The Happy Engineer Podcast

014: Entitled Engineers with Gina Covarrubias

Did you have “the knack” for engineering as a kid? Has work stress negatively affected your health? Are you an entitled engineer? How does all this relate?

In this episode, we dig into real life and real challenges with engineering career coach, Gina Covarrubias. She has her master’s degree in engineering, but her doctorate in LIFE. You attract what you are, not what you want. Gina helps you explore who and what you really are today.

She’s an amazing coach, but more importantly, she genuinely cares about you.

Her inspiring personal story includes an unhappy engineering career that led to short term disability, a failed plan of recovery, and a surprise discovery of deep purpose along the way. I know you are going to love how you feel at the end of this conversation. You will also love how we turn a great feeling into inspired action for your career happiness. 

So press play and let’s chat… and get ready for a visit to the engineering career mechanic!


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So what’s the moral of the story from this conversation with Gina?

The first thing that I really want to share with you from my heart about this conversation is that I do not believe for one second that the moral of this story is to leave engineering.

Maybe you’ve had that exact same feeling and it’s easy to say, all right, well, Gina changed her career path. So that’s what I need to do. Remember, now as a life coach for engineers, what Gina told us about the big theme that she sees? This idea of walking into our career with an expectation  – or even entitlement –  that just because you got an engineering degree, somehow you deserve a great job and to be happy, successful, and fulfilled – automatically… as just a default of putting in those four tough years in undergrad. Changing the circumstances doesn’t solve the feeling that you might be having.

Quitting engineering, by itself, does not solve the problem.

It’s the process and the journey of discovery of what is your core purpose? What are your core values? What is the thing that your life is designed for? 

I love the quote Gina brought to us at the end: “You attract what you are, not what you want.” What must happen first, is a deep process of discovery and awareness about who you are, and what you want. Then you need to take action, be more decisive, and improve your mindset. Like Gina, this may put you on a new path. But everyone is different. So maybe for you, it could greatly improve that path you’re already on.

So don’t take Gina’s story and assume that if you’re a little bit unhappy or extremely unhappy, that the answer is to quit engineering, start a new career path. The answer is to make sure that you don’t stay in that place and get the help you need to find the path that’s best for you.

When you connect all these dots, then the journey starts to get so much smoother. That flow state, that energy, that excitement and enthusiasm comes back day by day. And from that place when that’s who you are, you’re going to attract more of what it is that you want. And I just want to make sure to make that really clear today that your action item is not to quit engineering.

First, your action item is to get deep within yourself and get the support and the coaching that you need to address those challenges and those gains. Hey, if you’re skeptical, let’s just talk about that really bluntly. I love that Gina was honest with us about her own skepticism. The first time she even heard a life coaching podcast, and maybe you’re feeling an ounce of skepticism around this whole idea that you need help or this internal journey, his idea of attracting things to yourself, all of this might feel really backwards or just doesn’t make sense.

And I get it. I mean, I’m an engineer too. Gina was an engineer. We understand that, that sense of confusion and skepticism, honestly, that skepticism is part of what makes you great at your job. And so let’s celebrate that part of you. And we don’t want to just ignore that as you move forward in your journey. I just want to challenge you to look at those areas of your life, where you are skeptical and really open your mind and get curious about what it is that creates resistance in that area for you. A lot of times, the area of your greatest resistance, the area of your greatest skepticism is a defense mechanism. It’s protection, keeping you in your comfort zone so that you don’t have to step up and face fear in your life and be courageous to advance and move forward.

And that comfort zone is going to keep you stuck, right where you’re at. So I’m not gonna, you know, poo-poo on skepticism. A healthy dose of skepticism can be a powerful thing in the right context, used the right way to explore deeper, and to protect yourself from things that are potentially going to harm you.

However, skepticism over-used can also prevent you from taking exactly the steps that you need to take to move forward.

So always be curious and always challenge yourself when you feel that resistance and skepticism rising up, especially when it comes to investing in yourself to developing yourself, to getting help. I know for myself as an engineer, it was hard to ask for help when I was in. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to be seen as the guy who wasn’t smart enough. I didn’t want to be seen as the guy who didn’t know what to do. I always wanted to have the answer. I always wanted to be the hero and that’s really normal.

