S4E40 Gina Covarrubias | The Engineering Life Coach

 In Being an Engineer Podcast


Being an Engineer - Buzzsprout



Who is Gina Covarrubias?

Gina Covarrubias is a certified Life Coach and holds a B.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from Purdue, and a M.S. Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah. After over 12 years of engineering and technology experience in government, academia and corporate aerospace, Gina founded Deliberate Doing LLC, an exclusive STEM coaching service dedicated to helping technical professionals defeat career despair.

Aaron Moncur, host




engineers, people, engineering, work, career, coaching, aaron, love, job, gina, great, point, question, feel, cad design, joy, roles, resilience, emotions, idea


Aaron Moncur, Presenter, Gina Covarrubias


Presenter  00:00

Hi, everyone. We’ve set up this being an engineer podcast as an industry knowledge repository, if you will, we hope it’ll be a tool where engineers can learn about and connect with other companies, technologies, people, resources and opportunities. So make some connections and enjoy the show.


Gina Covarrubias  00:18

I was always hunting for that dream job. And I thought if I just look hard enough, if I try enough jobs, I’ll find it. Like it’s out there somewhere. I know I’ll find it. And then the harder I tried, the more frustrated I became.


Aaron Moncur  00:33

Hello, and welcome to another wonderful episode of The being an engineer podcast. Our guest today is Gina Covarrubias, who is a certified life coach and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue, as well as a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah. After over 12 years of engineering and technology experience in government, academia and corporate aerospace Gina founded Deliberate doing LLC and exclusive stem coaching service dedicated to helping technical professionals defeat career despair. Gina, thank you so much for being with us today.


Gina Covarrubias  01:30

Aaron, thank you so much for having me. This is going to be great.


Aaron Moncur  01:33

Well, what I’m delighted and been looking forward to this conversation. What what initially made you decide to become an engineer.


Gina Covarrubias  01:43

Initially, that was a no brainer for me. It was my childhood dream, since I was very young to grow up and work in the aerospace world. And so becoming an engineer seen it was the natural choice, because I liked math and science so much. And it wasn’t even a thought there were no other majors that were worthy in my mind.


Aaron Moncur  02:12

Interesting. So ever since you were little you wanted to be an engineer.


Gina Covarrubias  02:17

I wanted to work in the math and science field. Uh, when I got older, I just realized engineering seems like the best natural fit.


Aaron Moncur  02:26

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And it doesn’t pay too poorly, either. Right.


Gina Covarrubias  02:29

Right. Right. Yeah.


Aaron Moncur  02:32

Okay. Well, eventually, you decided that you’d had a great time doing engineering, but you wanted to pursue another interest of being a coach to engineers and others in the STEM field? What were one or two experiences that you had as an engineer that kind of helped you realize? I would like to try coaching engineers?


Gina Covarrubias  02:53

Yes. Well, I will kind of re reword your question just a little bit. Because it wasn’t that I had so many great experiences as an engineer. And that one day I decided I’m gonna go ahead and coach engineers. That is not the way it turned out at all whatsoever.


Aaron Moncur  03:18

Okay. Sounds like there’s an interesting story behind this, please keep going.


Gina Covarrubias  03:24

Well, you know, my assumption, and I suspect many people when they graduate from college, start their careers, whether they’re engineers or not, I suspect many people have the assumption that their career is going to be linear. And that they’re just going to kind of stay on the same track until they retire and, and be happy. So as I went along throughout my engineering career, and I had wonderful opportunities to try many different types of jobs. So that I’m very thankful for everything from very, very technical, to very administrative, and everything in between. So as I’ve moved along my engineering journey, trying all these different roles and jobs and titles, I was always on the search for that perfect one. I was always hunting for that dream job. And I thought, if I just look hard enough, if I try enough jobs, I’ll find it. Like it’s out there somewhere. I know I’ll find it. And then the harder I tried, the more frustrated I became. So I noticed myself going through pattern of being content throughout my day, and then just being unhappy and not not really knowing why. couldn’t really pinpoint what was so wrong. I just felt like there’s got to be more to life than this. and never some days Aaron, I would just go into work and think, why did I go to school and bust my rear end for for this, like it just it, I couldn’t connect the dots between the schooling and what I was actually doing in my day to day. And then I certainly couldn’t connect the dots between what I was doing in my day to day. And where that dream job was, it was almost as if I felt entitled, like, I went through all the steps, and I checked the boxes. And I was just kind of waiting for this pot of gold to fall in my lap and it never did. Does that sound familiar to you?


