The Happy Engineer Podcast

164: Create the Exact Job You Want with Jonathan Boyer | Principal Mechanical Engineer

Is it possible to find a job totally aligned with your deepest career passions in engineering and leadership?

What if it were possible to create that job from scratch?

Listen up, because my guest proves you can!

In this episode, meet my old colleague and good friend, Jonathan Boyer.

He is a Principal Engineer at Stryker, a leading Medical Equipment Manufacturing company whose products impact more than 130 million healthcare patients annually.

Jonathan had the same problem most engineers face, and in fact, you might say it’s not a problem.

There were some parts of his job he loved to do, and some things he had to do… and the “have to” category was bigger than the “love to.”

He decided it was time to change that reality. Jonathan set an intention that his next role would be SOLELY based on his passions and what he loves to do.

That role didn’t exist at Stryker.

It does now, and we’ll show you how.

So press play and let’s chat… because it’s time to create the job of your dreams!

Ready for more? Join us in a live workshop for deeper training, career coaching 1:1, and an amazing community!  HAPPY HOUR Workshop Live with Zach!


The Happy Engineer Podcast

WATCH EPISODE 164: Create the Exact Job You Want with Jonathan Boyer | Principal Mechanical Engineer



LISTEN TO EPISODE 164: Create the Exact Job You Want with Jonathan Boyer | Principal Mechanical Engineer

Previous Episode 163: The Secret of Escaping Stagnation at Work


Top Takeaways for Engineering Leaders to Create Your Dream Job

In this episode of The Happy Engineer Podcast, Jonathan Boyer shares how he navigated through various engineering challenges and opportunities that shaped his approach to work and leadership.

Here are the top three insights:

1. Make Time for Deep Introspection: Jonathan experienced a pivotal moment in his career following a restructuring that left him with tasks he did not enjoy. He embarked on a year of consistent prayer, meditation, and visualization to define his ideal job, team, and work environment.

2. Overcoming Resistance to “How Things Are”: Despite facing skepticism and doubts from colleagues and managers, Jonathan persevered and ultimately secured a role at Stryker that aligned perfectly with his vision.

3. Develop Competency Along the Way: Both Jonathan and Zach emphasized the significance of building a foundation of competency and the importance of communication and relationship-building skills for engineering career growth and success.

To go deeper and build an action plan around these points and why all this matters, listen to this entire conversation.


Jonathan Boyer currently holds the title of Principal Mechanical Engineer at Stryker Medical, where he has been a pivotal part of the team for over seven years. His career spans 17 years in mechanical engineering across various industries, primarily focusing on New Product Development (NPD) and Research & Development (R&D) teams.

He has honed a specific expertise in Simulation and Analysis and, more recently, has delved deep into Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T). His proficiency in mechanical design’s practical aspects has established him as an internal consultant at Stryker. Additionally, he offers his consulting services to the manufacturing industry, helping teams enhance prototype development through advanced mechanical fundamentals. This includes exploring geometry variation and tolerance sensitivity analysis early in the design process.

Looking ahead, Jonathan aims to lead and mentor in these specialized areas, continuing to influence and innovate within the engineering community.



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

[00:00:00] Zach White: All right, Happy Engineer. You’re going to be real happy. You’re here today. I’m with my buddy, Jonathan, Jonathan Boyer. Welcome to the podcast, man. I’m glad you’re here.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:10] Jonathan Boyer: Glad to be here. 

[00:00:11] Zach White: it wouldn’t be right for us to not go back in time to a little time hop back to. The hallways of Whirlpool corporation, which anybody, anybody who knows Whirlpool, you know, it’s going to have mixed feelings about that.

[00:00:27] Some positive, maybe some not, but 2013 to 2015, you and I were walking the halls together on totally different projects. 

[00:00:35] Jonathan Boyer: Yeah. 

[00:00:36] Zach White: I was here working on big, giant, enormous air vented dryers, and you were developing this incredibly innovative first to the North American market. Heat pump. Sure. Yeah. That’s like, we would see each other and, and, but we weren’t working together.

[00:00:52] So, so take me back. What was your, you know, heat pump days? Like what stands out to you as a highlight of the heat pump dryer days? 

[00:01:00] Jonathan Boyer: Oh, it was fun. I really enjoyed working on that project. It was a couple of years. I was there as you pointed out, maybe two and a half. I was brought in as a, uh, basically a CAD guy that also knew engineering.

[00:01:14] so what stands out to me, wow. All the plastic parts. Designs that needed to be done in such a short amount of time with no, no allowance for extra time and, and budgets overrun, and they needed someone to own all of the tooling. And there was no one. And I, you know, I did it. And I, I remember setting up shop in the molders down the street.

[00:01:39] My office as parts were coming off the press. And, I loved doing that. I felt like I was making a difference, but I quickly realized it really wasn’t being measured. 

