The Happy Engineer Podcast

025: Why NOT to “Start with Why” with Nada Buhendi

Ever thought about quitting your job… via text message? What happens when your mind and heart are not in sync? Do you know why NOT to “Start with Why” in life?

In this episode, Master Career Coach Nada Buhendi is going to help you find your career sweet spot. She tells an epic story of texting her boss, “I quit,” then moving forward to build the business of her dreams.

But before that, Nada had incredible success in her tech career.  She is an immigrant, and overcame many challenges to reach leadership roles in Product Management, Agile Coaching, Business Analytics, UX, Scrum and more.

Nada now leverages her 15+ years in tech to help hundreds of professionals like you build fulfilling careers, while maximizing your pay. Her process is called Unleashing Your Awesome.

Who doesn’t want that?

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time to unleash YOUR awesome!


The Happy Engineer Podcast




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Do you have that north star? 

If you go back to the beginning of this conversation, one of the things that stood out to me was how much Nada reflects back on that time of her career where things were not working. She recognizes that it was the lack of a north star, a true target, a guiding point on the compass that created this experience of going at it like a robot focused on the wrong things.

All of the baggage, all of the bottled up emotion. And there was one thing I remember Nada saying that really stood out to me as she described that season of her life. I want you to ask yourself if this is you: Nada felt lost and didn’t know how to be happy.

She didn’t know how to be happy. This is such an interesting point, we think about happiness as an effect. You know, there’s some cause in our life – some external thing, some circumstance, the promotion or reaching a goal, and it’s these causes that create happiness as an effect.

But that sentence or that statement “I didn’t know how to be happy” implies the fact that we are at cause, we are part of the cause, that there’s something we do and that we are that triggers this happiness inside of ourselves.

And I absolutely agree. 

As you go back and listen through all of these amazing conversations in The Happy Engineer Podcast. I’m thinking about the happiness doctor, Dr. Elia Gourgouris in one of our conversations. And just again and again, and again, it comes up that happiness is not something that is rooted in these external causes and circumstances, but as something that begins within you, and if you don’t know how to be happy, then you will not experience consistent happiness in your life.

I just want to point that out and ask you, are you lost? Do you have a north star or do you have nothing guiding you? Do you know how to be happy? If those questions create some uncertainty in you, then it’s time to take action and reach out and get help with that. There is no shame in saying I don’t have a north star and I don’t know how to be happy anymore.

I used to, I’ve felt it before. I know what it was like, but it’s been a long time. There’s no shame in that. I know exactly what that feels like in my own journey. And we have client after client after client who come in and say, “I’ve forgotten how to connect to my passions, how to be happy, how to enjoy relationships”. So, be honest with yourself.

Now here’s another really great takeaway from this conversation with Nada: don’t start with “why”. Sorry, Simon Sinek. We’re not insulting your work. And by the way, I love that book and I love that work, but this is really insightful from Nada, don’t start with “why”. Start with your fears, start with your fears.

Ooh, I love this! Because fear, as you know if you’ve been around me and OACO (the Oasis of Courage) for any time at all, the reason we talk about courage so much is that fear stands between you and all of your dreams. And it is so true that if you have subconscious or conscious fears, things that are holding you back, keeping you in anxiety, keeping you in a state of overwhelm, keeping you in a state of deep uncertainty.

If you’re in that place. And you haven’t done the work around breaking through and understanding those fears and getting into a growth mindset where you have the power and the courage to move forward. Then you’re going to be blocked. You’re going to be clouded from understanding clearly your purpose, your “why”.

It’s going to feel like you don’t have access to that understanding. It’s like, I don’t know why. And even if I attempt to create some, some sort of “why” it doesn’t actually drive me and create the experience and the momentum that I hear other people talking about who have this deep, compelling sense of purpose.

Start with your fears.

And if you don’t know how to do that,  go back and listen. Nada gave us a couple of places to begin, but I just want to bring some awareness that this idea of solving these problems of the subconscious, solving these problems of the heart by attempting to use your intelligence, your conscious mind and your brain…

If that’s your approach engineer, you’re going to be stuck and confused. 

