Meet Mike Gathers, Career Coach For Engineers
I strongly believe that technology drives progress, both on a local and global scale. But world-changing tech doesn’t create itself. True progress begins in the minds of talented, driven problem-solvers. In other words, it begins with engineers.
Unfortunately, even the brightest, most creative and most committed engineers sometimes struggle to transform their visions into reality. That’s why I’m an engineering career coach. I’m dedicated to helping engineers with entrepreneurial spirits overcome barriers, carve out their own paths and bring their solutions to the world.
The Journey To Here
I understand the passion for innovation and problem solving that calls so many to the engineering field. Since the moment I fell in love with 11th grade chemistry, I was drawn to science’s profound problem-solving potential. It’s that passion that led me to earn a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
Like many engineers, I started my career with a vision of how my work would impact the world. I also felt a strong pull toward entrepreneurship, thanks, in part, to my upbringing. I grew up observing many entrepreneurs, from my friends’ parents to my own grandfather. I was intrigued by the freedom I saw in their lives—it seemed they could create meaning on their own terms.
However, I’d also watched my dad go the opposite route, working at Exxon from graduation until retirement. He didn’t have the independence I admired in others’, but he did have a secure job and a reliable paycheck. Such stability is undeniably tempting. And so, after my own graduation, I found myself sucked in by the corporate world’s gravitational pull.
I quickly learned that stability can be stifling. I moved from organization to organization, working as an engineer, or a project manager, or a front-line supervisor, but never really finding my path. I worked in high tech, trying to convince myself I wasn’t just doing grunt work in a basement. I worked in oil and gas, trying to convince myself that I was contributing to the greater good through improved efficiency. But, when I compared my day-to-day reality to the vision that drew me to engineering, my work felt like a lie. Worse—it all felt meaningless.
I was in a similar place to many of my clients. I was dissatisfied and stuck. I knew I was capable of more, but I was afraid of change. I was being called to something more, but I was refusing the call.
Finally, after years in this frustrating, defeating place, I reached a turning point. A series of personal losses and challenges made it clear: I could no longer convince myself that my work was making any real difference in the world. I needed a change. I needed to answer the call.
So, I left corporate engineering to find a way to contribute to the greater good, trading oil and gas for psychology and service. Specifically, I entered the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology program at Naropa University. Buddhist-inspired and highly experiential, this program taught me relational skills, emotional intelligence and mindful awareness, as well as how to get out of my head and live more in my heart and body. In other words, it taught me the valuable human lessons I’d missed in engineering school.
After many years of putting those skills into practice and teaching others how to be present in their lives, I realized that I had abandoned my engineering past. So, I began to unearth that past and put all the right-brain creative strategies together with the left-brain practicality.
Today, drawing from this dual expertise, I help clients make sustainable, actionable changes in their lives. It’s my mission to help brilliant, creative engineers reignite their passion and lead this world to a more prosperous tomorrow.
Committed To Professional And Personal Growth
I’m an engineering career coach because I know what it’s like to feel your passion fading. To prevent burnout, it’s important to find a dynamic balance between engaging with the world and tending to your health and wellness. I cultivate this balance in my own life. I enjoy time with my wife and kids or take care of myself by climbing, biking or hiking through beautiful Colorado. When my own internal tank feels full, I volunteer with the Mankind Project, a non-profit dedicated to men’s personal development. I also contribute to the Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association. In so many areas of my life, I’m driven to help people thrive.
I also know that the world relies on engineers. Drawing from my unique background in engineering entrepreneurship and counseling psychology, I’m here to help you rediscover your drive and move toward your purpose.
The world needs your vision. With help, you can turn it into reality.
If you are ready to become the engineer you are meant to be, complete the coaching questionnaire, and I will be in touch.
Mike Gathers offers group and one-one-one coaching virtually and in person in his office in Golden, Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and went on to work various roles of engineering, supervision and management in the high tech and energy sectors. A student of the late R. E. D. “Gene” Woolsey, he completed a master’s in engineering and technology management with a specialty in industrial psychology. After a dozen years in industry, he made a major pivot into working as a licensed psychotherapist after earning a master’s in counseling psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Now, after nearly a decade working as a licensed therapist, including five years serving the Colorado School of Mines, he has revived his engineering and management past and merged it with his recent work as an entrepreneur and licensed therapist in order to coach engineers into their own greatness.