[00:01:51] they needed someone to own this, but they weren’t measuring the success of it.

[00:01:57] It was a learning point for me, let’s say. 

[00:01:58] Zach White: Yeah. Yeah. would you describe the heat pump dryer team as a high performing team? 

[00:02:06] Jonathan Boyer: Uh, I guess with experience? No. 

[00:02:11] Zach White: Okay. 

[00:02:11] Jonathan Boyer: With experience now, um, back then maybe, but, um, no one really knew who was in charge of what and who should be doing what.

[00:02:20] And you might hear me reference this a lot in this conversation, who’s doing the thinking. That’s actually a big career point for me. I’ve been asking that a lot recently, who’s doing the thinking. And, and I don’t mean who sits down and CAD and draws the stuff. I mean, who goes in a room and shuts themselves in and does the real work, stares at a wall and thinks.

[00:02:44] Yeah, 

[00:02:44] Zach White: that’s some of the, some of the hardest work there is in many cases. So the reason I asked that question. Is from the outside looking in and I joke that I was actually doing one of the I think most exciting roles I held in all of my Whirlpool days at that time, I was the tech lead for a big dryer project, part of the VMAX and advantage program.

[00:03:08] I remember all that. Right. And we had all the green lights in the sense of if we needed money in our budget, we could get it. If we needed resources, we could get it. You know, it’s just like the, the flagship program of the category. For North America laundry at the time and you’re pulling on the coattails of the washer.

[00:03:28] And I had so many things happening is a very dynamic role and I was loving it and I’d kind of look off in the wings and you know, here was that, that little heat pump group and y’all looked like you were getting crushed all the time. And I used to think. You know, maybe, maybe that’s actually like the place that would be super fun because I had a lot of stresses in my life because of the visibility, because of all of the politics and the stuff that comes with engineering that most engineers don’t want to do all that.

[00:03:59] Nonsense. And it seemed like to me, Ooh, maybe the heat pump, like these little innovative projects, small teams, you, to your point, go off site and kind of hide in the, you know, these other areas and doing really cool work, there was part of me that thought maybe that’s what was happening, but then same thing as the curtain got peeled back.

[00:04:17] It’s like, Ooh, I’m not sure. I, I’m not sure that’s what was happening at all. It actually seemed like a 

[00:04:22] Jonathan Boyer: really tough. Yeah, it was tough looking back at it. And when I was in the midst of it, you know, it was my first job out of college. Now I had several jobs leading up to that.

[00:04:32] Cause I worked through college, but that was my first, Got the degree, here’s your first job. And, it was like boots. I call it boots on now that I’m a little bit higher up now. I call those engineering roles, boots on the ground, the grunt work. Yeah. that’s actually where the really important work that’s where like invention is happening.

[00:04:51] and a lot of times those inventions don’t get recognized or noticed. I remember all this problem solving, in injection molding part design that I did. With the team, but I was owning all the tooling. So I was working with the supplier, these private conversations on, can we mold a metal mesh into this thing?

[00:05:12] Can we achieve shutoff on a metal mesh? No one knew. and it wasn’t, none of that was getting measured. I just did it and it worked. And. And two years later, the team is fragmented and people leadership’s leaving and no one knows why. And it’s just like, wow, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now. 

[00:05:32] Zach White: So if you took that experience and to your point, you have since gone on to a much higher level, incredible success.

[00:05:39] And we want to talk about that, but going back to those two years, two and a half years, what would you encourage? An engineer whose boots on the ground right now to really focus on to make sure they’re getting the growth and the development of the things they need, but that they don’t to get lost in don’t, they don’t miss the true opportunity to turn it into future success within the organization.

[00:06:05] What’s the takeaway or what’s the lesson you would offer now? 

[00:06:08] Jonathan Boyer: I say this a lot. I’m not the expert. All I can say is if I were to go back to that specific situation and talk to me, it would be something like, you know, spend more time developing a rapport with your manager. talk about things that don’t matter before you talk about the things that do matter.

[00:06:26] That’s a Dr. Phil thing. if you don’t talk about the things that don’t matter,No one cares about what matters, that kind of thing. and I’ve seen that ring true in my career. Like, my goodness, your manager, if you can get, have such a good relationship with them they’ll go to bat for you and they’ll start advocating for things you’re doing that aren’t being measured.

[00:06:46] That should be measured. then the stuff you’re doing is maximized to value. that makes sense. A 

[00:06:52] Zach White: hundred percent. And every. Engineering leader I’ve ever coached, some of our energy will go into this point. How do you build the kind of relationship? Not just with your manager, you know, your manager’s peers, mentors, other people.