You’re not going to solve heart problems with brain thinking. And I love what Nada shared, when the heart and the brain are not in sync, that creates soul pain. Maybe you can relate to that phrase. You know, it’s like I’m aching inside.

There’s dissonance inside. There’s something in my soul that feels misaligned. If you are experiencing soul pain right now, there is a really good chance that your brain and your heart are not aligned. 

Your brain and your heart are not aligned. 

We are so wrapped up in knowledge and intelligence as technical leaders. And believe me, that’s good. You need that knowledge in the workplace and it serves you in many ways, but it also takes away from your access to your heart and your soul when you always default to the brain, the mind, as your place to solve every problem. And if you don’t know how to get connected into your body, into your heart, into your soul, then resolving that is extremely difficult.

Start with your fears, then get your brain and heart in sync. And that is, frankly, a huge reason why a guide or coach, someone who’s trained in how to help you get to that place, is so powerful. That’s why I still have a coach because even as a coach, it is extremely, extremely difficult to guide yourself into this observation, awareness, understanding, and transformation.

So, what are you scared of? Why not reach out and get help? Even if things are going well, I’ll tell you the time to build momentum is when you already have it. Ask any winning team, what’s easier: to win a game after coming off a winning streak? Or to win a game after coming off a losing streak? Winning begets winning.

So, if you have momentum in your career in life, don’t just say “I’m good “and pass on getting even more help and taking it to the next level. But if you are stuck and you’re feeling like I’m on a losing streak in life, then absolutely reach out and connect. Let’s get a call set up and we want to help you get moving.

Thank you Nada for bringing it today. Loved your transparency, vulnerability. And engineer, take action on this. Don’t leave this conversation as more knowledge, more passive action that doesn’t change your life. Reach out, book a call with us. Let’s get this show on the road and take you to the next level.

Let’s do this.

Previous Episode 24: How to Grow from Engineer to CEO with Ken Whah




Master Coach, Nada Buhendi, has found that career coaching is her SWEET SPOT!

Today, she leverages her 15 years of leadership in tech to help professionals build fulfilling
six-figure careers. She calls the process, Unleashing Your Awesome. It’s more than a career search. It’s figuring out your sweet spot, your zone of genius – and maximizing your pay.

Nada has served 100+ clients and is expanding her coaching company and team quickly. Most of her clients find her by referral because the results speak for themselves.

When she quit working in tech in November 2018, she felt helpless and disempowered in the workplace. Today, she is working in her sweet spot and helping engineering leaders like you find yours!





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

[00:00:00] Zach White: Happy engineers. I am so glad that you are back today and you are going to be glad to when you hear what the amazing Nada has to share her story, her energy. I have been privileged to be connected with Nada through a mastermind of coaches. You’ve actually heard another one of our colleagues through that, Jay, in one of our previous episodes and Nada, I’m just so thankful that you’re here.

[00:00:36] Thanks for making time to be with us today.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:39] Nada Buhendi: Absolutely Zach. It’s so nice to be here and, To have the honor to be your guest on this podcast 

[00:00:46] Zach White: Well, the honor is ours. So excited to hear us in the listeners. Can’t wait to dig into this and we just introduced you, you know, all of your amazing resume. So I don’t want to go back to that just yet.

[00:00:58] You gave me permission to, to Cannonball into deep end here. I would love it. If you would share the story that you just mentioned to me, your origin story of quitting over text, which as a coach of engineers who may want to quit, I would never recommend, and I don’t know the story. So I’m so excited. Please tell a Nada. 

[00:01:24] Oh, my goodness. I would definitely, I use that story as an example for my own clients to, to basically tell them what not to do, never wait for things to get to that point, but that was a pretty intense. Time of my life, where things just kept building up and building up and building up in my career.

