The Happy Engineer Podcast

004: Are You Masking Inner Demons? Engineering is an Inside Job with Nader Mowlaee

In this episode, experience the raw courage of Nader Mowlaee. His story of losing the engineering dream, pretending to be something not himself, and ultimately taking off the masks so many of you are still hiding behind, is an inspiration. Interviewing for engineers is about more than skills, it’s also about heart.

If you are still finding your own way, you don’t want to miss this conversation. Overcome anxiety about your job search, and be in the moment.

On top of that, Nader is an expert recruiter and engineering job search acceleration coach. He brings actionable advice on how to avoid the traffic jams and move through the interview process to land offers at your dream job. I’ve got great news… you can do it.


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We cannot let this conversation with Nader Mowlaee pass us by without talking about action. If you’re reading this, and have not listened to the episode yet… stop and listen. I suggest now.

If you’re in the place Nader described, you know, eight months of having his engineering degree but serving coffee. Being an electrical engineer and having to face the reality every day, that you failed getting into the career path that you dreamed about since you were a kid. It was your core identity, your whole life up to that. I just want to acknowledge for a moment, one, you’re not alone. And two, it’s not the end.

Your past is not your future, and where you’re at right now does not define where you can go. Here’s a guy who’s making an incredible impact in the engineering community for leaders like yourself. A gentleman who went through an incredibly challenging and dark time, a depressed time, falling into all kinds of things that most people would say creates a permanent scar. But Nader said no, I’m going to climb through that struggle and find my purpose.

He chose to remove his masks and make an impact.

Let’s hit a couple of the key points from this episode if you’re looking for that next job, seeking to get to the next-level. Hard skills land the interviews. Your soft skills land the jobs. This is a really powerful point that Nader unpacks in this interview. Hard skills like the cover letter, the resume, the certifications, the degrees. Those things will get you in the door, which is part of the process. But they are not going to land the offer. 

Those things are not holding you back. It’s the inside. It’s the soft skills. It’s the ability to communicate. It’s your understanding and tapping into your emotions, your energy, your ability to share that you care. Did you listen to what Nader shared with us? Show people in the process.

And it’s rarely in the hard skills department. It’s the soft skills that matter. 

Removing masks. That’s such a powerful metaphor. And taking action on this is really confusing in the world we live in today. We live in a time of fake vulnerability. And what I mean by that is someone going out on social media, on Facebook, on Instagram, and over-sharing to get attention.

The de-masking process begins with the people in your inner circle, the people who you love and trust. The people who are going to honor and take care of the soft area inside. And potentially that’s going to open you up to a deeper wound. If you don’t have an accountability partner, if you don’t have people in your life who you love and trust enough to show them the mask and remove it in front of them, then it’s time to get those people in your life.

Your masks will block your career. Time to take them off. And if you don’t know how, then partner with a great coach. Get help today.





Nader Mowlaee is the founder of Engineer Your Mission and the creator of The Job Search Acceleration System, an all-Inclusive Job Search Coaching Program designed to help engineering and technology professionals make successful career transitions without wasting any time or dealing with any anxiety.

Nader is an electronics engineer who is inspired by building confidence in other engineers who are struggling while job searching. He loves helping people develop the courage and knowledge to take calculated actions towards securing job interviews and landing high-paying job offers. His coaching program offers an online course, daily workshops, and a community that supports engineering job seekers in overcoming the stress caused by job searching so that they become the happiest version of themselves. 





Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

Zach White: [00:00:00] Welcome back. It is amazing to be with you and my man Nader Mowlaee who is the founder of Engineer Your Mission and creator of the Job Search Acceleration System, an all inclusive job search coaching program designed to help engineering and technology professionals to make successful career transitions.

[00:00:29] And here’s my favorite part… without wasting any time dealing with anxiety. I know that resonates for so many of you listening and Nader is an electronics engineer who’s inspired by building confidence in people like you, other engineers, who are struggling while job searching in transition, and he loves helping people too.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:52] My favorite word, courage and the knowledge to take calculated actions towards securing interviews, landing. Those high-paying job offers and his coaching program offers amazing things. Online courses, daily workshops, a community to support engineering, job seekers, and overcoming that stress that is caused by the job search process so that you can become the happiest.

[00:01:18] Version of yourself, not our welcome to the show, man.

[00:01:23] Nader Mowlaee: [00:01:23] Thank you so much, Zach. Great to be here. I was looking forward to this conversation since we scheduled it.

[00:01:28] Zach White: [00:01:28] Wow I was so excited. You have a story that is full of amazing places that we can dig into and learn. But what I’d love to do is actually pull out something that you shared a couple of months ago in a video on LinkedIn.

[00:01:46] For me really touched my heart. And I know people who saw this video felt the same way. And I just want to see where it takes you when you hear this reflected back in your own story and tell us where this came from. So you said having grown up in a family of engineers and ultimately go to engineering school and wanted to create a career and an engineer out of myself and not being able to do.

[00:02:15] The pain of that really drives me every day. Where did that come from?