[00:07:09] this whole concept of why that matters. A lot of engineers don’t either don’t have that skillset. They don’t want to have that skillset because personality or otherwise it’s like, I, I shouldn’t have to do that, Zach. That’s what people will tell me. Like, I shouldn’t have to worry about that, 

[00:07:27] Jonathan Boyer: but unfortunately, or fortunately it’s the human factor.

[00:07:31] Zach White: Well, right. I guess what I would say is. The engineer in us wishes that weren’t true. There you go. But, but the human in everyone, it, it doesn’t matter if you want it to be true or not. It is true. We work with people and you need to learn how to build those. So I think that’s a huge lesson. You can do the best work of your life, but if nobody knows about it, it will not open doors to the future of your career.

[00:07:55] Jonathan Boyer: There’s, there’s a silver lining here, Zach, and, and it’s, Even if you missed the boat on what I said, because I missed the boat, um, initially you have built this foundation of competency and now you really didn’t. Not all is lost because the next team you go to. You have this foundation of competency that you’ve built, and you can talk to your manager, just be honest with them about, this is what happened on the last team.

[00:08:25] I don’t want it to happen again. Here’s what I was able to build, though. How do we take what I did here, that went unseen, and make it seen in this new role? Something like that. 

[00:08:37] Zach White: Yeah. At the end of the day, boots on the ground, if you’re not developing that competency, you’re going to have a bigger problem in the long run.

[00:08:46] Jonathan Boyer: Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:08:48] Zach White: Really correct. So where’d you go from there? You wrapped up at the pool and, uh, you know, we got a little bit of time between there and today. So give us the quick version. Where did career take you after that? 

[00:09:00] Jonathan Boyer: Yeah, a lot of places. I was continuing my master’s degree while I was at Whirlpool.

[00:09:05] And when I graduated, I was looking around for, um, my next thing. Wanted a little bit more responsibility, and Whirlpool was in a Weird spot. I saw, managers and leaders being walked out the door and on no shows to work. Weird stuff, right? I’m sure some of the audience can relate to that. Talking to some of the senior people that I worked with boots on the ground They’ve worked at Whirlpool for years like, ah, it’s a cycle And then I’m like, well, what’s next for me?

[00:09:39] And it didn’t seem like anything was on the horizon there And I know I was driving an hour and a half Every day, three hours I was like, I need to find something closer to home. I went to a big company, global company, Parker Hanifin, was there for two and a half years as well.

[00:09:55] Um, and that was right down five minutes down the road for me. It was a pneumatics division and I was a new product development engineer. new products, new ideas, new technologies. And I, my time was split between, Inventing new pneumatic technology mechanisms and, customer assembly line issues.

[00:10:15] So I was a product engineer split role, which, is probably why I left because it wore me thin and those kinds of split roles wear you out, you know. 

[00:10:26] Zach White: Yeah. I’ve got a, a guy right now I’m working with who has a dual role and in his own words, I’ve got two bosses and he’s at Lockheed and we talked through the situation, it’s as close to two solid line leaders with opposite agendas I’ve ever seen.

[00:10:44] that’s just brutal. Just brutal. It is. When you’re getting pulled constantly in two different directions and you don’t know what’s the priority and where to go. Even if your hours are contained, which usually they’re not, most people in those situations are working lots of OT and weekends and it’s brutal.

[00:10:59] But even if you’re working 40 hours, to be in that environment is really taxing. 

[00:11:05] Jonathan Boyer: Yeah, because both managers say we’ve signed you up for this percentage of work on this project. And you’re, what are you supposed to do? Like guarantee you got that amount or I don’t know. It’s 

[00:11:19] Zach White: yeah. Cause every engineering project is a perfectly straight line on demand for your time, right?

[00:11:23] Yeah, right, exactly. Okay. And then Striker came after Parker Hanifin. 

[00:11:30] Jonathan Boyer: Yeah, I had a buddy leave and go to striker and was like, Hey, this is awesome over here. She come on over and I didn’t think anything of it, but, I just gave him my resume and then, uh, actually

[00:11:42] I was on my way. To Kentucky. I almost accepted an offer in Lexington for another pneumatics company. I went to the interview and everything went well. And I was on my way back and I took my whole family with me cause they wanted a road trip and. I get a phone call from an unknown number and we’re in, we just pulled off an exit to get some McDonald’s and I answer it and it says, I’m so and so director of robotics at Striker.

[00:12:13] I got your resume. And I’m just telling my wife, go in with the kids, get, I’m sitting out here. Get me a big Mac. I’ll be here. Exactly. They waited for me. It was awesome. There’s more to it, but yeah, I talked to him and he inspired me with what they were doing in robotics.

[00:12:30] And he was like, so what do you think? And I’m like, well, here’s the. I’m about ready to accept an offer and I’m not just saying that like I’m literally and I told him the situation And he was just like, oh he’s like, wow, you’re there. Okay, he’s like What if I can get you a phone interview tomorrow?