[00:01:49] And I just kept telling myself, Hey, you know, maybe I can hang on a little bit longer, a little bit longer, a little bit longer. And then I found myself so fed up that I just quit over texts. I sent a text message to my boss while I was in a meeting because. I felt so hurt and betrayed in the workplace.

[00:02:14] And you know, when, when you let things accumulate to that point and bottle, bottle it up, your actions are not going to be effective. And so I quit over text and I left the organization. At that point, I was on my way to become a leader. At a consulting company and I quit before even having a job. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

[00:02:39] Not a, what was happening in those, you know, weeks, months, years leading up to that text that made you experience and feel so fed up. What was actually going on that disconnected you from the work that much. 

[00:02:55] Nada Buhendi: I believe that I didn’t have a north star all those years. And I was trying to figure out what that north star is. I didn’t know who I was. I was just walking into these big five consulting firms and going at it like a robot without knowing the meaning behind it, without knowing what my why was. And. As I went through these motions, I was also focusing on the wrong things. And because I was focusing on the wrong things, I was burnt out.

[00:03:31] I was taking on unnecessary things. I was being more of a hero instead of a guide and overly bulldozing to get my way. And I thought my definition of success was. Getting the work done, staying late and getting that PowerPoint done instead of socializing with others and doing all kinds of things. But frankly, if I were to sum it up, I just felt lost and I didn’t know how to be happy. And I just drowned myself and escaped everything through my work.

[00:04:05] Zach White: Language, you just used that. So familiar to me as a coach may not feel as familiar to . The engineering leader, listening a north star, you know, this idea of where our focus is at and your purpose and meaning not. If you go back in your mind to the, the days that you were in that place of feeling lost, would you have been able to articulate. The same then, or how would you have described it during that time? 

[00:04:38] Nada Buhendi:  so how I would’ve described it was, um, the particular incident that triggered the entire thing was I was an agile coach at an engagement with a client or a find it was a financial institution.. And, um, I remember. That I took the day off to get my driver’s test.

[00:04:57] And when I came back, I learned that all of my meetings were rescheduled. And so I sat there in the room expecting that my team was going to show up because I was supposed to facilitate a stand up. And I was sitting there by myself feeling like an idiot. And I remember. One of my team members saw me sitting in the room and just walked in and said to me, Hey, did you not get the memo?

[00:05:24] And I’m like, what memo? What are you talking about? All of your meetings got rescheduled. And I just sat there feeling extremely upset. And fed up because it was a pattern that I was seeing where I felt disrespected, where I felt people weren’t listening to me where I felt I wasn’t able to influence I was being passed on promotions.

[00:05:47] Um, and, um, all of these emotions just, you know, came together and, and cause the eruption. That’s pretty much what happens. So then I felt so bad and I, and I realized that my counterpart did this, you know, and I just. Felt, oh my goodness. why wouldn’t you have had a conversation with me? Why would you just go over my head and do all of that?

[00:06:08] And so all of the emotional stuff, just simply erupted and years of baggage from feeling, you know, that I had no control in an organization and things were being done to me and I had no control over my career. I wasn’t the captain of my ship. Um, that just was all bottled up. just, you know, the concept of north star, if not understanding, like, why am I even doing this?

[00:06:33] What’s the point of all of this? And that’s when I just decided to quit over texts.

[00:06:41] Zach White: Let’s circle back to what nada said at the beginning, the moral of the story is not to quit over text. If you’re listening to this right now, But I do think there’s something about what you’re describing that is going to resonate for the engineer listening. Like yeah. I can relate to bottling up these emotions or to feeling betrayed or disrespected the, that whole emotion.

[00:07:06] I think that starts to sink, like, okay, I get that feeling. So now that you’re, you’re on the other side of this, not a looking back. What would you say to yourself then to help you recognize that reality before it was too late, before the text happens? Because what I’ve noticed and I see with my clients too, is we sit in that trajectory towards the text, but we are not aware that we’re headed towards that.

[00:07:35] Maybe you might call it a rock bottom. Maybe it’s not rock bottom, but it’s still a low moment in life when you get there, how. Interrupt yourself before it’s too late. 