Aaron Moncur  05:40

It sounds very familiar to me. Yes. So I’m listening to you talk about this. And I have an idea that I’d like to try. Let me know if you’re up for this. This is a little bit not tangential, but not exactly what I was planning on doing. 14 years ago, I got laid off from my job. And I definitely did not enjoy what I was doing. Even though when I started my career in engineering, I loved it. Right? I got to do all these fun things. CAD design, working on a mill, prototyping things, doing some light metal working, building assemblies, testing things loved it, right. At some point, I stopped loving it. And I was not happy. And the people I worked for they were very bright observing people, they noticed this 2009 2008 recession came along. I got I got chopped, and they made the right choice. So my idea here is would you be open to trying some live coaching with me right now? I’d like to put myself back into that 14 year ago, Aaron, pretend that’s where I still am. I think that I’ve been sick me a long time to get to this place. But I think I’ve largely unpacked what was going on. But it would be really cool just to kind of hear how you coach engineers, and maybe you can help me unlock some additional guidance. And I’m sure people listening to this will get something out of it and be like, Oh, wow, that’s really cool. I would love for Gina to help me like that. What do you say?


Gina Covarrubias  07:10

Absalutely. I love it. Lets do it.


Aaron Moncur  07:12

Awesome. Okay. All right. So this is me 14 years ago, where would you like me to start?


Gina Covarrubias  07:20

Sure, why don’t you tell me Aaron why you’re interested in coaching?


Aaron Moncur  07:25

Well, when I started engineering, this is about three years ago, I got my first full time job. Prior to that I had a couple of really great internships which I enjoyed deeply both in you know, very engineering roles. But I started my first full time engineering role about three, three and a half years ago. And it was great, did a lot of like CAD design, and I did, working on mills and lathes, making some small prototypes, and building and testing and everything was just really fun. I enjoyed it a lot. These days, I find myself very disengaged with the work. In fact, I put earbuds in at the beginning of the day, and I kind of tune out to what’s going on around me. And I just, I just can’t find the love anymore. I think I might just not like engineering anymore. Maybe I’m ready for something completely different.


Gina Covarrubias  08:16

Have you investigated other engineering roles that you think might be of interest.


Aaron Moncur  08:23

I have not invested investigated other engineering roles. And to be honest, I have kind of a limited understanding of what other engineering roles even are. I have looked at very, very different things. For example, I started a photography company with a friend of mine, and we run that on the side. And that’s been really fun, learning something brand new, and kind of getting to be on my own a little bit. In fact, I find myself at work thinking about photography, when I should be thinking about engineering.


Gina Covarrubias  08:54

So you truly are disengaged in your day to day because you’re actually your mental brain is somewhere else.


Aaron Moncur  09:02

Yeah, that’s true. There’s definitely truth to that statement.


Gina Covarrubias  09:05

Any idea what changed from three years ago until now?


Aaron Moncur  09:10

Well, let’s see. I’ve been doing a lot more paperwork lately, like engineering change orders and some documentation. It’s less CAD design, less hands on activities, less prototyping. And, and I feel like I’m being micromanaged quite a lot lately, and honestly, some of that is probably my fault, because maybe I haven’t been quite as onpoint as I used to be. So those are maybe some reasons.


Gina Covarrubias  09:47

Oh, what do you mean by on points?