[00:02:23] Nader Mowlaee: [00:02:23] And you’re giving me full buddy goosebumps here. It comes from, uh, idolizing my dad, like my dad to this day is my role model, you know, and I have all the love and respect in the world to him for him and will ever will. Ultimately, uh, w w the oldest son of three kids, I have an older sister, younger brother.

[00:02:46] Um, you know, I was the older boy in the household, you know, so I went everywhere with my dad, you know, uh, his chemical engineer, like process engineer worked in the, uh, in the oil and gas and the minerals, mining, and minerals industry for he still does, you know, is more on the environmental engineering side right now.

[00:03:07] But I, as a little kid, I went to every plant, every processing plant and manufacturing plant, I went to mining sites and with the processing, like, I, I that’s, I was, I was bred to, to become an engineering, you know, I didn’t know anything else, you know? Uh, we didn’t have any like doctors in our family or lawyers in our family.

[00:03:25] It was just like, basically like everyone went to engineering school or they had high school diploma. So no higher education went into business to speak on my mom’s side, my dad’s side, wanting to basically techno well engineering. Yes. Basically mechanical and chemical and civil engineering. So growing up around that environment, around my uncles and going everywhere with my dad, I remember like summers every day I went to plant with him.

[00:03:51] He took me with him and that was my identity without the understanding it, without me having any influence over shaping it. So. Long story short, I graduated high school. I get into university and I’m like, okay, well, technology is the new, coolest thing around these days and you know, robots are cool. So let’s get into electronics.

[00:04:14] That’s literally, as deep as my thinking was back in the day in 2003, 2004, it was like, it wasn’t a data back then decision making process. And, uh, I ended up going to, you know, college went the hands-on, you know, to technology technician, technologist path. I’m like, Hey, I like it. I’m doing really well, had a very successful project, designed a robotic arm, won an award for it.

[00:04:39] I’m like cool time to go and get my bachelor’s. So I ended up thinking long story short God, my bachelor’s graduated. And I graduated in 2007 end of 2007. I was basically the year, the class that graduated in the last recession into the last recession. So one of the things that really resonates with me this now this day and age and their session, the economic turmoil and the market instability that we’re dealing with right now, the new graduates and professionals are dealing with right now.

[00:05:11] I resonated with that because I was, I graduated into that model. And, uh, that’s still to this day, that’s my primary excuse. You know, that’s the way it was impossible for me to get into the field that I wanted to. I tried, I had 30 different versions of my resume applying to 20 plus jobs. Every day I did everything I could, you know, I was dedicated, I was hardworking.

[00:05:34] I was, I w I had, I was able to learn so everything you can think of, I was. But, uh, I couldn’t, you know, I couldn’t land many interviews to anybody that I went to. I didn’t do well, so I never got into the whole robotics or automation or manufacturing sector that I wanted to. So, uh, eight months after eight months of unemployment, like I had a job, I was working with an engineering degree in a coffee shop, you know, serving donuts, you know, security guard on the weekends, doing all that, you know, I was hustling.

[00:06:06] But, uh, long story short, I ended up, uh, just getting, uh, a tech support representative jobs. So I answering phone calls in a, in a telecommunication service provider. And you know, if your Blackberry didn’t work, if you don’t know what a black it used to be, it’s the engineer listening.

[00:06:26] Zach White: [00:06:26] Wow. Blackberry man. So during those eight months, Coming from an identity from your birth, basically that engineering was your destiny.

[00:06:37] And then here you are out of school holding the degree, your ticket to your destiny as an engineer, and you’re a barista. What was the worst part about that for you?

[00:06:51] Nader Mowlaee: [00:06:51] That’s exactly the gist. Finally real seeing, experiencing knowing I will go as far as like at the time, knowing that I wasn’t like, I wasn’t worth it, that I failed.

[00:07:04] Like knowing that I felt like it was the proof that, uh, you know what one month is, okay. Two months, three months. It’s cool. You know, but like more than three months after graduation in 2007, 2008, Robotics like having an electronics engineering degree and I specialize in embedded software development. So I was really good with the softer side.

[00:07:25] I knew how to machine like machine language. I understood. I was really good at C plus, plus these are the skills that like there were pretty HODs back there. I had an award winning, we won the people’s choice award. We designed like a couple of us design, a therapeutic robotic arm, you know, from scratch mechanical components, hardware and software design.

[00:07:45] Like I had the whole portfolio. I had that project. I had references. I had everything, you know, but I just couldn’t land any jobs. So when three months led to six and then to eighth and my weekend on part-time working in a coffee shop, job turned into like now I have to do it full time. So I was full-time serving coffee and donuts.

[00:08:06] And then part-time weekend job. Opening doors for people, you know, at, at a building, sitting at a concierge desk, signing people in, you know, and the moment you’re sitting there, you know, people are, you know, like young kids drunk, get into the lobby, going up, going to open the, open the elevator for them, signing them in.

