From mopping floors to IT consultant

I cleaned out my locker and handed my badge to my boss. This was it, for 2 years I had worked as a night shift technician in a clean-room manufacturing environment. This meant for 12 hours a night I mopped floors, walls and ceilings in a double-gowned clean-suit and respirator to protect me from the sporicide and other cleaning chemicals. Five years after graduating university with a 4 year degree in philosophy and here I was, enough was enough. Back in high school I was an honor student, an advanced placement student. What happened?

In my spare time I had begun to fool around with code, websites, networking protocols and the like. I was inspired by YouTube gurus sharing their knowledge. I used freeCodeCamp and other websites to build my courage. I can do this! I can work with computers I told myself. I can work 9-5 at a desk and make good money, wear regular clothes and sleep at night again.

I drove home as the sun was coming up, I hated that. I had thick black trash bags duct-taped over the windows in my apartment to block the sun so I could sleep during the day. I took sleeping pills so I could sleep between shifts. This was not sustainable living.

Two weeks later I was going to community college to get a 2 year degree in computer programming. I studied Java and C++. Fast forward to graduation, this was it! Everything was working… except for one thing. I had been applying for jobs for a year now, hoping to start working immediately after graduation. I didn’t have a single response.

Weeks went by. I didn’t understand, I was a rock-solid programmer, had a degree and everything (2 degrees now as a matter of fact). I was good too, I was qualified! Employer after employer laughed in my face, “We don’t hire without experience”. But… I’m good, let me prove it! I’ve been programming night and day for over 2 years! I have a GitHub, I have a website, I have the degree and everything!

Finally I got an offer to be a data analyst, temp job, 2 weeks… not exactly my skillset but I wasn’t saying no to anything. $15/hr… I had been making $27/hr as a production technician 2 years ago. Two weeks later the job was done.

Another month goes by, I get an offer to work in Florida for $15/hr. I was applying all over the country by now. I was pawning stuff to get by, and I didn’t have much left. A week before I’m about to move and being very stressed out and dehydrated, I got dizzy, passed out and hit the floor hard, face first, split my chin wide open, straight to the bone, woke up in a pool of blood. Drove myself to the hospital to get sewn up. Great, another bill. I took it as a sign, rejected the offer.

I’m writing letters to hiring managers on LinkedIn explaining my situation, offering to work for free, anything to get my foot in the door. I never got a response.

Finally… I give up. I made a mistake, I hate programming, I’m no good, this isn’t going to work. I try to get my old job back. No dice.

The very next week a miracle happens. A recruiter sends me an email. I get a phone interview, then a real interview. Then, an offer. And not just any offer but a really, really good offer! Finally!!

Today I’m an IT consultant, I don’t program, but I write some scripts now and then, manage user accounts, install cards, fix servers, install patches, a little bit of anything to do with IT. It’s a great job. I love it.

What’s the point of all this? I don’t know, just take it for what it is. Life is tough. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. But hang in there, follow your heart. Miracles do happen.


That doesn’t sound like a miracle to me - it sounds like hard work and persistence. Don’t let the angels have all the credit. :wink:


This is gold and I am making it my phone wallpaper.


I’ve had some similar experiences. Ended up moving back with my mother. I landed a job with a startup, but it never launched and as a result I was let down big time. That said, I was left without a job (since I had already left my old job) leaving me with some serious depression and anxiety. Personal life was thrown out of order too, broken heart, bad friends, etc. I’ve cut ties with many people. Moving on, I’ve slowed down completely. I have not been job hunting as I was before. Reading your story has been very inspiring for me. Congratulations! Because of your courage and persistence, I am willing to try believing in miracles once again.