[00:07:46] Nada Buhendi: Yeah. So So I think this is something that is very common with us technical folks. Um, just to give you an idea, I was on a large software implementation.

[00:07:55] I was working with a team of developers. There was a lot of change in direction. My developers were burnt out. There was a lot that was going on and at every point in time, I could have jumped in and maybe had a conversation with leadership or, um, try to tackle this head on. And I did, I did, but I don’t think I approached it in the most effective way.

[00:08:21] Not in a diplomatic way. There was a lot of, um, reactiveness and emotional and all stuff, you know, that was going on. And I think a lot of fit was because I was. And this is something that I tell my clients too. I actually love Simon Sinek and how he says, start with why, but I actually tell them not to start with why, but start with, with their fears, because when you don’t understand your fears, um, cause we all know that 40 to 95% of human behaviors are involuntary and habitual.

[00:08:49] We actually are not going to be able to get to our why, because all of the fears are clouding our why, and until we face those fears and confront them, including, you know, being open, opening up and having those conversations before your emotional level is at the. Level, um, then you’re not going to be able to make a difference.

[00:09:10] Um, things can actually erupt and that’s when your, um, response, while it may be valid, um, may not be effective. 

[00:09:19] Zach White: This is a huge insight. And I want to sit on this for a moment because we do. Purpose and why work with my clients as well. And I see your point. So clearly I’ve never described it this way, and that’s why I love this, that when they’re blocked from understanding their purpose in a simple and clear way, it’s almost always because there’s this layer of the fear and the doubt and the lies of their mind that are preventing them.

[00:09:50] So. We say fear fears, uh, a word that maybe an engineer listening would say, well, I’m not, I’m not afraid of my boss, or I’m not afraid of something. What do you mean by fears? What are the types of fears you see or help your clients work through that are preventing them from getting clarity on their why?

[00:10:13] Nada Buhendi: I do firmly believe that. Based on our upbringing based on how we were raised based on the environment that we’re in. There are stories that get created in our head. So one very common example that I see with my clients and with myself in the past was the idea that I need to get a ton of certifications to be successful.

[00:10:41] I got to get my scrum master certification and ICP ACC certifications and all the alphabet soup of certifications in order to be successful. And as I was digging into why. Why was I feeling that way to the point where I spent, I kid you not $30,000 on certifications in one year is because as a child growing up, I, you know, I have a middle Eastern background and middle Easterns are known for overly.

[00:11:16] You know, educating, putting a lot of value in terms of getting your master’s degree and PhD and have your family members instead of asking you, oh, when are you going to get married? It’s more like, what are you going to get your master’s degree? Um, so those stories get planted in our head at an early stage.

[00:11:35] And so this fear of failure forms that if I don’t do these certain things, um, And up getting us into this rabbit hole of focusing on the wrong things and not understanding our why, because we’re so stuck in the weeds instead of going at this high level of looking down and assessing the big picture.

[00:12:02] Zach White: I love that. So perfect. An easy example to relate to and fear of failure. Maybe, uh, a pattern of what you’re supposed to want to be successful in life. A master’s degree, a PhD, 30 K worth of certifications a year. Uh, are there any other common challenges that you see technical leaders and engineers face when it comes to those fears that are unique to us because of our logical analytical brain.

[00:12:32] Nada Buhendi: Yeah, a lot of fit is not understanding that work hard doesn’t mean success. You have to work smart. And this is where I put my product manager hat and say, you know, think of it as a minimal viable product, you know, um, garbage in, garbage out. So when you’re coding, you know, if, if you just put in a lot of . Garbage, you know, garbage out, you could, you could have a ton of code.

[00:12:59] In your software, but if it’s not clean code and effective code, it doesn’t matter how long you spent coding. Right? So, and I think a lot of this association of, I need to work a ton of hours in order to be successful. Also comes from childhood, you know, uh, example again, in my childhood, I spent a lot of my summers doing.