[00:08:26] And they’re like, man, I’m an electronics engineer. You know what I mean? Why am I like getting people? You know? And like, literally. I’m going to have to share this so you can get the picture, like people like throwing up in the lobby, cleaning people’s a vomit with an engineering degree, like that’s as far as I’ve gone.

[00:08:43] So that’s, that’s just, uh, that’s just proof that you failed, you know? So I’ve been there. I understand that. Like, I feel that the people’s pain in my heart because I felt that exact pain and that’s where you’re like, you know what, uh, that’s it, you know, so. I’m just going to have to take any job. I just can’t be doing coffee serving anymore.

[00:09:05] You know, so long story short, I started my professional career within a, you know, within a telecommunication company, answering phone calls. And when people’s phones, the ones they don’t work, you know, uh, my pay was salary was $14 and 90 cents per hour. While I was promised to get an entry-level below 30 to 35 per hour, which.

[00:09:28] Not great, but it was decent back in 2007, 2008 to get a $30 an hour job, like 60 K a year for an engineering was okay. That’s a good starting salary, but I made less than half of that as my first job. So that just continued for about three years. That was just a download downward spiral. No aggression and a depression and then loss of identity to a point that I even ended up changing my name to see if that would fix stuff, but nothing really did, you know,

[00:10:01] Zach White: [00:10:01] failure.

[00:10:02] That word comes fully loaded and it affects us. And, and obviously had a significant effect on you to face that during that time. The way that that failure impacted you in the years to come, where did it rear its head? How did that, how did that impact you moving forward? Just curious and let’s connect it to interviewing for engineers today.

[00:10:28] Nader Mowlaee: [00:10:28] allow me to have compassion, you know, so from 2007, 2008, up until like end of 2010, that that went on for three years.

[00:10:39] But, uh, when I made that switch was when I left the tech industry completely on it, went towards recruiter. And it was completely by chance, not by choice. I ended up going to a recruiting company, looking for a job and I was so persistent, you know, out of desperateness, you know, really you’ve just been desperate for a job.

[00:11:00] I just wouldn’t stop following up and guess what? That’s a great quality for a recruiter. So they’re like, yeah. You seem like the kind of guy who wouldn’t give up, why don’t you come and work here and actually help us fill in these engineering positions, you have the engineering background and you have the persistence you have to drive.

[00:11:20] You’re, you’re willing to do whatever it takes as you say. So I ended up being like, I was the only technical person, the only engineer in the company at the time. And it was like, I was still at, this is a risk for us, you know, we’re taking a risk on you. Well, guess what? I was their number one recruiter in two years.

[00:11:36] You know what I mean? So what, what allowed me to get there aside from having that technical knowledge? It allowed me to understand people, people who are struggling with job search have compassion for them, you know, just have adequacy empathy for them. So. I have resonated with them what they’re going through.

[00:11:54] And I was able to make very good friends, very quickly. People gained my trust, you know, and they knew I was coming from the right place. Uh, you know, the average recruiter doesn’t really have a good image attached to their name, you know, out there it’s like the used car salesman, but I became the anomaly.

[00:12:12] And, uh, that really proved that I approved that in my performance.

[00:12:16] Zach White: [00:12:16] When are we in time that you landed that first recruiter? Oh, what year was it in 10, October, 2010. And you mentioned a moment ago that in the journey, through this trial, this suffering, that you made a decision to change your name, where did that happen?

[00:12:37] Relative to October, 2010. Why? January, 2010. Why, why the name.

[00:12:45] Nader Mowlaee: [00:12:45] Well, in 2008, like from mid 2008, until 2009 and 2009, January, 2010, I worked at a telecommunication company, you know, answering phone calls, smartphone didn’t work, you know, in 2007, when iPhone one was released, I was on that team. So I was on the, I knew what iPhone one problems were.

[00:13:06] So I had that bragging rights, you know, but the 2010 Cain, you know, nine finished 1,010 K. I was contacted by a recruiter. And that’s the first time I knew what a recruiter was. Uh, I was offered to leave that company go to an it company. It integration systems, integration company as a sales account manager.

[00:13:27] So I was already in why is, was because I did technical background. So I had the knowledge, I could talk the talk, I could speak with it, managers, technology directors, and understand what their infrastructure looks like. Uh, I’ve worked in a telecom company. So I knew what that communication, networking infrastructure looked like.

[00:13:45] What, what the components and equipments were, and it was working on the phone. So I wasn’t selling, I was tech support, but I could troubleshoot, I could, I could sell, I could learn how to sell. So, uh, that’s what they’re interested in. And, um, I was just really tired. Stagnation in my current company at the time.

[00:14:02] So I took the offer, uh, went from like 30,000 a year to like 35,000 a year. That’s like 5,000 a year increased. So it’s like plus 10% commission, you know? So I ended up doing well, I’m doing well with that job. But one of the things that I decided to do going to sales, I don’t mean security and I totally lost my sense of self identity was to change my name from not or to address.