It’s really natural to want to be the hero in your own story. I get it and that’s great. I want you to be successful as well. However, that ego and that skepticism could hold you back from taking the actions you need to grow, being willing to risk failure on the journey.

So how do we put this into practice? You’re not sure if you want to be an engineer, you’re not sure if you fit in, or maybe you want to be an engineer but you’re just not sure if this is the right company for you… or you’re not sure if you want to go into management and lead people or stay technical. There are so many options, how do you know what’s best for you?

I want you to go back and remember what Gina did. First, she threw herself into broad experiences and broad knowledge. You have to widen the aperture, go get exposed to more options. Ask yourself that question: What else is out there?

Let’s simplify it and just say, what can I do to explore 10 times as many options right now? Make the next goal simple. All I have to do next is move into a deeper exploration of what could be, what my options are. Start there, make it simple. Don’t put stress on yourself to come up with the exact answer for your future today.

If you’re unclear, figure out what is the smallest simplest step you can take to widen that aperture and get exposed to a broad base of experiences and a broad base of knowledge to give yourself a chance to see something new that you might connect with and resonate with, and then make sure that you have space, silence and time set aside for self-awareness and reflection to be with your thoughts and allow your subconscious to start connecting the dots and giving you those signals. Listen to that inner voice. Alright engineer. I’m so proud of you.

And I want you to know that these, these questions, these topics, you know, this is just the tip of the iceberg and there’s a lot more to it. And if you need support, take action and get it. OACO is here to help you. But most of all, don’t stay stuck where you’re at in that comfort zone.

Be courageous, step up and take action… and let’s do this.


Previous Episode 13: Deadly Distraction with April Garcia




Gina Covarrubias is a Certified Life Coach, B.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University), M.S. Mechanical Engineering (University of Utah).

Her distinctive background blends life coaching expertise with 12+ years engineering/technology experience in government, academia and corporate aerospace. 

She founded Deliberate Doing LLC, an exclusive STEM coaching service dedicated to helping technical professionals defeat career despair. She solves the common STEM problem: “What is next for my life?” As a former engineer, she can identify with technical experts who question their personal or professional existence.

As an Engineering Life Coach, her mission is to help STEM professionals evaluate their journeys in the context of their lives. When a discouraging path has you questioning previous choices with an unknown future, she helps you recalibrate your journey to align with personal goals.





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

[00:00:00] Zach White: Hello. Hello. All my happy engineers out there. It’s awesome to be back with you. I’m here today with a special guest Gina Covarrubias, certified life coach and an aeronautical and astronautical engineer from the best university. My Alma mater. Boiler up. So excited about that. And an MS in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah, Gina has a really distinctive and exciting background, blending life coaching and her expertise as an amazing coach with 12 plus years in engineering and technology experience in government and academia and corporate aerospace.

[00:00:58] And founded Deliberate Doing LLC, her organization with exclusive STEM coaching services, dedicated to helping technical professionals, just like you to defeat career decisions. And solves that common STEM problem, “What is next for my life?”  As a former engineer, Gina really understands and can identify with you, the technical expert, you know, the questions that come up in both personal and professional side of our existence and as an engineering life, Gina’s mission is to help STEM professionals evaluate their journeys in the context of their lives.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:01:37] When a discouraging path has you questioning previous choices with an unknown future, Gina’s there to help you recalibrate your journey and align with your personal goals. You can tell why I love this lady, and it’s so much fun to be with her today and right in the heartbeat of what OAA goes all about.

[00:01:54] Gina, thank you so much for taking time to be with us.

[00:01:58] Gina Covarrubias: Zach. I’m so excited to be here as your guest on your podcast. Thank you for having me. This is going to be a great conversation. I think we have a lot

[00:02:08] Zach White: to talk about, oh man, we, we could go all day Gina. And for those listening, you know, we first met, had an opportunity to do some presenting together and share, you know, career path, direction, questions, and have had a lot of fun.

