career, New Shifts also strives to help others practically to solve their career dilemmas. This is why we recently hosted our first workshop to help individuals explore their options and define which direction they want to head in. Featuring talks from experienced career coaches, and centred on a Design Thinking session, the workshop was hosted in the high-tech training facility of Maersk, providing the inspiring backdrop for our attendees to explore their options.

The combined career experience and the issues faced by our C-Level attendees proved how common this mid-career dilemma is. From an initial pre-workshop survey, many admitted that their career goal involved a career change, yet their biggest challenge was balancing the risk to their career.

Other pain points were revealed in a pre-workshop survey as well as a survey done during the workshop:

  • Lack of connections to make the shift to a new industry
  • New to a field and need some hands-on experience
  • Uncertainty as to how to progress
  • Balancing opportunity cost and career risk
  • Not taken seriously due to age or gender
  • Lack of mentorship support
  • Having to start from scratch
  • Can’t find a viable idea or a co-founder
  • Dealing with family dissatisfaction


How many of these can you relate to? Did you know that according to the State of the Global Workplace Report by Gallup, 87% of employees are disconnected from their work? For every one person who was happy in their jobs, there were two people who remain disengaged. While these numbers show that you are not alone in your frustrations, they also show that you have the possibility to transition into something that you might enjoy, without risking your current job security and income.


Mindset shifts – imperative to wellbeing

Dr Rahma Beaugrand, Advisory Partner in Digital Strategy and Innovation, SAP, headed the Design Thinking session, taking the delegates through the theoretical concept of design thinking before they were divided into five teams to work on a prototype.

“’Design Thinking’ is a method of solving complex problems by creating new ideas while staying user-centric,” she said. “If you want to create a sustainable business, you need to learn how you can help your target audience (or your customers) first before you can create your offerings. This is usually the challenge for most people. The design thinking session opened doors where delegates could see their career transition from a different perspective and answer questions such as “Who else can I be?” “How can I create an innovative culture?” and “How can a company and an employee work together seamlessly?”

As the workshop progressed, it was evident to see that our participants were already experiencing mindset shifts. Many had stepped into the workshop networking session in the morning slightly intimidated, shy or uncomfortable. Others came with an attitude of curiosity and open-mindedness. Through the networking session they found out more about each other’s struggles and found a sense of hope that they could change their situation.

We attribute this positive mindset shift to our success in addressing their pain points from a hopeful perspective of ‘What’s Next?’ While the answer to this question is different for each person, once you start to make the change, every thread in the fabric of society starts to change for the better. This explains why our first ever workshop was filled to capacity. One participant shared with us how she’d potentially met a mentor to work with during our event. Overall, all our participants demonstrated that there is a most certainly a community of talented people in Dubai who are ready to make the shift into a role that is empowering and inspiring.

In our next two series of blog articles, we’ll put the insights of our workshop into action for you and help you understand how you can take the theory of Design Thinking and make a change for yourself!

If you’re interested in taking part in our next workshop, please contact us now to register your interest and you’ll be the first to know about the next upcoming dates.