[00:13:20] Extra homework that my parents would give me because they felt like, Hey, um, if you do this extra homework over the summer and practice, you know, math and do all that kind of stuff, that’s, what’s going to get you successful. Um, that’s a really common thing that I find people have, you know, this whole concept of even giving kids chores, um, that may not even, they’re very administrative.

[00:13:42] Sure. You know, you’re trying to help them understand the value of money, but is, does it really have to be stuff that they hate doing? Can they maybe, um, volunteer at a summer camp that they like or help out with something else? 

[00:13:56] Zach White: That’s really, you know, you’re stepping on a nerve for me, not because I, I have and continue to, to work through in my own mindset, but I have struggled immensely in my lifetime.

[00:14:07] Buying into that belief that the only way to. More results or more success in an area is through working . Harder and longer in that domain, whether it’s at work or anything, you know, you want to get more, go work harder, right. That idea of a good old fashioned work ethic. I know there’s going to be an engineering leader, listening, who says not a yeah, but you don’t know my company.

[00:14:31] You don’t know the, the challenges that I’m under. It takes 16 hours a day. It’s not an option. Like I have to, if they’re in that place, what would you give them today to just maybe look at this from a new lens or understand how fear might be driving? 

[00:14:52] Nada Buhendi: Yeah. What I’ll say is when was the last time you had drinks with your boss or with your team?

[00:14:58] when, when was the last time you had those conversations? Because something that I, um, experienced, especially as an agile coach is witnessing my developers and my engineers, not talking to each other and working in silos. And one of the biggest concepts of agile is interactions over tools and processes.

[00:15:19] And I keep seeing. Spin on things and work very long hours because you know, they could have had conversations that could have saved them a ton of time. Um, so I don’t know what it is about us 

[00:15:35] Zach White: in tech. You know, I have to just highlight this point because when I asked that question, I fully expected. And this is, this is I’m confessing.

[00:15:45] So, you know, engineer’s listening. I’m not perfect in case you thought I was, I’m not like I fully expected you not to give us some sort of anecdote or a strategy or a, a reason to believe that you can be successful in eight hours a day and you don’t need to work those hours. And the first thing you said was.

[00:16:00] When did you last sit down and have drinks with your team? It’s about the relationships it’s, uh, getting out of the work and the task and taking your focus to the people and the relationships and the interaction. I find that incredibly important to highlight, we are so focused on the work that we’re forgetting about the people and a big part of what freezing.

[00:16:25] From the fear of 16 and 18 hour days as the only way to success is found inside the context of those relationships. 

[00:16:33] Nada Buhendi: Absolutely. Absolutely. In fact, I have a story about that. Um, so one of the projects that I. Was responsible for, as a product manager, was the Salesforce implementation for, um, a marketing campaign organization.

[00:16:52] And I really wanted this project to succeed. I really, really wanted it to succeed. So I obsessive we worked for a ton of hours. And sure, you know, my team was on track. We, we were, we were completing things that were worth six months of work into three months because I was doing a great job, you know, working with my solution, architects, ensuring that we’re prioritizing things.

[00:17:20] But the thing is no one really asked me to stay in my hotel room till midnight. I made that choice and no one knew about. I put that on myself. And then I held that resentment because I never had those conversations with my boss. I didn’t ask for help. And I was playing hero instead of a guide. not delegating, not having those honest conversations, wanting to be in the spotlight.

[00:17:47] And instead of letting my other team members be in the spotlight and in the end, what happened was sure. we created a lot of impact for the organization, but I was called in on Canada day, which was a statutory holiday and it was for a 9:00 AM meeting. And we know what that means. First thing in the morning, right?

[00:18:10] When you’re called in to the boss’s office, first thing in the morning, I was let go from the project. I was told the client didn’t want me on their project. And the amount of hurt that I had was insane because the first week of that project, we were supposed to complete a discovery and there was a readout.