[00:02:21] But Jean has, why don’t you first take us back. Uh, explain a little bit about your engineering background. What’s what’s the engineering side of Gina, like, take us back to the beginning. What was your career experience as an engineer?

[00:02:27] Gina Covarrubias: Well, I will tell you, um, from the time I was a child, I think I was, I fall in the rare category here.

[00:02:34] I was the college student who knew exactly what I was going to major in. I was going into aerospace engineering. No question about. Nothing else existed in my mind. So I never waffled. I never flip-flopped. I knew that’s what I was going to do. And I was always good at science and math. And so, um, it completely made sense.

[00:02:53] I was fascinated with the space shuttle and airplanes and everything arrow. So I go to Purdue and finish my degree and start working as an engineer. And, um, I discovered very quickly that. I didn’t feel like I fit in and I also knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree. So what I did was I worked full time and pursued my master’s part-time on the side.

[00:03:20] And so it was a very busy, young, professional doing that. I finished my masters in a couple of years. And by that time, by the time I graduated with my master’s, I had told myself I had this book. I don’t want to be an engineer like this. This is not what I had in mind. This is not what I want to do with myself.

[00:03:42] So it was a very difficult time in my life when I graduated with my master’s degree, because because here I was with two engineering degrees and I thought this, this is not what I want. So I felt really stuck. And I even kind of fell into a little bit of a depression. I thought, you know, maybe I just need to change things up.

[00:04:02] Maybe I just need a different job, different employer. So, um, I ended up doing that changed the job, ended up moving and looked for jobs outside of engineering. really tried to broaden, um, some of the things I had done in the past. I, I had a hard time finding other jobs and I didn’t even know what I was looking for.

[00:04:25] So I ended up back in engineering and it was okay for a while. I did my thing. I went to work, got the job done, but I felt like something was missing. And I would just think to myself, what. What is it I’m supposed to be doing, like, I can go to work and I can do my job, but there was always that, but, and I was making a living and I had great benefits and on the outside to everybody else, it seemed like I had it made.

[00:04:59] And on the inside, I felt like a complete failure. And that is really hard to come to terms with.

[00:05:08] Zach White: So Gina, take us back. To those earliest moments where you started to feel like you didn’t fit in, what did that actually look like? Tell us, like, where did you start to feel and how did you know something doesn’t fit here?

[00:05:22] What, like, what were the beginning indications of that for you?

[00:05:27] Gina Covarrubias: I think the indications were that I kept longing for more and there was something that was supposed to make me happy and I, I couldn’t quite find. And I didn’t know what it was. So it’s not that I was unhappy necessarily. I felt like I was missing something.

[00:05:48] It was a feeling of longing. And for some time, um, my first job was very technical and I didn’t have to work with many people and I felt kind of isolated too. And I think that. Came into play. As I had these thoughts in my mind that this is not what I should be doing, and there’s gotta be something better and it kind of snowballed sack, you know, how you get in your own head and you create this belief and then you keep finding evidence to prove it.

[00:06:21] And it just snowballs and gets bigger and bigger. And so what I did is what most people would naturally do in that situation. I tried changing my circumstances. I tried changing jobs, changing employers, and while it offered temporary relief, um, that wasn’t the longterm solution. But I, I didn’t know it at the time.

[00:06:46] Zach White: How did that snowballing thought that I don’t fit in. I don’t know if I want to be an engineer. How did that actually affect you? I mean, did it impact your performance at work? Did it create, you know, stress or anxiety that manifested in your life or health or other things? Like how did that look in Gina’s life?

[00:07:08] Gina Covarrubias: That’s a great question. Zack, all of the above, it affected everything. It affected my work ethic, my results, my, the image I had of myself. Um, like I said, I felt like a really big failure inside, even though on the outside, things looked great, but in my mind, I had worked so hard to get through school. I took out thousands of dollars worth of student loans, and I made a lot of sacrifices to put myself in this position that I thought was going to make me happy.

[00:07:41] And I was anything. But. So, yes, work stress affected me, um, mentally it affected me at work. Um, luckily at that time my health was not affected yet. That happened a few years later when I fell into the same boat. So yeah, it absolutely affected every aspect of my, I stopped caring. I became very unmotivated.