[00:14:28] So why Trevor, the guy that I used to work for who was, uh, who was the coffee shop owner, Irish guy is like, uh, and he was, my mentor is like, and like, mark, I need a, I need a Western name, man, help me, you know, there’s no way they’re going to be able to talk to me. These it directors and technology managers, you know, they can emit cars at a time, you know, like they could barely say my name.

[00:14:52] So I was like many different pronunciations of the name. The conversations were getting stuck on, like, what’s your name again? You know, especially when you’re calling your service provider on the phone, you know, my phone was not working. Who are you again? You know, how do you spell that? So I was really insecure about my name.

[00:15:09] So I’m like, okay, I’m forever. So that was problematic right off the bat. Cause people. Calling me, Trevor. I wasn’t even turning around and was like, it wasn’t registering. So it was like somebody had to come and shake me. He’s like, oh yeah, you’re talking to me. My name is Trevor. Yes, sir. I was calling people, calling myself, introducing myself again as not, or not as, not as strange as like, oh no, sorry.

[00:15:31] I need to Trevor. So it was just like weird. I just sold a weird scenario going on. Uh, it was just try to fit in and that’s, that’s it.

[00:15:44] Zach White: [00:15:44] For the engineer listening to this, you know, many of them came from that same childhood dream of being an engineer and some made it maybe some didn’t, maybe someone’s listening, who they’re in that same boat, the dream didn’t happen. And the identity crisis that you know, and how that’s reflected. Maybe they didn’t take it all the way to changing their name.

[00:16:06] But if somebody is in that place, you know, just not feeling connected. To who they are at their core to get lost. And what you just described, like, what would you say to them? How did you, how did you go about finding yourself again?

[00:16:23] Nader Mowlaee: [00:16:23] It is to work on yourself, but on your inner self, not on your outer self, it’s not your name.

[00:16:29] It’s not what you look, it’s not getting in those jobs. It’s not, uh, it’s not a new haircut. It’s not changing your beard style, man. I’ve had it all. I’ve had goatees until the mid chest. Like, you know, I’ve had long hair, short hair, bald hair, you know, different clothes. I’ve gone from being a rocker to a rapper to, uh, you know, I’ve, I’ve said the exterior.

[00:16:50] I tried it all, you know, through that phase of going through high school, college university, I, uh, try to fit in, in a variety of different places. Uh, and anything you can think of, but none of them worked. None of them stuck until I found a work on myself. I know my inner self.

[00:17:12] Zach White: [00:17:12] I want to connect that statement to the incredible work that you do now in helping engineers with the job search process. And one of the things that I hear a lot in coaching, people who are in that same place is, is all about those outer things. What does my resume have on it? What does it look like?

[00:17:33] What do I need to look like? My personal brand in an outward appearance? The things people focus on are often and how others see me in this outer space. And yet here, you and I are talking about the core, the inner work. How do you, how do you bring those two things together? Where does the inner work actually reflect for someone who’s in a job search or, you know, the work you do now?

[00:18:00] How has that informed the way you approach it? Helping

[00:18:04] Nader Mowlaee: [00:18:04] people. Yeah. Here’s how I teach us. So do you want interviews or do you want jobs? Do you just want to get interviews? They want to actually get a job because your hard skills, your technical skills, your outer shell, you know, we can fix that up and make it nice and shiny and get you a bunch of interviews.

[00:18:21] Hard skills would get you to the interview. But it’s just soft skills that will get you to job. So often we go, like in standard process, you go in and start working on your heart skills. You develop that outer shell, and I’m not saying that these are not necessary. They’re just not as important as, as your soft skills as your leadership skills, as your communication skills.

[00:18:45] That’s your, you know, your aptitude, your adaptability, your collaboration, your growth, potential, your, you know, your ability to be productive, to be. To be a high-performing person to, to, to be determined, to be committed, you know, like it’s your character that you don’t even have to talk about it. Like if someone sees you, if someone communicates with you to a messages, they can feel you, you know what I mean?

[00:19:09] It’s your energy is your tone of voice. So I was like, I don’t want to get too far into the, we Wawa have the energy, but you know, we can talk about that, but it’s, it’s like soft skills is you as a person, it starts with, when you. Start making eye contact and you start connecting with someone, you communicate, you let them know what’s in your head.

[00:19:28] You words come out of your mouth. Like that’s a lot more important. So if you’re looking at the, like something like the Pareto principle, the 80 20 rule, I like to put 20% of focus on the hard skills on the technical skills, on the personal branding on the resume. 80% of the focus, 80% of our time is focused on developing you as a person, you know, improving your character, you know, enhancing your communication, your presentation skills, and, uh, the way we go about job searching, we actually need to lead with that.

[00:19:57] We don’t lead. Let’s apply for this job and update the resume and write a good cover letter, you know, because guess what everybody does that. So you’ve got a problem here where you’re mixing with everybody else. And from the recruiter’s point of view, from a hiring manager’s point of view, that’s like the common denominator that gets canned, that gets you canceled out, you know, guess what?