[00:12:46] Don’t accept that offer till we talk to you

[00:12:48] Zach White: Okay. I have to at least pull the thread a little bit. You made a comment. Oh, there’s more to the story. What’s the more that makes it really cool?

[00:12:57] Jonathan Boyer: The director that called me, I ended up following through Stryker because he’s such a great leader and inspires people and, and I’m still under him. I just followed him. 

[00:13:10] Zach White: What is it that he does so well that creates inspiration for you? 

[00:13:15] Jonathan Boyer: He believes in the products he marries himself to, let’s say. I use the word marry because he has this unique ability to kind of make his professional identity a part of the products that he is producing.

[00:13:33] Responsible for. So when he’s talking about it, you feel like he’s talking about himself and it’s inspiring. That’s all I could say is he made a believer out of me. 

[00:13:44] Zach White: That’s amazing. Do you feel like that ability to inspire has rubbed off on you at all as you’ve spent time with him?

[00:13:51] Jonathan Boyer: That’s a great question. I hope so. Maybe in different ways because he’s so top level budgetary. Vision casting. where’s the division going on? And I consider myself still boots on the ground, higher level though. and I am in the process of inspiring others in a technical sense, you know, like, let’s talk about why GD& T is cool.

[00:14:14] and it actually is. And some of the things I say, I see people in the rooms ears perk up and I know I got them 

[00:14:22] Zach White: have to admit. Jonathan, your posts on LinkedIn about GD& T are awesome. Like some of the best, some of the best content I’ve ever seen on that topic, because my memories of learning GD& T were not positive.

[00:14:34] It was very boring, very dry. How long do I need to know this until I can stop thinking about it? Same here. And let someone else handle it. I never really got into it, but then I see your content and I’m like, you know what, I missed an opportunity to gain a deeper level of understanding and competency about how critical GD& T really is to engineering.

[00:14:55] I missed the boat on that. 

[00:14:56] Jonathan Boyer: thank you for that input because those posts I make. There is so much effort and time that goes into each sentence. I’m so passionate about it that hopefully it comes through. 

[00:15:08] Zach White: Amazing. So you end up at Stryker, you know, the McDonald’s, the McDonald’s stop of destiny happens.

[00:15:15] Uh, you get your Big Mac, everything changes. You, instead of Lexington, you stay in Michigan. You’re building your career. No offense to Kentucky. We love you. No offense. Now you mentioned when we were chatting before the interview. This idea of a sentence that’s been told to you by one of your past bosses many times, and I want to repeat it here because I’ve heard it too.

[00:15:41] And honestly, Jonathan, I’m guilty in the past of saying things like this in different contexts, there are things we love to do. And there are things we have to do. This notion that our career is made up of two types of work, the work you actually want to do and love to do, and you look forward to do, and then all the other garbage and baggage and red tape and bureaucracy and the must dos, have to dos that nobody likes, that nobody wants.

[00:16:17] Sorry, it’s called work for a reason. That’s, that’s one of those phrases that goes right along with this. It’s like, it’s called work, not play. So get to work. Right. And just stop complaining. And. I think most people reasonably accept that that’s true and they don’t ever really push back against that. They feel lucky if even 10 or 20 percent of their job ignites their passions and they’re happy to take home a paycheck.

[00:16:43] you reached a point in your career where you decided, I don’t want to accept that as true anymore. Correct. When did that happen? 

[00:16:52] Jonathan Boyer: like you said, I’ve had this notion that I should just accept that as a truth and I’ve been testing it. Is this true? Cause I’ve kind of not accepted it 

[00:17:00] the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was a couple of years ago.after the COVID craziness died down and people are starting to come back to work and work is back. all of a sudden, I don’t know how, still have a hard time trying to describe it. the world’s forever changed and how we do work.

[00:17:19] even though we’re back in the office, it seems like it. and then that coupled with the group I was in restructured under a new organization, a new umbrella and leadership left more leadership. Was assigned and money was moved in a different direction. Yada. Yada. Everyone would know this story and left me with a pile of stuff that I don’t like doing paperwork and stuff and being told here again there’s points in a project where we love doing stuff points project where we hate doing stuff and i’m just like Yeah, but I don’t think that’s true This has to be this way because there’s opportunities now in our team, the gaps being unfilled gaps that align with my passions that could be measured.

[00:18:05] If the manager cared about them, how do I get the manager to care about them? And then put me on them so that I love coming into it, still love going into work. And so that put me into this cycle of, I need to spend time. for me, it’s prayer and meditation. and I spent a whole year of consistently, walking around the building.

[00:18:30] The building I was in had a nice three mile path through the woods and through lunchtime by myself. I fasted and I prayed and meditated for a whole year and every day. And With the belief that this has got to change because I’m not just going to up and quit. Not going to be one of those people. and so I kind of just would visualize the job I wanted, the ideal role and think about it and pray about it and ask God align interests and the team out there that’s for me.