Aaron Moncur  09:50

Okay. Just not as focused. I had, I had a one on one with my manager the other day A. And I think he’s maybe noticing that as well, he kind of brought that up a little bit. And I assured him that, hey, my loyalty is to this company. And I’m super dedicated to the role that I have. But if I’m being completely honest, I don’t really feel that way. I just I don’t want to lose my job. And so I said those things. I don’t think that’s really true anymore,


Gina Covarrubias  10:22

Sure. Sure. I’m wondering Aaron, other than the paycheck, because we all love getting a paycheck. Right? Right. But other than the paycheck? Why do you go to work?


Aaron Moncur  10:37

Wow, that’s a great question. Why do I go to work? I really enjoy learning new things. And, and doing things I’m already good at like CAD design, and little bit of machining, prototyping. So I guess I go to work to do those things. But lately, there haven’t been a lot of opportunities to do those things. It’s more documentation. Financial freedom is really important to me. You mentioned the paycheck, of course, that’s there. But you know, to be honest, I feel like my ability to take my financial destiny in my own hands is pretty limited in this role, you know, like, I could bust my butt super hard, all day, all week, every month. And I’m not going to see that many financial rewards for it. So that’s the other thing, I think that’s been kind of demotivating for me.


Gina Covarrubias  11:42

So financial reward has kind of demotivated you. And finances are one of those things that fall outside of us. It’s an external entity, that, let’s be honest, we don’t control how much we make, we can’t control when we get the raise or the promotion. So the financial aspect is outside of us, and you want it to be different, but you can’t control it, it’s kind of festering, that’s frustrating.


Aaron Moncur  12:13

Yeah, you know, I’ll work super hard. And maybe I get, you know, a couple 1000 extra dollars raised at the end of the year, which just feels like, that’s not a very good reward for how much time I’m putting in.


Gina Covarrubias  12:25

Yes, and that’s an extrinsic reward, which is what most of us are taught to pursue in our careers. Pursue the externals, like the money, like the validation that we can’t control so well, that we can’t control so well. But that’s how we’ve been raised, we’ve been raised to believe those are the things that you’re supposed to go for. You’re supposed to people, please, please your parents, please, your teachers, your professors, your bosses, and on and on and on. Yeah. So without even realizing it, we grow up with this mentality of, I’m gonna seek all these things outside of me. And you really don’t control them.


Aaron Moncur  13:07

And cut that scene right there that that was, that was really great. That was super interesting, because I kind of thought I knew where I was gonna go. And it was mostly down this path of, I don’t like to be told what to do. I like to have a lot of freedom to kind of map out my own day and figure out how to do things take take high level ownership and responsibility by I kind of felt myself naturally going towards this the money thing, which I remember was, it was kind of a big deal for me back then. And then you brought it all back with well, their intrinsic and extrinsic, extrinsic rewards, and you only have so much control over the extrinsic. And it may be realized or think about the fact that that, I guess it comes back to like, personal, not freedom as in like living in a free country type freedom. But that autonomy, I guess, right, the ability to pursue what what I want to pursue is so huge for me. And the money aspect is very closely tied to that right? Money isn’t everything, but it’s up there with air and water. And if you don’t have enough of it is really hard to just pursue the things that you really want to pursue. Anyway, that was terrific. I hope other people kind of gained something from that really short example. But great job, Gina, thank you for


Gina Covarrubias  14:28

humoring about that, Aaron. And I could go on and on about that. But, you know, it’s just kind of put the bow on top of this and wrap it up. When we are too externally motivated. We’re gonna wear ourselves out. We’re gonna burn out, we’re gonna be unhappy. And it’s one of those things where you can’t really put your finger on it. You may not even know what’s going on.


Aaron Moncur  14:51

Yeah, well said well said. Well, maybe can you talk a little bit about that What are some of the hardest things about coaching engineers specifically? Or do you think there’s nothing especially difficult about coaching engineers is just like, coaching anyone, you run into kind of the same challenges over and over, same patterns emerge.