[00:18:31] The engagement lead was on a cruise, having fun. The solution architects, you know, had no direction and was pretty junior. And I held the Fort and I worked a ton of hours to hold the Fort. And if I hadn’t held we wouldn’t have gotten to the implementation part. Um, but the thing is that all goes to say that you may be like Steve jobs and you may be brilliant at what you do, but Hey, Steve jobs got fired from his own company because of the aspect of ineffective relationship builder.

[00:19:08] So, this is why I tell people that, you know what? Sure. You, you did extra for the person, but if they didn’t ask for it and if you’re going to resent them for it, then it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t 

[00:19:21] Zach White: matter. That’s a powerful story. If they didn’t ask for it, doesn’t matter. What decisions, what choices are you making right now? That nobody asked you to make that are pinning your life into a pattern you don’t love. And you’re blaming someone else. Food for thought engineers, take that with you. So not a, you’ve used a couple of words twice now that I want to tease out. You’d mentioned the difference or the distinction between the hero and the guide. And I I’d love it. If you can help us understand just at a high level, what do you mean by that? What’s the difference in approaching your career from the perspective of a hero versus a guide? 

[00:20:04] Nada Buhendi: I see this a lot in interviews as well, where people come in and they talk about, yes, I did these amazing things and I did these great things and overly selling themselves instead of coming from the stance of, Hey, organizational leader, how can I help?

[00:20:28] And that makes such a tremendous difference when you take on that stance. And even if you’re on a project where you’re implementing something, right. If you’re constantly acting like the hero, who’s trying to always save the day and who’s doing the things that no one asks you to do, instead of giving people the space and coming at it from what is it that I can help you.

[00:20:54] Instead of Mimi, Mimi, and I want to get promoted and I want to be in the spotlight and bulldozing over people. That makes a massive difference. And that’s where we bring in the coaching stance. In any role, you don’t have to be a coach to act like a coach. You don’t have to be a doctor to act like a doctor and you don’t, you know, think Gandalf.

[00:21:15] You know, he doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. He’s always acting like a guide. And that I believe is what make leaders most successful is not trying to take the credit for everything for being in the background and letting the team shine. And that was that’s what creates amazing relationships and gets those types of people promoted because everyone loves them.

[00:21:41] Zach White: So let me. Maybe push it and, and challenge you on if somebody is coming from the other side. And they might say to that line of thinking, but, but not if I do that, it turns me into the doormat. I’m going to get run over. I’m not going to get the promotions or the recognition. If I don’t put myself into the spotlight and become the hero sometimes.

[00:22:04] If that’s the point of view somebody might bring or they disagree with you for that, what’s the balance. How do I live? Like the guide without becoming the person that people just trample over or take advantage of? 

[00:22:18] Nada Buhendi: Absolutely. So, um, people hire people who are going to solve their problems. And when you think of.

[00:22:27] You bring in an entrepreneurial approach to this and think of how businesses are able to sell products. You’re not going to buy a product. That’s not going to solve your problem. So obviously if a product solves your problem. You’re going to, you won’t care as much in terms of how much money is spent, right?

[00:22:48] So from an organizational perspective, when you are bringing that guide mindset where you’re asking questions to figure out what the pain point is, what the bleeding neck problem is for your leader, for your company, and you have the ability to understand that problem. And then solve it. Of course, they’re going to want you to get promoted.

[00:23:11] Of course, they’re going to want you on their team. They’re your executive is gonna want you to be their right hand because they know that they can count on you to solve their problem. 

[00:23:22] Zach White: I love that. I love that. So engineer listening, I want you to take note of this, the distinction in how not approach.

[00:23:34] These conversations, whether it be an interview, a one-on-one with your boss, et cetera, to come at it from the perspective of the guide. So it’s completely unfair to, especially the folks who are in agile and scrum and the world that you live in to . Not get some, some tips from you, you you’re in this world, you’re helping people land, dream jobs in the space.

[00:23:55] So not when you think about agile and product and all the spaces that you’re in, what are the couple of first things? You would say you got to begin here. If somebody wants that promotion or wants to transition into their dream company, where should they. 

[00:24:11] Nada Buhendi: You got to understand your why? And, you know, as technical people, we tend to make our decisions based on here only.