[00:19:10] And so that’s what I did. And I know, I don’t know if that’s exactly what you’re asking for, but that’s how it transitioned for me. 

[00:19:17] Zach White: Okay. Let’s sit on this for a moment because one of the things I’ve seen as true with so many engineering leaders in their stories that they have before they meet me, and then the work we do together in shaping their career future and how it comes to pass this idea of visualizing the role you want.

[00:19:43] And then you mentioned, I didn’t want to be one of those people. And I want to talk about those people for a second, because what I’ve seen, and I just want you to tell me if you see it the same way, or if this aligns with why you would make that comment. I don’t want to be one of those people. There are a lot of engineers who will step away quickly from the situation you were in.

[00:20:03] I don’t like this job. I have no more passion for this. I dread coming into work or I get the Sunday afternoon depression kind of thing, so I’m going to change my job to get out of this situation. Those people, the way I see it, are running from a situation they do not like. They’re not running toward a clear vision of what they actually want.

[00:20:31] So that’s the missing piece. They have a general sense. It’s like, okay, I don’t want this. I don’t want this. So I, what I want is this thing over here. It’s like very vague. All they know is please don’t make me do this again. And they run into another situation. And then two years later, they’re doing it again.

[00:20:45] And two years later, they’re doing it again. And they’ve never taken the time that you just described to actually get deeply, passionately clear about What would the ideal role look like? And so, first of all, would you agree with that? Or do you see anything aligned with why those people are not who you want to be, or is there something else?

[00:21:06] Jonathan Boyer: Well, I, yeah, I agree with you a hundred percent. I would just put maybe another point on it, I don’t know if I realized this in the moment. I think the reason I made the statement, I don’t want to be that guy or that person or whatever, is I didn’t want to run away without running too, you know?

[00:21:23] something. So to me it was like throwing an arrow in the dark however, or shooting an arrow in the whatever, like why would you shoot without a target? It doesn’t make sense to shoot without a target. You don’t just shoot a gun in the air unless you’re a crazy redneck

[00:21:40] You should have something to aim at. You need a name, and I don’t want to get Jordan Peterson E on you, but , but he’s right. You need a name, you know? Yeah. And, and you should aim for something. So I guess it’s connected into that because. I would be letting my family down. I have, I’m a sole income, three daughters and a wife.

[00:21:59] I don’t want to let them down running away from something without a solution in mind, without a plan. Yeah. my wife would understand if I quit. She told me so many times and I’m like, no, even if you don’t think I’m letting you down, I would be letting you down. 

[00:22:13] Zach White: Yeah. Yeah. everyone who’s in that situation can relate to that, even if it’s dual income, so often we need both.

[00:22:20] And so tell us about the walks. And here you’re skipping lunch, you’re fasting, you’re praying, you’re walking and visualizing. Just, if somebody wanted to start doing that and get some ideas or inspiration, like what was that actually like? Hard. Hard because I didn’t need 

[00:22:39] Jonathan Boyer: to do it. I was comfortable. My life, I had a good job.

[00:22:46] And what am I complaining about? I wouldn’t say we were even desperate. I wasn’t desperate. I wasn’t even, I wouldn’t even have said I was unhappy cause happiness is a choice. I’ve heard that said, and I believe parts of it. And so what am I doing? Pretending like I have issues here and going on a walk and fasting, but I heard from so many people, it works.

[00:23:06] So I was like, I’m going to do this. And, skipping lunches consistently and praying was hard. but the first week. I took inventory of my life and feelings and how is this working for me, and I’ve realized I had a new sense of gratitude, a new sense of peace, that everything’s gonna be okay, and I know I’m not pushing religious stuff on anyone, I’m just thinking through, like, there are benefits to getting to know yourself better, and one way to do that is by Meditate, and I got to know Jonathan better, and I was like, I want to keep spending time with this guy.

[00:23:51] That’s such a weird thing to say. 

[00:23:53] Zach White: Hey, that’s honestly, I forget who’s said it, I’ll have to look up the quote later, but 90 percent of the world’s problems are caused by man’s inability to be alone with his thoughts. Yeah, that’s good. 

[00:24:08] Jonathan Boyer: That’s right. I’ve heard that 

[00:24:10] Zach White: that the concept that we don’t know ourselves and then when we pull back the curtain and get to know ourselves, we don’t like what we see.

[00:24:17] That’s a big area of esteem and development. We all need to lean into. Yeah. 

[00:24:24] Jonathan Boyer: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. there’s a part of me that felt a responsibility. to do this time, meditate, pray, in secret, didn’t tell my wife about it. She noticed because I was losing some weight, which I was like, yeah, whatever, not a big deal.