Gina Covarrubias  15:17

I wouldn’t say there’s more of a difficulty coaching engineers as opposed to others. Because let’s be honest, in my coaching business, what I teach to engineers, it applies to anybody across all industries, if you’re human, then you could use a life coach. But with engineers, they tend to struggle a little bit more with expressing themselves, they can’t necessarily always find the words to describe the problem. Or maybe they take a little bit longer to be vulnerable and open up in a session. Because let’s face it in a one on one coaching session, it takes trust on both sides. And the person on the other side of me has to feel very comfortable with me with my credential. And with basically answering questions just like I was asking you.


Aaron Moncur  16:19

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Which was great. Right? You didn’t You didn’t give me advice. You just asked questions. And let me kind of find my own advice, so to speak.


Gina Covarrubias  16:28

Exactly. That’s the magic of it.


Aaron Moncur  16:30

That is the magic. All right. You had talked a little bit about looking for the perfect job and never really finding it. Tell me a little bit more about that.


Gina Covarrubias  16:42

I falsely believed. Aaron, this was one of my narratives that I didn’t know it was a narrative back then. But it wasn’t serving me. Well. I just assumed there was a dream job waiting for me. After all that hard work. I went through in college, after all the student loans that I took out, I, as I said before, I have felt almost entitled to a really great career and a very nice future. So I falsely assumed that there was a dream job somewhere out there, it was just going to make me happy, I was just going to bounce out of bed every day and fly to my job and couldn’t wait to get started. And it never happened. And the harder I looked, the more frustrated or depressed I became, because I would turn around and either blame myself. Or I would blame the employer. Or I wouldn’t blame my environment. There was always some somewhere that someone or somewhere else to blame. Other than looking inside and doing a deep dive.


Aaron Moncur  17:55

And how did you get past that?


Gina Covarrubias  17:59

I don’t know that I ever did. Going back to your question earlier about, I had this wonderful career, and how did I decide to become a life coach. So we’re getting back to that now. I never did get past this idea that there’s got to be a dream job. I had gone through the pattern enough. Over the years in my career, that I decided it’s time to pursue something else. I’m not finding what I want. Every time I switch roles or switch jobs, or employers or whatever it is, it’s kind of the same stuff different day. And I was looking for something that was going to make me happy and and I just knew I wasn’t getting there. If that makes sense.


Aaron Moncur  18:54

Okay, yeah. So at a certain point, you decided, all right, let’s pivot and got into coaching. And how has your mindset changed is at all as you’ve been coaching? Has this been closer to that? That perfect job, so to speak? Oh, wow.


Gina Covarrubias  19:12

What a great question. So I pivoted not knowing what I was going to do next. I just want to get make that very clear. I had no idea where I was going with myself. I quit. And I decided I was gonna live off my savings. I didn’t have another job lined up. But I knew I was going to be okay. Like I was really at peace with that decision. So I discovered life coaching without even trying to look for it. It hit me over the head. One day, I found a podcast started listening. And I thought, That’s it. That’s what Gina needs to be doing. So I signed up and got certified and created my business to help that unhappy engineer that I used to be one Oh, wow. And my mentality has changed so, so much from the days when I was an engineer Aaron, because now I can look back. And I can understand how I caused myself so much grief. And I can look back and see how I pointed the finger and blamed everyone or everything around me. But I was so emotionally immature, that I didn’t think to look at myself. If I had had a life coach back then I would have been in tip top shape out have been great.


Aaron Moncur  20:38

I bet a lot of people are gonna listen to this and just find so much value in hearing you talk about where you were before, and then this kind of self actualization. And trying to formulate this question in my mind. You mentioned that you looked in all these different places except, like internally, right? How did you finally get to a point where you realize, oh, there’s this other place I haven’t looked. And it’s called self reflection. I need to do that. And like, what was that process? How did you start doing that?