[00:20:19] From like a hundred resumes that are submitted to a job. Well, let’s, it’s realistically more, let’s say it’s 200, 300 resumes. At least a hundred of them can do the job. Like without even looking at those resumes, it’s a good bets to make that, you know what? I bet you. If I look at these 300 resumes and we take a whole month to look at them, we spend three hours on each.

[00:20:39] So we dissect them. A hundred of them can do the job. They have the qualifications. Maybe we say 200 people. Can’t wait. I’m sure. Like most of them maybe like sometimes what I, 50% can do the job, or let’s say we’re being really tough. We eliminate 200, we keep a hundred resumes. There’s no way you can interview a hundred people.

[00:20:59] You still have to eliminate 90 of those qualified candidates to get down to 10. You cannot bring all 10 into the office or to a zoom call. You have to eliminate half of them on the phone. So you call 10 of them. They’re going to be good, but you still have to eliminate five of them. So you can book five zoom interviews or five in-person interviews, you know?

[00:21:23] So it’s, it’s understanding that it’s very important. So what gets you to that final round? What gets you in front of a hiring manager? If, why don’t we just lead with that? Why don’t we just make that the tip of the spear when we do, you’re going to see that it will just transform your entire success rate, then you’re probably effective.

[00:21:41] Zach White: [00:21:41] This is super important. And there’s a phrase you hear all the time saving, save your best for last, right? And this is not that time. This is a save your best for first situation and what not or saying if you have for the engineer listening right now, whether you’re looking for a job today or not one day, you will be whether that’s within your own organization for promotion or transitioning organizations.

[00:22:06] And just to recognize you want to live. With your best and in the world of landing jobs, I love what you said here. The hard skills will get you the interview, the soft skills, the inner part of who you are is what will land you the job. And we want to lead with that as an engineer myself. I’m naturally, I got to ask.

[00:22:29] How do you do that? What does that even look like? Most of us have this idea, or we’re even taught by people that you either have it, or you don’t, you’ve either got the great personality or you don’t you’re charismatic or you’re not. So if you’re an engineer and you’re just saying, well, sounds great. Not her, but how do I do that? Does this matter in interviewing for engineers?

[00:22:47] Where would they begin?

[00:22:49] Nader Mowlaee: [00:22:49] All answered with a theater Roosevelt quote that says, uh, they don’t nobody know nobody cares how much, you know, until they know how much nobody cares, how much they know until they know how much you care. You know, nobody cares how much, you know, until they know how much you care.

[00:23:06] So, uh, reaching out to these organizations, companies, businesses, hiring managers, recruiters, senior engineers, looking for a referral, whoever influence. You need to first demonstrate to them, communicate to them that you really care about them, their business, their product, their process, their, their services, their customers, you know, you need to demonstrate that.

[00:23:30] So one of the strategies I, I teach one of the few that I teach to it to implement that. When you’re messaging because we focus a lot on messaging. Majority of our success comes from good messaging. Good communication. I say, don’t talk about yourself. Talk about the problems that you solve, because when you talk about yourself, you position yourself as a solution provider.

[00:23:51] You’re, you’re perceived as someone who’s selfish. When you position yourself instead of of a solution provider, you positioned yourself as a problem solver. You’re perceived as a selfless, right. So if you’re a solution provider, so social provides sounds good. It’s like, yeah, I’m a solution provider. I like to provide the solutions.

[00:24:14] I like to, you know, why no, what’s wrong with that. Well, it’s not what you say. It’s how you being perceived, you know, it’s, it’s what the person was listening to you. What did they think? How did they translate in their, in their mind? What you’re, what they’re being told. So don’t talk about yourself, talk about the problems that you solve.

[00:24:34] If you do that, you show that you care about the other person and having their obstacles overcome, having their problems taken care of, you know, getting rid of the friction they have in their process, whether that’s a, it’s a manufactured product manufacturing line, whether that’s a. Design process, regardless of what that is, it could be a validation, verification, test methodology, whatever it is that you do do the job that you perform in its fundamentals are based on solving problems.

[00:25:06] You know, the problem is, again, some of the things, again, when I go in a little bit deeper too, to help people understand this, I always say there’s one problem. There could be many solutions, but there’s just one problem, you know? And there’s often multiple solutions that we can apply to multiple methodologies.

[00:25:23] So you just need to talk about solving the one problem that they have regardless of how you solve it. Cause everyone’s like, oh, but I don’t know Python. I’m like, we don’t even know if they use that or not, but what I’m not really good with solid works. Well, why, what if they have AutoCAD? What if they’re using inventors?

[00:25:40] You know, Don’t don’t focus about which software I’m sure you can learn the software, it just show them that you understand their problem. Yes,

[00:25:48] Zach White: [00:25:48] that’s so good. The, the idea of caring lead with caring, focusing on one problem and talking about that to portray yourself as selfless. I hope the engineer listening to this is taking crazy notes because this is so good.

[00:26:05] And I want to just add to this don’t overthink what not are saying about. Lead with Karen w like Zach, what should I put? What’s the exact words. How do I say no? You don’t need us to tell you the exact words, ask yourself, what would I say that communicates authentically that I really do care about this company.