[00:24:41] I was trying not to make a big deal out of it. realizing that I felt like I was bringing something home to my family. if you think about the old Western, you’d had the people go out ahead and blaze the trail and then come back and let you know what was on ahead. That’s what I was doing, going out and then reporting back.

[00:25:02] And I felt this responsibility. 

[00:25:06] Zach White: So good. So good. If you can describe it, I know these are hard things to put words to, at least in my journey, I’ve had similar moments. It’s hard to put words, but in terms of the clarity of the vision. Maybe from the beginning of that year towards the end, what was the arc of that process like?

[00:25:26] At the beginning did it feel very, difficult to even focus or imagine what it was, and by the end you were just every day going back to that same, this is the thing, Lord, this is what I want, help me have this, or, or was it Fuzzy the whole time or no, I don’t know. Just describe a little bit what that was like.

[00:25:45] Well, I want to be careful how I 

[00:25:46] Jonathan Boyer: describe it because some people might hear this and say, I’ve tried that and it didn’t work. and I really empathize with that. Cause I’m there with you. I, I don’t know why it worked for me this time. And I’m not claiming to say it’s going to work for you too. If you do it, it just worked.

[00:26:03] it’s probably has something to do with the timing of everything. maybe I’m matured. I don’t know. I’m 37 now. Back then I was 35. when I started it, it definitely was fuzzy when I started, why am I doing this? Like I mentioned this kind of sense of guilt. Why am I, do I even need to do this?

[00:26:21] pushing through that and realizing actually I have to do this and then realizing, how great it is that I have the time to do this. Like gratitude. 

[00:26:33] Zach White: So 

[00:26:33] Jonathan Boyer: good. I continue to this day. I have slacked a little bit, you have to take breaks. So I have.

[00:26:42] I’m starting up another round of, prayer meditation, spending time with God, because I think there’s a new thing for me, and I want to do what’s right for my family. And I tell people, at the workplace, if they ask, this isn’t me shoving religion down anyone’s throat, this is just what I do.

[00:26:58] Whether I believe this stuff or not is besides the point. Because it’s working, I do happen to believe it, but 

[00:27:07] Zach White: okay, let me ask you this then at some point in that journey, you set an intention that my next role, I’m going to come out of this situation where I frankly do not look forward to doing.

[00:27:23] What I’m doing all day. It’s not a role that aligns with my passions. You said my next role will align solely around my passions. Yes. My career plan, , my new career plan is not based on the job descriptions or the titles on the org chart. My new career plan is to integrate my passions into a role at Stryker.

[00:27:46] And you took the words 

[00:27:47] Jonathan Boyer: outta my mouth 

[00:27:48] Zach White: I literally did. This is what you told me when we were talking. Oh, okay. Yeah, you sent me that. And I was so inspired by that. So inspired by that. So, if that’s the intention, a lot of people would hear that and say like, rally and cry, yes, I’m on board, I would want that to probably be met by a lot of disbelief or doubt that that’s possible.

[00:28:11] That’s not how companies work, Jonathan. You don’t know my company. Okay. Well, Striker is not a small organization. it’s not, fortune 20, but it’s, it’s not small. And there’s all the same objections I’m sure would exist inside your company that anyone else might have inside their own company.

[00:28:28] And I got resistance. 

[00:28:30] Jonathan Boyer: I got resistance on this. Yeah. 

[00:28:31] Zach White: Okay. So that’s what we need to talk about because you’re sitting here today. Successful in that intention. So yes, the punchline let’s, in case anyone wants to see around the corner, it worked, Jonathan landed the role. It’s okay. How did that happen?

[00:28:48] Tell us about the resistance, tell us what you had to face, and how did you create, these outcomes? 

[00:28:53] Jonathan Boyer: I first decided that I was going to continue in my role no matter what happens, even if this process doesn’t work. I’m happy, Lord, with what you’ve given me, even if you don’t bless me, that kind of thing.

[00:29:06] and I bet you that, I matured a whole bunch through that process. I don’t know by how much, cause I don’t have a scale, but going into my next role, I probably came in with a sense of being, I don’t even know what to call this. I don’t have the vocabulary for it. So I’ll just talk it out. It’s something like I brought this energy, this way of communicating the right things.

[00:29:33] Because I spent a whole year consistently thinking about it and visualizing the guy, the hiring manager, whoever it is sitting in front of me, I did it a whole for a full year and I’m thinking, so why did I do it for a year? Because it happened to be about a year when a role came up to actually two roles came up that I interviewed for.

[00:29:56] But, I was just like waiting my time and like roles would pop up and I would look at them and I’d be like it doesn’t feel right yet. Don’t know why. My wife would be like, you’re crazy, go for it, you know? so does that Starting to answer what you’re asking? 

[00:30:09] Zach White: Yeah, so you’re doing the visualizations.