Gina Covarrubias  21:18

The whole reason that came about Aaron, was due to my life coaching certification. I had grown so much going through that program. Then I gained so much emotional maturity and emotional intelligence. And it really hit me over the head after I had gone through all of my training,


Aaron Moncur  21:41



Gina Covarrubias  21:42

Which was a great thing, because then I was able to apply it to other people and help them which was my purpose today. Yeah. But back then, when I was in my shoes as an engineer, I was too far into my own head. Hmm.


Aaron Moncur  21:59

What are some ways that you help engineers now get outside of their own heads so that they can self reflect and go through a similar process that you did?


Gina Covarrubias  22:12

So the process for anyone who works with me one on one is very similar to when I coached you a few moments ago? There’s a lot of asking questions. And there’s a lot of forcing them to kind of sit and reflect. And my job is to take their brain to brand new territory to brand in places that it wouldn’t go on its own, to help them expand their opportunities, and open up new paths that they didn’t even know existed.


Aaron Moncur  22:45

Yeah. Which is super helpful, especially when you are kind of stuck in your own head, it’s, it’s almost impossible for you to see those other options, those other possibilities. So having someone else come in who’s done this before and ask some questions that help you think in new ways is super valuable. I think. I also want to mention real quickly, I love that you found life coaching on a podcast, not just because we’re on a podcast right now. But because I feel like one of the most valuable things that we can do as we grow in our careers as people is to expose ourselves ourselves to different ideas. And there are a variety of ways to do this. Books are a great one, podcasts are a great one. And it’s so interesting that you never know where that life changing ideas going to come from. I’ve paid 1000s of dollars to go to seminars and conferences, mastermind groups where I hope to learn something new or be exposed to some great idea and I have been, but I’ve also spent $10 on a book and found just as powerful an idea there. So I think this idea of finding different ways to expose yourself to new ideas is is really important and valuable and something that people should look at doing.


Gina Covarrubias  24:05

I love how you said this. I couldn’t agree more Aaron. And I will tell you that when I made my pivots when I left my profession, not knowing what I was going to do next. My short term plan was to dive into information. And that’s what I did. I started listening to podcasts. I bought a whole stack of books. I started taking courses online. I started watching YouTube videos. I just wanted to arm myself with other information. I just wanted to know what else is out there. Yeah, what could I be missing? And I wasn’t looking for the next idea to start a new business. It just happened. Yeah. So I’m really glad that you bring up that point


Aaron Moncur  24:52

that well, it came from you. So thank you. I think this must be a very fulfilling profession right live code. Searching, helping people helping engineers. It just on a human level feels good to know that you helped someone else, right? I’m not sure that there’s a more fulfilling feeling that as humans can experience. So what are a couple of the decisions that you’ve helped engineers make that you’re most proud of?


Gina Covarrubias  25:21

Oh, wow. So by far, the most common issue people bring to me is, Gina, I just don’t know if engineering is right for me.


Aaron Moncur  25:34

Sounds familiar?


Gina Covarrubias  25:35

Why stay in this industry? Or do I? Do I pivot? Do I change industries? Do I go back to school, maybe get an MBA? Or? Or do I start my own business and become an entrepreneur? I would say that’s the biggest issue people come to me with, if and on a broader scale, it really comes down to indecision. People are afraid to make a decision, they don’t know, they think there’s a right and a wrong answer. So indecision and career path, those are really top ticket items that I help people with.


Aaron Moncur  26:09

Okay. And when you’re coaching someone and they have that issue, I don’t I don’t know if I like engineering anymore. I’m not sure if I want to keep doing this or just switch to something completely different. Would you say that a majority of the of your clients continue with engineering or a majority go off and do something totally different? Or is it an even split? How does How did that work out? I’m just curious.


Gina Covarrubias  26:33

Yes, yes. A majority of the time, and by majority, I’m talking like nine and a half out of 10 times. After someone works with me. What they realize is that they’re blaming engineering for all kinds of problems that they’ve got going on.