[00:08:03] Zach White: Okay. And what would you say.

[00:08:04] You never really connected with engineering as a profession, or like you liked it and you were good at it, but there was just this other feeling alongside it. I mean, did, did you like being an engineer

[00:08:17] Gina Covarrubias: at times? I did. There were times I, I loved it. Yeah. And there were times where I thought, um, I should be doing something different.

[00:08:27] Like this isn’t me. I should be doing something better. Or. Um, something more creative or, you know, there was always something that I could think of. So yeah, there were ups and downs, there were ups and downs,

[00:08:40] Zach White: Where was the first moment then that you started to truly entertain the idea of getting out of engineering as a profession?

[00:08:54] Gina Covarrubias: That probably happened. right around the time I graduated with my master’s degree. So at that point I had only had a few years of engineering experience. And so I kind of justified staying in engineering by telling myself maybe I just need to try something different, new job, new employer.

[00:09:16] Did that it was okay for some time. And then the same thing happens after I fell into this depression, I was going through a stressful time at work and the belief came back. I, I shouldn’t be doing this. Um, there’s something better for me. I’m not happy. And I don’t know what to do about. And the second time it happened, my physical health, uh, became affected.

[00:09:40] So not only did it come back, but it came back much stronger. it wasn’t just a one and done. This was a pattern that kept happening with me.

[00:09:50] Zach White: What was it that actually pushed you? Over the edge. So to speak that the actual decision point in your life, that enough is enough. It’s time to go another direction.

[00:10:02] Gina Covarrubias: Um, yeah. Great question, Zach. I think what happened is after I was able to recover physically, um, from all of these health issues that were bombarding me, and that happened about 10 years ago. And I was out of work for several months on disability. I mean, I wasn’t really bad shape. So I eventually recovered and got back into the workforce.

[00:10:25] And over the course of several months, I started wondering, and I started asking myself, what is it? Gina is supposed to be doing really? I can go to work and I can do this. And it’s fine. But I’m, I felt like I was meant for something different. I told myself, you know what? I had been given a second chance in life here because several months ago, my health was going down the tank.

[00:10:54] I didn’t know what was going to happen. And here I am, I’m recovered. I’m back to work and I felt like life is too. I’ve been given a second chance and I need to make it matter. And that’s when the thoughts started popping in my brain. Maybe you need to be doing something different. Maybe you have done engineering enough and seen it enough to know what you would be leaving if you were to walk away.

[00:11:23] And that’s exactly what I decided. so I walked away and it was, I was very, very. Very much at peace with that decision. I wasn’t running. I wasn’t frustrated when I left the profession, I just decided this was a dream I made come true. Now it’s time to make a different dream come true. And I don’t know what that looks like.

[00:11:42] I don’t know what that means, but I decided I’m leaving. I’m going to live off my savings. Do some self-reflecting and figure out what is it. Gina is supposed to be.

[00:11:55] Zach White: Wow. So super excited to share and dig into what came next. But before we do G and I have to go back and just ask about this really, I mean, you kind of touched on it, but like, this is a big deal.

[00:11:58] I want people to hear this. What started as a, a thought that I may not want to do this and, and led to a deeper. Internal feeling of being a failure, but still, you know, lived in the, kind of the thought realm of your life spiraled into short-term disability because of health-related issues that nearly, you know, took you out of the game completely.

[00:12:22] Like what, what was that cascading, domino, like, where did it fall out into that place? That’s a really big consequence, right? I mean, tell us a little bit about that. downward spiral or like, how does that happen if somebody is in that place, maybe they can connect with what you said. Like, I feel like a failure right now as well.

[00:12:39] Is that on the horizon? what’s that like, just tell us a little more about what happened there.

[00:12:43] Gina Covarrubias: So the feeling of, um, of being a failure on the inside, even though everybody thought. I was the most successful thing in the world on the outside. Um, so that was very, very difficult for me to face.