[00:24:19] And what’s 

[00:24:20] Zach White: in our brain, by the way, my brain, 

[00:24:24] Nada Buhendi: we only make decisions from our brain and we forget about what’s in our heart and when your brain and your heart are not sync. Then your soul is just so misaligned. Um, so you got to be intentional by understanding how the direction that you’re going through feels, um, you need some kind of compass and a lot of people.

[00:24:52] Identify their compass simply by relying on their brain and looking at in a very clinical, analytical manner, by my best advice is to see how these roles feel. Be honest with yourself and, um, yeah. Do some deep work in terms of soul work. Don’t just rely overly on the analytics.

[00:25:15] Zach White: There’s a mic drop moment here because as an engineer, myself and not a, you are an engineer and we work with engineers, we coach engineers and we’re so good at using the intellect to solve the problem. And that’s what we get paid to do at work every day. And every ounce of. Being once you to answer this question about how to land my dream job with some sort of intellectual strategy or tactic or tool.

[00:25:46] And the first thing you say is go to work deeply on soul work for engineers were kind of like, ah, you gotta be kidding me. Right? Like what does that even mean? Or like another woo woo. Meditating, crazy coach on Zach’s podcast. So, but I. Again, we kind of laugh, but it’s so important. So not what is it that you have found that helps a technical minded leader to connect to their heart?

[00:26:12] What’s the simplest easiest thing they could do if they just want to, you know, test you on this a little bit. Like, I . Just want to try something, where would they begin? 

[00:26:22] Nada Buhendi: So one of the most powerful exercises that a lot of my clients. Dread. And then thank me for later is to have them journal. The most meaningful moments in their lives, from birth all the way to present.

[00:26:38] And that is such a powerful exercise. And, you know, some people come to me and say, oh my God, I’m not a great writer or, you know, all those kinds of things. And I say, go back to your five-year-old self and don’t judge yourself and just write whatever. To mind. And once I find people complete this exercise and they look back, they say, wow, I didn’t realize all those things that I used to enjoy as a kid.

[00:27:08] And why did I stop doing those things? And then we ended up connecting the dots as we go through all of these moments and things started. Pieces of the puzzle come together. So that is the analytical part, but you see, it’s hard to just focus on the analytical part without the feeling part. And we forget to feel what we’re doing and when we don’t feel what we’re doing, it just does a huge disservice to us.

[00:27:42] Zach White: I love that exercise. So for the engineer, listening, carve out some time, not a ho how long would you say if somebody wanted to sit down and do this, what should they expect? Is it a five minute things that an hour thing or it’s a, you know, good engineering answer. It depends, I guess. But, uh, what would you suggest if you were going to kind of coach someone on how to go take action?

[00:28:02] Nada Buhendi: I would say time, box yourself, you know, do it after going for a jog or where, if you want, if you’re the kind of person who loves the adrenaline to get your thinking, juices flowing, then do that and remove all distractions. Turn off all of your notifications and time box yourself to one hour, set an alarm for one hour so that you don’t get carried away and just do it.

[00:28:26] Um, that’s my recommendation. Some people take longer than an hour, but I would say it’s a minimum of an hour because there’s a lot of deep reflective work that goes on. And sometimes, you know, some people find it useful to also take a break and just, just, you know, time box themselves for an hour, see where they’re at and then continue on later.

[00:28:45] Okay. 

[00:28:48] Zach White: Really quick. I have to hear your expertise on resumes. And I know this is an abrupt left turn from soul work, but you’re an expert in this space and you you’ve really helped your clients a lot. And you have a, what I would consider a potential. Controversial stance on resumes in the job search process, especially for considering how many people are soliciting us on LinkedIn to clean up and make a perfect resume for us.

[00:29:14] So tell us about the role of the resume in your career transitions or growth. What do you have to say about. 

[00:29:22] Nada Buhendi: So, um, the way I have my program is there are three pillars. One of them, I call purpose definition. The fact the second one is purpose expression. And then the third one is employee employee or influence.