[00:26:29] The difference they’re seeking to make in the world, this position, the problem that you’re seeking to solve, like, what would you say, say that, but if the energy and intention from your heart, Authentically caring. It will come across that way. It doesn’t matter. You know, if you use Zach’s words or not as words, in fact, it’d be better if you don’t use your words.

[00:26:51] I don’t know if you run into that same situation where people want the script, they want the exact message. And, you know, just to challenge people that, Hey, you have an authentic, caring self inside. You tap into it, use it

[00:27:04] Nader Mowlaee: [00:27:04] a hundred percent say you and I and a thousand other people like you. And I, we do the exact same.

[00:27:10] We help people see, but we don’t, we don’t, we can’t, we can’t tell them what to see. Like we show them the way, you know, which we can show them the path, but what you see there, like, we want to really be able to fabricate that for you, because you could be like, I have a client right now who was a, it was a mechanical engineer.

[00:27:31] We’re going after a medical devices. So there was a company in LA. They do, uh, they do mixers like five different product lines. You know, they have bachelors, compounders, mixers, you know, small pressure vessels, you know, different, different, different parts of it, manufacturing high-speed manufacturing, product line.

[00:27:49] Uh, so like, I can’t really tell you how you would go about solving that problem, but you need to really learn that your approach should be a one to learn. What, what are some of the challenges, technical challenges involved with this process and help you come up and come up with some ideas and share with you some insights, whatever it is you say it could literally be.

[00:28:14] I really care about the products you develop, because it helps your clientele speed up their manufacturing process of, uh, of whatever it is. They’re like drug delivery system. I’m contacting you because I want to help solve some of the problems you’re facing in the design and manufacturing phase of these, these high-speed batching systems.

[00:28:37] You’re just saying to them, what’s coming out of your mouth. What’s coming out of your mind. There’s no fancy words. I want to help you solve problems. Say that I’m looking for a job to go on. Good with AutoCAD. You know, it was like, Nope, too, are you? No one cares.

[00:28:52] Zach White: [00:28:52] I love this line that I captured off your website, which I encourage everybody to go there. Tons of great content on interviewing for engineers

[00:28:58] We’ll talk about that in a little bit, but you said you must be courageous enough to lay it on the line, to tell someone the truth and to tell it like it is without dealing in delusion. I’m curious for you, not just coming back to your story, you know, when was the last time you laid it all on the line?

[00:29:18] Nader Mowlaee: [00:29:18] I try to do it every day, man.

[00:29:21] I, you know, I’ve got taking off the mask. I said the last mask and there are perhaps other, there must be, I mean, if I say there is no masks and I will be dealing with, I’ll be delusional, but there are, I would say confidently, there are masters right now that I’m worried that maybe I’m not aware of. Right.

[00:29:39] Or maybe there is a master that I, that I’m just like, Totally avoiding, but the big masks and the ones that have famously worn over the years, I took the last one off last year in, in, in September 11th. When I shared my story of, you know, overcoming, you know, being alcoholic drug use, you know, wanting to one time, kill myself.

[00:30:00] Like I put everything out there and then just lifted off this big weight off my shoulders, this big weight off my chest. And everyone just. Trusting me more because I didn’t have anything more to lose. I’m like, yeah. Yeah. I was like, Just a terrible person. It was like, it was eight years ago, but finally I came out with that.

[00:30:24] And so, you know what? I went through these dark times and I ended up changing my industry. Didn’t have my goals let down. My dad changed. My name, started drinking and started deviating from work, you know, got into smoking, got into drugs, like, and these things escalated and escalated and escalated and it got to a point that it was just.

[00:30:43] Man, what am I doing with my life? You know, I don’t want to live here anymore. So I try to share that story. Every chance that I get, because for someone that we hear is that, like you asked me, what was the last time I did it. I did it right before lunch. So an hour and a half ago, you know, I had one of my life coaching clients, Rick, and he like.

[00:31:02] You know, thanks for sharing that stuff. I, and it was our second section. I like the nice, I know we’ve met one more time. It’d be a consultation. It’s like, well, I wasn’t one of your lives. I’m like, oh, great. So thanks for signing up. And I’m really happy you shared those stories of sobriety and everything, because like, I’m going through a same thing.

[00:31:20] I’m like, wow. Oh, wow. Like, you know, and that’s, that was, that made me feel like really good because just the fact that I put myself out there, he got someone to. Be comfortable talking about their journey and their challenges. And what’s, what’s getting them stuck in their path. And that conversation was supposed to be 15 minutes.

[00:31:40] We ended up talking for 35, 40 minutes and it was all about life and, you know, challenges of it and he’s kid and you know, all these things. And this guy’s like got 20 years on me, but like the, the things that I was talking about, it just the things that I had talked about before at given him the comfort.

[00:31:59] To approach me and talk to me about it and feel like he’s in a safe zone, you know, if he’s in a safe place and he was, he was, and he wouldn’t be a year ago, you know, like, you know what I mean? Just the fact that I started sharing that stuff on nine 11 last year, it allowed me to just take off the last mask, be comfortable with who I was and every day is a step forward in my own personal development journey of being vulnerable, you know, sharing this.