[00:12:58] Um, it, it required me face things, some of my demons, I guess, and while I pushed through it and I came up with a solution of maybe I just need to change jobs and change employers. That was my solution at the time. However, I never really faced that demon head on it, just kind of lingered and just kind of stuck around.

[00:13:23] And so here I go on a new adventure, a new endeavor, and then things at work kind of started going sour. And I was working with a team that didn’t really, um, understand team work and work stress. And there was a questionable boss and things were happening. And it happened over the course of several months. And I blamed my career for stress that I was feeling.

[00:13:48] So between all the blaming and the past experience of I’ve, I failed myself, you combine all that. And it took me down. My body physically eventually said no more. I can’t handle this. So mentally I put up with it for a long time, and then eventually my body just said, I’m shutting down on you. Like I’m quitting, I’m done.

[00:14:15] Zach White: If someone’s in that place, listening Gina, where it’s in their mind today, maybe they relate exactly to what you’re saying. What would Gina today? Say to Gina before the health issues, but feeling some of those, those thoughts and emotions you described, what would you share with Gina then?

[00:14:35] Gina Covarrubias: Oh gosh, Zach, I’ve thought about that.

[00:14:37] That’s such a good question. What I would share is that looking back when I was going through all those things and I was blaming and feeling like a failure, I needed Gina as a life coach. That is exactly what would have gotten me through those times. today, Gina, as a life coach understands people who are in that situation.

[00:15:04] Um, I could say from experience, I’ve been there done that, but I also know now why I was in that situation and I understand how. Some of my thinking and beliefs created that for me. So what I needed back then was me as a life coach.

[00:15:22] Zach White: Yeah. Is it fair to say plain and simply don’t try to solve that problem on your own.

[00:15:28] Go get a coach work with Gina, like reach out and get that help before you ended up on short-term disability, dealing with those kinds of pressures. So,

[00:15:39] Gina Covarrubias: I don’t know about use Zack, but have you ever, um, tried explaining a stressful situation or frustration with, let’s say family or friends and they kind of look at you?

[00:15:52] Like, no, I don’t really know what you’re talking about. I can’t relate to your problems and. As an unhappy engineer, if you’re going through a stressful time at work and you try taking this home to some friends or family members, and they look at you, like, why are you so unhappy? What are you talking about?

[00:16:11] You’ve got to Maine, you work for a great company. You have a great job. It just takes you down even more so while friends and family, They can have the best of intent, but sometimes you need an unbiased party, like a coach or a therapist or a counselor or somebody who’s not in that situation with you, who can help you see other perspectives on work stress.

[00:16:39] Zach White: that you’re not.

[00:16:40] Super powerful. What you just said, Gina. And I see it with the engineers who I coach as well, that the world external to you, the engineer is going to look at your situation and say, you have nothing to complain about. You make great money work at this great company. You got a house in the suburbs. You’re married, you got two kids, you know, like you have the American dream or whatever that story might be from the outside.

[00:17:05] Looking in. When, on the inside you feel like a failure. You’re you’re dying. You’re confused. You’re frustrated. You’re stuck. All the things that you mentioned. And so just to maybe encourage the person listening that engineer, listening, you know, you’re feeling like every time you attempt to share this with friends and family, that it’s making it worse, this might be part of the reason.

[00:17:26] And so Gina let’s, let’s take it then to the point you, you quit, you are living off savings. Where did you stumble into the idea? This path is taking me towards being a life coach.

[00:17:38] Gina Covarrubias: When I left the engineering profession, I had a very, not a great plan. I had a small plan. My plan was I’m going to study for the PMP exam project management professional.

[00:17:52] I’m going to take a month or two and study my butt off and take the exam. And then I’ll get a job as a project manager and. That’s just going to kind of be surface level stuff. What I really want to do is figure out what it is I’m supposed to be doing. So I thought, okay, I’m going to leave my job. I’m going to live off my savings.

[00:18:12] I’m going to study for this exam. that was my planning. I’m going to get this certification. I had taken the exam two years prior and failed it. So I knew what I was in for. And I changed my strategy to study. So here it is, June, the whole month of June comes and goes, 4th of July comes and goes, and I’ve been studying for this exam.