[00:29:37] Um, so the way I think of a resume is a branding document. And as soon as I. You know, articulated that way, the light bulb goes off for people. Cause we ha we tend to, or lot of people tend to approach the resume in such a mechanical way where they’re overly focused on putting a whole bunch of stuff in their resume.

[00:29:57] Um, this whole misconception of there are bots and the application tracking system or magical unicorns and they’re so against us and they don’t want us to get the job. Oh, it’s, it’s kinda cracks me up. And there’s this whole controversy around, you know, all of these, um, uh, like jobs, uh, scan or whatever, um, where your winner determines the percentage of compliance, which I totally don’t believe in because I’m not affiliated or don’t get commission from me so I can speak openly about it.

[00:30:29] But I was trained by a massive career coach who was an executive recruiter for the longest time. And I got to understand the ins and outs of the recruiting side. Um, and I found that’s what’s most effective for people is, and this is where I put in my design thinking. Hat is visualize your hiring manager persona and try to understand.

[00:30:56] Their needs, their wants the fact that her frustrations. Um, and this is where I say. You bring in your guide or coaching stance or your entrepreneurial hat where you’re trying to really understand their problem from their perspective, what are they looking for? They’re looking for someone to help them do what to accomplish, what in the organization and when you approach it from that point of view and.

[00:31:25] only talk about the things that they care about rather than just dumping everything a document, then you’re going to be more effective. Just like when you look at marketing campaigns, right? Their language is very concise. They will only appeal to a certain target market rather than trying to appeal to everyone.

[00:31:46] Because when you do that, then you end up with vanilla. So think of your resume, like a product that you’re building as an engineer, when you’re building a product, you need to understand your stakeholder needs. So ensure that you are, you know, continuing that approach when you’re writing your resume. 

[00:32:03] Zach White: I love it.

[00:32:03] The resume is a branding document engineers. We don’t put on that marketing hat often enough in know to market ourselves, but the principles are the same. And I think that’s really powerful. And I know, you know, you’re listening to this and you feel like that makes sense, but I have no idea how to do it, then get connected with not on chicken healthy.

[00:32:25] So. There’s a hundred things I’d love to explore. There’s just so much. And even the time we spent together in San Diego and, and stories and questions. So we’ll have to do this again sometime now, but I want to land the plane. And come to the question we always finished with that great engineering, just like great coaching.

[00:32:45] We know that the questions lead and answers follow. So for the engineering leader, listening, who wants to be happy, what is the best question that you would lead them with today? 

[00:32:59] Nada Buhendi: I will lead them with what are you scared of?

[00:33:02] What are you scared of? That’s that’s holding you back from being happy and doing absolutely amazing things. And is it worth running away from that fear when you could be doing the most fulfilling thing that you would ever enjoy? Because of all of these stories that you’ve been telling yourself. So start with your fears, not your 

[00:33:25] Zach White: why.

[00:33:26] I love it. Start with. What are you scared of engineer? Take that home, answer that question. Not, I know people are going to want to connect with you and go further with your work and be able to reach out. So where can people find you or get. 

[00:33:41] Nada Buhendi: I’m on LinkedIn. That’s the best place to find me. And, um, you can search by my name or you could send me an email at nada and ADA at unleashing. Your awesome 

[00:33:53] Zach White: doc. I love that unleashing your So I will put those links in our show notes. So don’t worry if you’re working out or driving and you couldn’t write that down, go out to the website, Oasis of and we’ll put it on our show notes. So you can grab all of the ways to connect with not on LinkedIn, on her website.

[00:34:12] And I absolutely cannot recommend highly enough, especially if you’re in this world of agile and scrum and product, and you’re looking to advance your career, please. Connect with nada and, work with her. Take action. Uh, you will never regret it. So not a thank you so much for the time to be with us and just sharing so much value with our listeners today.

[00:34:31] It’s been a pleasure. 

[00:34:34] Nada Buhendi: Thank you so much, Zach. Likewise.