[00:32:25] You know, being on this call with you today, uh, I’m presenting today to the engineering group at the university of Saskatchewan this afternoon in three, four hours. Guess what? The same stories they’re going to come out, you know, because they need to hear, uh, to that, uh, like you’re not alone because especially in the engineering community, in the stem community, like I always say share part of the story that I like.

[00:32:48] I’ve never had many friends. It was just like one, two friends during the school event. Still to this day, very introverted, you know, so is my wife. So we get along, you know, but, uh, that’s like, she’s my best friend is like, we don’t really have maybe like we have, we know a couple of couples, you know, that, that we’re good friends with.

[00:33:08] I don’t even think I’ll be comfortable sharing this stuff with them. You know, that’s how introverted I am, you know, within my personal circle. So if you’re in stem, if you’re in engineering, I know that you probably don’t want me share any of this stuff with anybody, not even with your siblings. Like I didn’t not with your parents.

[00:33:23] Like I didn’t. And I’ve had these conversations for a decade plus with other engineers and scientists. I know most people pour it in, keep it in, hold it in. And it ends up being depression, anxiety. It shows itself physically, a lot of people deviate towards smoking, drinking drugs. Uh, it ruins their relationship.

[00:33:47] Like I did, uh, you know, it just negative the effects, every part and every person in your life. So the moment you take off that last mask, or you start taking off masks, as soon as I started sharing, I’m like, oh my God, I have, I have this other demon that I got to talk. I’m like, oh my God, I got to talk about this crazy thing.

[00:34:07] You just keep taking them off and off and off until you see your own face and you feel comfortable. You’re happy looking at your own face in the mirror. So as I use, I, I wasn’t, I remember those days that I wouldn’t even look up, I had always my head down very reserved. We didn’t talk to nobody because I knew that I’d let myself down, you know, cause the only person, what are the good things about our communities?

[00:34:30] I’m going to try to make this a sound like a good thing is that we, we often blame our own self, you know, as introverts, we blame our own self, as you know, when something bad happens, extroverts, and this is I, this is not coming from me. I’ve read about this extroverts, look for approval from the outside.

[00:34:49] And they blame external sources when they think. Uh, introverts, they look for internal approval and when they fail, they blamed themselves internally. So that’s been, yeah, scientifically.

[00:35:02] Zach White: [00:35:02] Wow. You know, this, this story, this, the arc of what you just said for one you’re not alone. And for the engineer, listening to this, the introvert, listening to this it’s often when we’re in our own hands.

[00:35:18] Repeating and telling ourselves these stories and working to compartmentalize all of that. You know, the demons of our lives, what happens often is somebody will show up at a Waco wanting coaching on how to build their career. They want to get promoted. They want to get, you know, some external success reward, recognition, income impact, and there’s a belief.

[00:35:40] Underpinning this that somehow you can just accelerate forward and massive success and happiness in that one domain and leave everything else from these areas of our past, or these demons that you just talked about. You can just leave them there and it’s going to be fine. Like I don’t have to address that and I can have everything I want in this other area.

[00:36:00] And I have found 100% of the time that what’s holding you back. In your career is linked in some way to one or more, or all of this area of your life that you’re unwilling to look at. And we have to address you as a whole person. You’re not just a career. You are a whole person. And what you’re saying is so powerful to have the courage to unmask all of these areas. This is part of success in interviewing for engineers.

[00:36:26] If you really want a deep and whole sense of purpose and passion and fulfillment in your life. And just the message that you’re bringing here through your own story is so, so powerful. I’d love to go all day on it, but knowing we’ve got to be respectful of your time. Tell me what would you say if someone’s in that place case where they really connect with what you just shared?

[00:36:51] Yeah, I’ve got those failures of my past. I had. You have some demons that I haven’t looked at that are masked, what’s the first step for someone to face those with courage and start moving through it. How do you unmask yourself? You know, without just blasting things on Facebook or doing stuff that, you know, maybe it doesn’t actually help.

[00:37:13] It just feels like action. But what, what would you recommend? How does somebody take the first small step towards healing and unmasking and those things.

[00:37:22] Nader Mowlaee: [00:37:22] Uh, to, to find fulfillment in life, you know, to, to build that abundant life, you have to first identify your true purpose. So we have been conditioned to believe that our purpose is to design the next automated, uh, you know, conveyor belt or designed, designed in the new wing on this new airplane or the, you know, uh, whatever the propulsion system for the next space ex uh, jet.

[00:37:50] It’s not, you know, your, your purpose. Um, I know this is a big statement on, you’re probably going to hate me for saying this. If you’re not woke yet that you’re not like don’t attach your purpose and your life’s meaning to being an engineer or being a scientist,

[00:38:07] Zach White: [00:38:07] it’s not, oh, attach your life’s purpose to being a scientist and engineer, a conveyor belt designer.