[00:18:29] And this was my short-term plan. Mind you? I did not want to be a project manager forever. Okay.  I’m studying for this exam every day, July 4th comes and goes, it’s been like six, seven weeks. And I had a moment in my kitchen as I’m studying for this exam and nobody’s around and I’m reading and I’m writing, doing whatever it is I’m doing.

[00:18:54] And I remember clearly I just kind of looked up and I said, I hate this. I hate this. I effing hate this. This is not what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Why am I studying for this exam to set me up with a job that I’m just going to be disappointed with once again? And that was really hard to come to terms with, again, Zach, because he wasted seven weeks living off my savings.

[00:19:26] I felt like I wasted it anyway. And I thought this is silly. I don’t want to be project manager. What am I doing? And so that was another moment for me, very hard to face, very hard to admit to myself. And then I thought, all right, you know, what, if I hadn’t studied for this in depth, like I did, I would never have figured out.

[00:19:50] It’s not. So it needed to

[00:19:52] Zach White: happen. Yes.

[00:19:54] Gina Covarrubias: And then I went to my next plan and I thought I’m going to just dive into stuff. I want to educate myself. I felt like I had been dumbed down and I started taking online. so like or

[00:20:09] Zach White: I’m teachable,

[00:20:11] Gina Covarrubias: things like that. And then I started listening to podcasts and I ordered a stack of books and I just threw myself into knowledge. Knowledge doesn’t solve work stress, by the way.

[00:20:19] And the question I was trying to answer is what else is out there? What am I missing? And one thing led to another. I discovered a life coaching podcast, Zack and I started listening to it and I was really skeptical. So by this time it was like August, like we’re getting to the end of summer and I saw this life coach podcast.

[00:20:39] And I thought that sounds a little strange. I don’t know about that, but I’m going to give it a listen. So I started listening and I was blown away and I thought, okay, I need to go back to the beginning and start with episode one, listen to one and two and three. And I had a moment Zack. And that moment was that should be me on that podcast.

[00:21:07] I should be a life coach. I need to do. And it was just, it was visceral. It was instant. There was no question. Um, from that point on, I researched a few different life coaching options to become certified. And I went ahead and signed up and here I am with my life coaching business. So I wasn’t necessarily looking for it.

[00:21:28] It just, it just kind of happened.

[00:21:31] Zach White: This idea of moments. I really love how you’re telling the story, you know, sort of moment to moment to moment and Jana. I’m curious. Do you feel like you did anything to be able to receive the value of those moments or to really be aware and listen to your intuition and, and be present in those moments?

[00:21:51] Or did it. Slap you across the face. There was really no, no way to miss it. I’m just curious. Cause you know, a lot of people might hear this and I know for myself, like, we might have a little anxiety about like, did I miss my moment or am I ignoring the moments or am I silencing that voice? And do I need to learn how to be more attuned to this?

[00:22:11] Like, like what Gina is? Like what, what was your experience with that? Like did you have. Put yourself into a situation where you were ready for that moment, or is it now just looking back, you can connect those dots and you see it for what it is

[00:22:27] Gina Covarrubias: the best way I could answer that question, Zach is that I wanted to be true to myself. I wanted to be fair to me and I wanted to. Um, put myself in a position where it understood my strengths and my weaknesses and how I could actually use my strengths. Okay. So for me, it was all about self awareness and, and trying to tap into what makes me tick.

[00:23:01] I’m going to end that answer with question that I asked myself, and this might be helpful for some, for some of your audience members. Um, Um, after I decided I did not want to be a project manager and I didn’t want to study for this silly exam at the time I asked myself a question that I couldn’t answer, and I was kind of mad at myself cause I couldn’t answer it.

[00:23:18] And the question I asked myself was if somebody saw me Gina doing my thing, and they said to themselves, wow, she was really meant to be doing that. What would that thing. And that question plagued me, Zack, and it irked me and it frustrated me.

[00:23:41] I thought about it every day for several weeks, because I didn’t know how to answer it. And that led me on the journey to diving into online courses and podcasts and books.