Aaron Moncur  26:53

Fascinating. Yeah. Yeah,


Gina Covarrubias  26:55

very easy. Aaron to point the finger and blame when things are not going your way or when your hat on unhappy.


Aaron Moncur  27:02

Wow, powerful still,


Gina Covarrubias  27:04

and most people end up staying right where they are. Because they realize they’ve got some work to do


Aaron Moncur  27:10

on themselves. That’s, that’s wonderful. Just that makes my heart, you know, feel warm and fuzzy. I love it. You have this, this idea of doing a root cause analysis on on one’s career, which is great for engineers, right? We hear root cause analysis, and we know Oh, Gina speaks my language. Okay. She’s the one I need to talk to you talk a little bit about that. Where did this idea come from? And kind of what what does that process look like?


Gina Covarrubias  27:38

Thank you, thank you for asking, this really is a follow up to what we just talked about. So usually what happens is, people are unhappy with their job or with people at work, or with the environment for whatever reasons. Again, it’s very easy to blame the externals and they start pointing out all the things that are wrong. And so by root cause analysis, what I do is I start asking them, tell me what’s wrong with this, tell me what’s wrong with that. And then we take it another layer. And they say, Well, I just, I’m, my boss micromanages me, and they don’t let me they don’t give me the freedom to do what I want. And once we start digging deeper and deeper, getting closer to the root cause, it always comes back to something that’s going on with them. So what we love to do as employees, Aaron, is we love to create expectations. We create expectations about the way work is supposed to go. We have expectations around the way other people are supposed to act. We have expectations around the way we’re supposed to get promoted. When we do a good job, we’re supposed to get rewarded, right? When we do good work. We take these expectations to the workplace with us. And then when those expectations are not met, then we really spiraled downward. And it could be as severe as a depression, or it could be just a lot of frustration or anything in between. So by root cause analysis, Aaron, what I tried to do is help them understand what are these expectations that you’re setting for the world around you? And then, are they serving you? How well are these expectations serving you? Are they doing you any good? And if they’re not, we need to reframe them.


Aaron Moncur  29:45

And what’s an example of reframing these so let’s say that we were self aware enough, you’ll help us get to a point where Okay, you’re right. These expectations are not benefiting me. How does one go about reframing them?


Gina Covarrubias  30:01

Oh, yes. So I will tell you a huge expectation that we take to the workplace with us. There’s this idea that if we perform a certain way, or if we work hard enough, we’re gonna get certain outcomes. Whether it’s a raise, whether it’s a promotion, what have you. So in the example of outcomes, what I teach people is what if the outcome itself? Doesn’t really matter? What if work is not really about that promotion? Or the money? What if there’s a more profound meaning for going to work every day? Which could look like you were rewarding yourself from within, and you transforming yourself from within? And you serving other people and developing yourself and using the workplace as a platform to transform yourself inside? What if that is more important than that external outcome?


Aaron Moncur  31:14

Sure. Yeah. I can see how most people can get to a place where they realize, oh, maybe it’s not engineering that from in my case, I always say that. I thought I had fallen out of love with engineering. So get to a point where, okay, it’s not engineering I’ve fallen out of love with. There probably are some situations where it does make sense for a person to pivot for example, you did, right, you pivoted out of engineering and into engineering coaching. What does that situation look like? For for engineers? How do they? How do they know when? Okay, it’s not me, it is the job. It is the career I do need to pivot? Talk us through that little bit.


Gina Covarrubias  32:00

Yes, so there are extreme cases, if you’re, you know, bullied, if you are really maxed out intellectually in the workplace, and there are literally no other positions for you to continue growing. Once you stop growing. That’s a really, really big red flag. Okay, that is time to move on.


Aaron Moncur  32:22

Yeah, yeah. I can attest to that. I mean, I love learning new things. And I feel like if I’m not doing, I used to think that I had to do something different every couple of years, because I would get bored doing what I was doing, which is true to some extent. But really what I was saying, what I am saying is that I need to keep learning new things, right, keep stimulating my mind with new challenges. Otherwise, things just get stale, and it’s not fun anymore.