[00:38:17] Nader Mowlaee: [00:38:17] Life is not about you, you know, life doesn’t happen to you. It needs to happen for you. You know? So I go back to saying, you know, you, you need to think about the problems you can solve. Not about, not about, uh, how your life’s going to improve. So just focused on other people. If you want to live in an abundant life, help other people live in an abundant life.

[00:38:41] You know, like the Zig Ziglar, God bless his soul quote. That always resonates with me. If you want to have everything in life, just help other people get what they want in their life. And that’s what I mean by like, life’s not about you. It’s about helping your people. It’s about helping others get what they want.

[00:38:58] Yeah. You’re not gonna find your answer. You’re never going, gonna find, uh, what your purpose is in. Step. Number one, your purpose is going to reveal itself as you’re stepping on the path as you’re traveling dad, and it’s going to come right after you overcome one of the biggest new demons you’ve met, you know, the hardest thing the night that you have to pull an all-nighter not to work on anything that will positively benefit you is just help someone else get what they want is when you’re completely selfless.

[00:39:28] And, uh, you realize that, you know what I find fulfillment in helping others. It may be in, in school and it may be in, in education. It may be in, in, in your career and maybe on a job, it may not be, you know, it just don’t, don’t define it. Let it define itself. Don’t focus on the results or the outcome, focus on a journey, focus on the process and the, you know, you just have to take that next step.

[00:39:54] The path will illuminate as you step on

[00:39:57] it.

[00:39:58] Zach White: [00:39:58] Another great Zig Ziglar. You go, as far as you can see, and then you can see to go a bit further and coming from a guy who has walked through the fire and experienced this on the other side of pain, uh, not are just admire so much your journey. I always finished with this question.

[00:40:17] I’m curious. I really love to hear your perspective on it that, Hey, great engineering, great coaching. Finding purpose has one thing in common questions lead and the answers follow, and we want to ask great questions in our lives. And so for the engineer, listening to this conversation that they want that happiness, they want that fulfillment.

[00:40:40] What’s the best question to lead them.

[00:40:45] Nader Mowlaee: [00:40:45] I would say, rather than asking yourself how to find happiness or, you know, just change the word happy and happiness does not have an end, you know, change it into peace, changing it to inner contentment, you know? So how could I be content with what I have? How can I be in peace with what I have so starts from there?

[00:41:05] Cause that’s, that’s, that’s how you can live in the present, live in the now, because if you’re in. If your mind is always in the future, you’re going to be anxious. If you’re stuck in the future, trying to figure out, oh, I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I have this interview tomorrow. I have to buy a house after do this after do that.

[00:41:23] That’s what causes anxiety. If you’re too far in the past and you’re regretful of what decisions you made or you didn’t make in the past, that’s, what’s going to cause depression. So to beat depression and avoid anxiety, you gotta be in the present and you will only be able to achieve. You know the power of now by, by just being at peace with where you are, you know, just gratitude, gratitude, gratitude, you know, like I hate to kind of like start using like cliche, you know, solutions here, but they’re not cliche.

[00:41:57] If everybody tells you them. If every book is telling you to meditate, read and write. You know, they’re not cliches anymore. These are fundamentals that I, as one can not live without, you know, it’s a meditate journal read in that order every morning, you know,

[00:42:13] Zach White: [00:42:13] powerful. I love this to beat depression and avoid anxiety be in the present.

[00:42:20] So awesome. Nader we could go all day. Thank you so much for being here. Tell the engineer, listening where they can get more of you. I know they’re gonna.

[00:42:30] Nader Mowlaee: [00:42:30] A hundred percent, you can definitely go through our website, and you can contact me, uh, look at what I do over there in more details from the career coaching side to the life coaching side.

[00:42:42] But if you want to see me and hear me and, uh, rub shoulders with me on a daily basis. Uh, I would say connect with me or follow me on Instagram. Um, my Instagram handle is courage dots, fear, doubt, confidence, because to get to confidence, you got to have the courage to face your fears. Fears that courage that’s here dot confidence.

[00:43:07] Zach White: [00:43:07] That’s beautiful. And we’ll put that in the show notes. I can tell everybody listening, you got to take action on this, follow an or look at his content, get plugged in, send him a message, let him know what you’re thinking and what you need. This guy’s content is amazing. And I, I love it. I’ve been following for a long time and thank you again so much.

[00:43:25] For being here a true pleasure. And I’ve taken a ton away from this. I know everybody else has too. So man, let’s do it again sometime.

[00:43:32] Nader Mowlaee: [00:43:32] I

[00:43:33] appreciate the opportunity. Thanks for introducing me to your community and kudos to you man Cause like we actually resonate a lot with what you do, the way you do it, the message you put out there, how you present yourself, how you help your, uh, your audience and the engineers that work with you.

[00:43:47] And it’s amazing, man. So hats off to you. Uh, keep on doing what you’re doing. The world needs more of you and I

[00:43:56] Zach White: [00:43:56] feeling is mutual brother. All right.

[00:43:59] Nader Mowlaee: [00:43:59] Awesome.