[00:23:55] Zach White: Wow. So coming from engineering and you even said at the beginning, you are skeptical about life coaching, and I know so many engineers. Who are, and then you find yourself in life, coach training, like, take us back to that time of training.

[00:24:13] Like what did you have to shift about your mindset and this engineering part of Gina to become a great life coach?

[00:24:24] Gina Covarrubias: I love that question. The life coach certification, the training, it was a year. It really transformed me, Zach. It completely opened my eyes to my past and it helped me understand the things I could have done differently. Work stress can be handled differently.

[00:24:44] The things I could’ve done better in my past. So for me, it was almost a complete transformation. I had to push myself. I had to learn how to challenge myself. I had to learn how to get over fears and to accept my own weaknesses and my own flaws. For example, if you would have told me a couple of years ago, I was going to be on LinkedIn commenting and posting flyers and putting up videos on YouTube.

[00:25:13] I would’ve told you Zack, you’re crazy. I’m not doing that. I, I I’m Dena. I want to be in the shadows. I want to be in the background. I don’t want to be on the forefront. I don’t like attention. And I would have said, you’re crazy. I’m never putting myself on the internet. And that’s just one example of how my life coaching training really expanded my mind.

[00:25:36] And opened me up to so many opportunities and possibilities that I did not know existed, and I shunned them and I just swept things under the rug without even thinking twice about it. So I’ve had to do a lot of transforming myself, a lot of growing, a lot of pushing myself and I still do all the time.

[00:25:55] Zach, I’m still pushing myself and I’m failing forward and I’m happy to fail. ‘ cause that’s how we learn

[00:26:02] Zach White: coaching engineers. Here we are today, present day, Gina, tell us, you know, through this whole journey, I mean, what an amazing story. And we could go another hour, just unpacking all of these moments and the things that you’ve gone through, probably the rest of the day, but just to bring it to the present for where you’re at and helping engineers who are either facing.

[00:26:25] You know, similar questions and challenges that you did, or I asking, you know, challenging questions in their life and career. What would you say as you’ve been doing this now as a professional life coach for engineers, what are those big challenges that you’d just see again and again, that engineers need help with

[00:26:45] Gina Covarrubias: yes.

[00:26:46] Yes. Um, excellent. I’m so glad you asked this. This is probably the biggest theme that I see and I can relate to it. The theme is you work hard in school, you check all the boxes, you get the job, you start working and engineers and other stem professionals. They have this sort of like patient. Some of them almost feel entitled.

[00:27:15] And I will tell you, I did. I thought I was entitled when I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I was entitled to a great job and I was entitled to be happy because darn it. I worked really hard to get there. And then you start working as a young professional, and you’ve got all these expectations and you think.

[00:27:32] There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And then you realize, wait a second, this isn’t what I thought it was going to be. Why are these people not agreeing with me? Why don’t these people? Listen to me? Why is my boss making me do that? Why do I have to do customer service? I don’t know anything about customer service.

[00:27:50] Why do I have to write all these ports? And it goes on and on and on not. And so I think there is a big disconnect with. The engineering students who has visions and expectations versus the way the world works. There is so much work stress.  And a lot of people don’t understand there’s a disconnect. And then when they get out there and they start experiencing things that they didn’t know existed.

[00:28:15] And when they realized the world doesn’t work the way they think it’s from. They don’t know how to handle it. They don’t know what to do or they blame, or they go into depressions or they go back to school and change industries and change jobs, or they change their circumstances to try to find something.

[00:28:35] I w I think that’s a very common theme that I see over and over, and it has many different faces, right? It can show itself in many different ways and you’re, you’re standing here and you’re shaking your head and you’re nodding Zack as if you know exactly what I’m talking about.

[00:28:51] Zach White: you know, this is a really important point.

[00:28:55] You’re making Gina, and, you know, we’re, we’re both coaches for engineers and we see this all the time, but the idea. If I change the, my outward conditions, the circumstances that, that will be the key to changing my inward conditions and how I feel about work stress. And you mentioned, I want to be happy. I want to feel successful.