Gina Covarrubias  32:50

Absolutely. And whether you’re in this job, for the next day, for the next year. If you become creative enough, you can find ways to stimulate your brain at work.


Aaron Moncur  33:03

Awesome. Well, you mentioned that you might need to get a little creative, right? And think about different ways to approach your job. I remember, for me, I told my father in law, I don’t like engineering anymore. I think I want to quit and and he suggested that maybe it wasn’t engineering, I disliked but just the way in which I was doing engineering, which turned out to be very true, right? Once I went from being an individual contributor to owning a business, and now I get to like drive all these things, right. I’m high level responsible. I’m not just a cog in the machine, I am the machine so to speak. That was transformational for me. You talk about resilience a lot and and how important it is for for engineers to have resilience. And I think it definitely requires that resilience to like, be a little creative. And think through okay, how can I change the way in which I’m doing my job to be more fulfilling to me? How, how do you help engineers use resilience in their


Gina Covarrubias  34:06

careers? Oh, yes. Great question. So resilience to me, is all about taking ownership over the way you feel over your emotions, as opposed to pointing the finger and blaming. And so what people learn from me in our one on one sessions is how to own their emotions. And what they learned from me is that our emotions are energy I refer to as as as energy because it drives us to do things. Our emotions, fuel, fuel us to go on act in the world. But that energy, those emotions, those come from up here, those come from what we’re thinking. So, it’s not that for example, the boss is a micromanager. That’s not what causes your emotion, what causes you to feel either suppressed by him or you don’t have a freedom. What causes that is the way you’re thinking about that boss, boss guy just gets to be boss and do whatever he wants. It’s the way you’re interpreting. It’s your perception. So when I help people strengthen their perceptions, their interpretations, then they can own their emotions. And they can even cause their own emotions if they want to, which is the ideal situation? Yeah. So like a personal fitness trainer. Now.


Aaron Moncur  35:39

Yeah. Which goes back to reframing your situation in a more positive light? Absolutely. Okay. So without knowing the unique situations and circumstances surrounding the engineers who are listening to this particular episode, what’s, what’s the one message that you most want to get across to all of these engineers who are listening?


Gina Covarrubias  36:00

Thank you for this question. I actually just wrote a book on this topic, it’s going to be published this fall. And what I would say is, don’t become attached to your career. If and by attachment, that doesn’t mean you can’t like it. And that doesn’t mean you can’t try to get promotions. That’s not what it means. By attachment. What I mean is, don’t rely on outcomes of your career, to make you feel good or worthy or confident.


Aaron Moncur  36:34

Don’t define yourself by your career?


Gina Covarrubias  36:37

Absolutely. Don’t define yourself by your career, your if you do, you’re putting all of your eggs in that one basket. And guess what? When that basket drops, you’re gonna be in bad shape.


Aaron Moncur  36:49

Bad news? Yeah. How should people define themselves? If not by their career? What are some healthier ways to define? You know, who I am?


Gina Covarrubias  36:59

Yes, healthier ways to define who I am, is to always look inside and do a lot of introspection, which could look like what are my strengths and weaknesses? What do I want to work on for myself? How can I use tomorrow’s workday to improve this one thing that I know I need to work on? How can I use next week to maybe speak up more? Because I know I’m afraid of speaking up and I want to work on that? How can I work on my communication skill? In a couple of weeks when I go to this one conference? So it’s always about looking inside and comparing yourself to you and not to anybody else?


Aaron Moncur  37:40

I like it. Yeah. Great. Well, Gina, you are still an engineer, and always will have that title. So within that context of an engineer, what is one thing that frustrates you? And also one thing that brings you joy?