[00:30:13] You’ve resigned yourself to the decision, I’m going to be as happy as I can be here, regardless of the outcome. You fall into this state of grace and state of gratitude. And now you’re looking. You’ve got your peripheral vision open, the blinders are off, roles are popping up, and I’m assessing the role against the vision.

[00:30:32] The role against the vision. 

[00:30:34] Jonathan Boyer: Ooh, that’s a good way to say it. 

[00:30:35] Zach White: If it’s a match, I’m going to pounce. If it’s not a match, I’m just going to be patient. And so then a year is arbitrary. Year later, two roles open up that you’re going to interview for. You made the comment earlier that you faced resistance.

[00:30:49] What was that? 

[00:30:52] Jonathan Boyer: Well, I don’t know how to describe it. but it was a, a, almost an energy of, what do you like, almost like making me feel that, that way. What I was doing was ridiculous. It’s not going to work.

[00:31:03] there were comments made even by my manager at the time that on the face of them weren’t really bad, but on the drive home, felt yucky. You know what I mean? 

[00:31:15] Zach White: yeah, 

[00:31:16] Jonathan Boyer: I don’t, the words he said weren’t bad. Why do I feel like crap? and it was something specifically 

[00:31:21] Zach White: around your intention to this role will be about my passions.

[00:31:25] Primarily. 

[00:31:26] Jonathan Boyer: Yes, that specific thing. And in the comments that were made, I’m just going to paraphrase. Something like, first of all, reminding me that, some things we have to do at work, we’re not always happy with, that whole spiel again. yeah, back to the speech.

[00:31:39] Which delegitimizes my concern to begin with. when you say, Hey, I really want to do these things. And then to have a manager come in and shoot you with that. It’s like, what are you really saying to me and then other things like, you know, in order to get to the next level, this is really what’s expected of a principal engineer which is basically saying you don’t got what it takes, just want you to know, at least that’s how I took it.

[00:32:03] I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way, but it doesn’t matter. It’s resistance. And maybe it’s not him. Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s my insecurities, which is resistance either way you look at it, right? Yes. 

[00:32:17] Zach White: Yes. Tell us about the moment you knew this is aligned with the vision. 

[00:32:25] the role that you took.

[00:32:27] Jonathan Boyer: it was a lot later than I wanted it to be. when I got the offer from the team. And the manager said, the hiring manager said to me, we want everything you talked to us about in the interview. We need that. And that’s when I was just I seriously, I get to do everything I said.

[00:32:46] And so I guess that’s the answer. And it was much later. I wanted it sooner than that. 

[00:32:51] Zach White: Then we need to back up. so tell us about the courage and how you actually Took a stand for the job you wanted in an interview when most people would assume like I take what I can get 

[00:33:03] Jonathan Boyer: So 

[00:33:04] Zach White: what 

[00:33:04] Jonathan Boyer: was the the year of prayer and fasting and meditating and all that was me also starting to set the stage And then play the role and that’s that might put a bad taste in people’s mouths, but it’s the truth I felt inspiration divine inspiration.

[00:33:22] I feel like it was God telling me Jonathan set the stage And I’m like, what does that mean? It’s like, you’re the producer, you’re the director, set the stage. What do you want? then play the role. So I spent the whole year, pretending to be the guy I wanted to be. and at the end of it, realizing I’m just going to tell everyone what I want.

[00:33:46] this is what I want out of this role. This is what I can provide. Here’s my competencies. You either want me or don’t want me. I got nothing to lose. 

[00:33:55] Zach White: Wow. Yeah. We could have a whole nother conversation about identity and pretending. One of my favorite coaching questions, Jonathan, is to ask someone, who are you pretending to be?

[00:34:12] Yeah. it’s interesting how people approach and answer that. But at the end of the day, we’re all playing a role that aligns with some identity we hold of ourselves. And I love this notion that you can proactively and intentionally craft a new part in your own play, in your own movie, and go play that role.

[00:34:32] And we all do it. if we do it in different contexts, Halloween is a crazy example. You see people put on costumes and act completely differently, but we’re all doing it. And yes, we are. You’re right. It’s cool to hear you describe. you felt divinely led to change your identity and become a new person.

[00:34:50] Jonathan Boyer: Yes, I did. 

[00:34:52] Zach White: And one of the differences between people who drive tremendous success in their life Let alone their career, but career part of life is someone who understands that and shapes their identity on their own terms from within, rather than letting other people, society, culture, a bad influence shaped that identity for you.

[00:35:13] It’s a tremendous 

[00:35:14] Jonathan Boyer: asset. Wow. You’re right. We could have a whole nother podcast on that because I have noticed since I’ve taken my new role, my new assumed identity. I hate saying that, but it’s, there’s some truth what you’re saying is instead of me pushing. It’s pulling me and and the reason I feel that way is because the Expectation level in my new role is set now.

