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"Connecting minds, creating the future" read the huge Expo2020 hoarding on the road leading to Maersk Training’s complex in Dubai. It was an apt message for an event at the training facility organized by New Shifts, a start-up company that aims to do exactly that, connect and create. The title of the day-long workshop and conference was ‘How to Initiate Career Change.’

New Shifts is a fresh approach to help both ends of the job market; companies searching for talented staff and individuals looking for the right career move.  They expand the process beyond the bounds of one industry so that there can be cross-fertilization of ideas and talent.

Alumni from Harvard, London Business School and INSEAD were amongst the 30 delegates who took part in the one-day event that was designed to open minds so that people saw situations from the perspective of other individuals and industries. It is what New Shifts termed ‘Design Thinking.’

The hosts Maersk Training have already seen how effective the new approach can be. Earlier they had benefited from finding a skilled candidate to fulfill a short-term contract. He was from outside the oil and gas industry and the normal job-search boundaries, but the experience was positive for both sides.

The participants at the event also toured the training complex and as host and Regional Managing Director Vijay Rangachari pointed out, the visitors got an insight into the oil and gas industry and therefore would be better prepared for when the upturn in the industry triggers a ‘scramble for talent.’