[00:29:13] I want to make an impact. And these are internal things that we’re talking about. We as engineers, we love to solve it in the physical world, around us. And, you know, frankly, wherever you go, there you are. if we don’t address the inside, like you’re describing. Then we bring those problems into the new circumstance.

[00:29:31] And as you know, now, Jean is nodding her head. It’s like, yeah, this is that. So tell us a little bit. You know, what, what you do for helping engineers in your, your course and how it looks. So if somebody says, yep, I resonate with this. I want to, I want to tackle these questions and actually deal with it at its root on the inside to tell us about how you approach this and how you help engineers to move forward.

[00:29:52] Gina Covarrubias: Absolutely. There are a few ways people can engage with me. First of all, I have a lot of free content on my website, which is deliberate doing. I have recordings of webinars from all kinds topics from career related to COVID related to being a student. Um, I have a career blog on my website. I have newsletter people can sign up for So those are some freeways. People can engage with me if anybody would like to take it to the next level. I always offer two free coaching sessions up front to anybody at all. Who’s interested. That gives them the opportunity to understand how I operate as a coach and to get to know my style. And then from there, if they want to take it further and really work on themselves and do a deep dive, then we do individual coaching.

[00:30:39] If they decide maybe they don’t want individual coaching, they have the option to take a course that I taught earlier this year, the course is called overcoming career concerns. And what this course is that this course is all about teaching you the life skills, the people skills, the career skills that you didn’t learn in engineering school.

[00:31:05] And when people can up level their life skills and their career skills, it automatically translates to them being able to create a better. For themselves, the

[00:31:19] Zach White: course is all about, I love it. I love it. So I’ll just tell the engineer, listening, you know, if you want to take advantage of Gina’s offer here for free coaching with her on work stress, do it before her calendar’s full, right.

[00:31:29] It’s it’s, it’s only free if she has capacity to take care of you. So, so don’t hesitate, reach out and connect with Gina, Gina. This is so great. And, and I love right where we left this, right? Just hearing the arc of your story, how. Your experience mentally, how that played out in your life and some really hard in, in negatively impactful ways.

[00:31:50] And just as a caution to any engineer out there, like take it seriously. Don’t don’t let this just be a thing that you push to the back burner again and again. Um, you know, Jane, I want to finish with this question. I always ask you a great engineer. Like great coaching. We want to ask great questions because questions lead and answers follow.

[00:32:10] And so if the engineer listening wants to be happy, what would you say is the best question to lead them with today?

[00:32:19] Gina Covarrubias: Okay. For the engineer who wants to be happy?

[00:32:23] I don’t know that that this is the best question, but I’m going to offer a question that comes from. And I’m going to proceed it with a quote, you attract what you are, not what you want. Many people want a dream job or a great job, which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you’re going to attract what you are and what that means is whatever’s going on inside of you is what you’re going to find out there in the external world.

[00:32:55] Many people want to find the external job first and then sit back and say, oh, okay, now I’ve got the dream job that it works for. Now I can be happy and I’m here to tell them that’s not the way it works. It’s actually the reverse first. You gotta be happy inside and understand who you are. And from there you go out and create.

[00:33:19] The great job. So I’ll just repeat you attract what you are now, what you want. And a question that I would challenge people to ask themselves is what are your values as a person? What are your values and how do they align with your career?

[00:33:41] Zach White: Awesome.

[00:33:43] Gina Covarrubias: That’s a great question because I don’t believe many people sit back and think about themselves and, and think about what do I value? What is it I’m actually looking at?

[00:33:57] Zach White: Awesome. Thank you so much, Gina. And I’ll make sure in our show notes that we have all of those links and ways to connect with Gina, find her on LinkedIn, take her up on the incredible offer to spend some time digging into the challenges you’re facing. Highly encourage you to partner with her and work with her as a coach.

[00:34:16] If you need one. And you know, like Gina said, Gina, however many years ago, that was that’s exactly what. And so that’s you take action. Uh, Gina, thank you so much for being with us today. It was my pleasure.

[00:34:28] Gina Covarrubias: This was fantastic. Thank you, Zach.