[00:35:40] Zach White: Yes, 

[00:35:40] Jonathan Boyer: all the things I’ve ever wanted to do are now expected 

[00:35:44] Zach White: That’s right, 

[00:35:44] Jonathan Boyer: and I’ve built my own personal Accountability in that because I said it And now everyone wants it. And now I got to deliver. And good news is I love what I’m doing. So I will deliver. 

[00:35:59] Zach White: Jonathan, we will do another conversation sometime about this.

[00:36:02] And I’ll say one last thing. This is why all of my coaching programs are in the context of community. And I don’t do any one on one exclusive engagements anymore, because when you make a public declaration of who you want to be. You create that identity and you tell your tribe, this is the new me. This is what I’m going to do.

[00:36:26] Here’s the new standard. You don’t want to go back into that room the next day and be living well below that place. So to your point, it creates the pole. This is the power of people. Expecting of you that new version. And most people are too afraid to make the claim that this is who I am, because now I have to live up to that.

[00:36:51] Jonathan Boyer: And I get that. I get that because if you don’t have the skills and the competency to back it up, you’re going to feel, hanging in the breeze and scared, but I had never once felt that way because I had. The competency to back it up and it dovetailed perfectly into the expectations. 

[00:37:09] Zach White: What a beautiful full circle back to boots on the ground at Whirlpool.

[00:37:13] All those days mastering injection molding and tooling and GD& T and a bulletproof level, a battle tested level of confidence in the things that you knew. Yes. And could bring that into this new environment, but so cool. Well, Jonathan, if you had to say these are the biggest. Lessons I learned about myself in the journey to creating now the opportunity to have a dream job.

[00:37:45] What are the first things that come to mind? 

[00:37:49] Jonathan Boyer: it’s just not certain things just aren’t true. so we’re, I guess we’re summarizing what we talked about. it’s just not true. There’s some things you have to do and not be happy with in your role. Another thing is, there is a team that wants you now, I believe.

[00:38:09] There, it’s just not true that you won’t find a spot. There’s a gap somewhere in the industry that you, only you, can fill. 

[00:38:17] Zach White: Love that. I love that. 

[00:38:20] Jonathan Boyer: there’s so many points we made, but, honesty, that’s what we were talking about with, like, telling people what you want.

[00:38:27] Be honest with what you want, 

[00:38:28] Zach White: That also feels like a Jordan Peterson point. Tell the truth. Yeah, kind of. Channeling his inner Jordan, Jonathan and Jordan. Well, okay. Because there are probably a hundred points. Let’s leave it there. I think those are really powerful and I have a strong feeling. Someone’s going to want to pick your brain about this or just track your success in the future.

[00:38:50] Start looking at those GD& T posts that you agonize so carefully over. So Jonathan, where can people connect? With you and just get to know more about your story. 

[00:39:01] Jonathan Boyer: I do everything through LinkedIn. So if you DM me on LinkedIn, that’d be great. I I’d have tons of conversations with people on LinkedIn. that’s, that’d be great.

[00:39:11] Zach White: That’s the place. We’ll make sure your LinkedIn profile is hooked up in the show notes. Happy engineer, go sync up with Jonathan, follow his content, support what he’s doing and. Really think hard about this conversation. Who’s doing the thinking now, the baton has been passed to you. Happy engineer. So Jonathan, amazing to have this chat and you and I have in common, some training experiences back in our whirlpool days and OPEX, the name of that.

[00:39:39] Has the same sentiment that we talk about here on the podcast, that questions lead answers follow, and we all want better answers, a dream job to advance in our life in some way. We’re looking for answers, so we need to ask better questions. So what would be the question that you would lead the happy engineer with coming off of this conversation?

[00:40:03] Jonathan Boyer: for me, it was the question that I had I would ask myself on a daily basis doing those walks. Is there a team out there that wants me? And what I mean by me is really wants me like my, this sounds weird, but who they know me, what, what my values, my personal values are, where do they even, I spend so much time personally on other things.

[00:40:25] I have competencies in other things. Is there a team that needs those things and wants those things?

[00:40:32] Zach White: Is there a team? And the good news is 

[00:40:33] Jonathan Boyer: there is. 

[00:40:35] Zach White: Jonathan’s answered that question. The answer is yes, but happy engineer. Go ask yourself, do you believe. That there is a team that wants you. And if the answer today is no, then you’ve got some prayer walks to do to go, sure to go see, can you convince yourself otherwise?

[00:40:56] And I’ll just say this, it’s the old, you know, if you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right. And so I think this is a really powerful place to start. Jonathan, thank you so much. Appreciate you and your time. We’ll have to do this again. Get that round two scheduled. One of those 

[00:41:10] Jonathan Boyer: do it. That’d be great.