Gina Covarrubias  37:55

I have to say one thing that frustrates me, is it has to do with this whole debate around working from home. Okay, so that’s a debate that’s been going on for a while, right? Yeah, I would say in my observation, and you can chime in, I would think most engineers are introverts. For the most part, I think that’s what I’ve observed. And introverts, they tend to work well, in quiet spaces, they tend to need to set aside time where they can just be with themselves and have time to think quietly. And so what frustrates me is when I hear talk from companies, managers, whoever it may be, that bringing everybody back into the office to collaborate and throw around ideas is a good thing. And I would say you know what, for introverts, it could actually be sensory overload. And it could actually be overstimulation and a lot of us don’t work well, in that kind of environment.


Aaron Moncur  39:10

Yeah, that’s fair.


Gina Covarrubias  39:12

So I would say that’s something that’s, I would say, frustrates me and I I wish there were more talk about this.


Aaron Moncur  39:22

Okay. Yeah, fair enough. How about something that brings you joy? Oh, my


Gina Covarrubias  39:27

goodness, all the people that the wonderful people that I met throughout my career, the wonderful mentors, I had the wonderful and unique hardware that I got to see. I had some really wonderful experiences, and met fantastic people that I’m still friends with today. So despite some of my frustrations about not finding my dream job, I don’t want to make it sound like it was all doom and gloom because it was not it that helped get me to where I am today?


Aaron Moncur  40:01

Yeah, I love that you brought it back to people. I read this book called The Book of joy. And it’s it’s an accounting of conversations that took place between, during a week, a dedicated week where they were just together to talk about joy, the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu. And it was such a wonderful book. And really, the what I took away from it was joy comes from people, right? It just joy comes from having meaningful, meaningful relationships with with people you care about. In fact, our purpose at pipeline as a company is to promote joy in the lives of our team members. And that joy comes from working with each other. And let’s see shameless plug here. For all of you out there who want to work with a team who is promoting joy in one another’s lives. Give us a call here at Pipeline, if you need custom manufacturing equipment, or test fixtures or automation. We’d love to talk to you. And this has been just a wonderful conversation with you today. Gina, thank you so much for spending your time with us. Yeah. Oh, I liked it. I


Gina Covarrubias  41:12

appreciate it. And I love what you’re doing with pipeline, too. We need to clone you and your business. We need.


Aaron Moncur  41:19

Some days, I wish I could clone myself. Wouldn’t that be? Wouldn’t that be great? Yes, that would be all right. Well, Gina, how can people get in touch with you?


Gina Covarrubias  41:29

Yes, thank you for asking. My website is deliberate doing.com. I have multiple videos on their webinar replays. People can watch on many different topics. I have a career blog, if someone prefers to read over watching videos, I have a career management guide people can sign up for. And if anyone wants to get a hold of me, my email is Gina at deliberate doing.com. That’s gi na. I’m happy to have an offline conversation with anybody if they want to bounce ideas off me or just kind of get a feel for my coaching style. I encourage anybody to go ahead and send me a note. You can also find me on LinkedIn. And please connect with me and let me know if you heard me here on Aaron’s podcast. That’d be great.


Aaron Moncur  42:22

Excellent. All right. Well, Gina, thank you so much, again for being on the being an engineer podcast.


Gina Covarrubias  42:26

Thank you for having me. It was wonderful.


Aaron Moncur  42:30

I’m Aaron Moncur, founder of pipeline design and engineering. If you liked what you heard today, please share the episode. To learn how your team can leverage our team’s expertise developing turnkey equipment, custom fixtures and automated machines and with product design, visit us at Teampipeline.us. Thanks for listening.


About Being An Engineer

The Being An Engineer podcast is a repository for industry knowledge and a tool through which engineers learn about and connect with relevant companies, technologies, people resources, and opportunities. We feature successful mechanical engineers and interview engineers who are passionate about their work and who made a great impact on the engineering community.

The Being An Engineer podcast is brought to you by Pipeline Design & Engineering. Pipeline partners with medical & other device engineering teams who need turnkey equipment such as cycle test machines, custom test fixtures, automation equipment, assembly jigs, inspection stations and more. You can find us on the web at www.teampipeline.us


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