Update: Still poor, but now I've got a future! (& I kept my soul)
Two weeks ago after a particularly long, difficult day, I got on the internet and started researching how to get into the tech field. This first led me to reddit's CS Career Questions board. While reading the posts, I noticed how people kept mentioning "blind" and curiosity led me to do some googling and ultimately led me to this website. This website is strange; in the sense that while it reiterated and confirmed the feeling that I was broke and wasting time throwing bags, it also allowed me to peek into this microcosm of (self-reportedly) high-earners that motivated me enough to seek some advice from the community, hoping that someone might be able to provide me a bit of guidance.
Two weeks, almost 40k views and 800 comments later, I must say:
I didn't expect at all the overwhelmingly positive response I received. People shared their own stories of transitioning from unrelated fields, some advised pursuing technical adjacent fields, some provided online resources(Thank you Google), a few even offered to mentor me (Thank you Splunk), one person even referred me for a job(Thank you Facebook)! Of course, many of these well-intended individuals didn't actually follow up, but a few did (Thank you Flatline) and have graciously provided me with kind words and advice(Thank you Splunk, Apple, MSFT, AirBNB). (I received so many private messages that I apologize if I didn't respond promptly or haven't responded back!) I'm sure there's more I somehow missed in the sea of comments. I did my best to read them all!
However, there is one that's empowered me to have not just the confidence, but the freedom to focus on studying full-time so that I can transition into a career as a software engineer. One gracious blind member operates a non-profit that locates individuals seeking to enter into the field of software engineering and pays them a salary to learn. Through my post, I was approached. I messaged them. We set up a Google Chat and we spoke. They explained their rationale, their motivations and their expectations if I were to accept this opportunity -- It's a full-time job LEARNING. I was told I'd be paid twice monthly and that they'd even try to get me health insurance.
This opportunity, beginning full time on Oct 1 has successfully matriculated 17 students through their online curriculum, which have all located gainful employment without even having to complete the entire program (though 3 students have & one even got a job @ a large, well known tech company). They introduced me to their website, made me an account, and provided me access to the community chat + direct message so I have instant access to them and the community if I need assistance while I'm learning.
I did my best to do some research & was able to find relevant information that corroborated his willingness to assist. They're a 501(c)(3), name checks out, they've been doing this for a while, under the radar.
I might be crazy, but as of yesterday, I am no longer a baggage handler. I took their word for it and pretty much quit my job yesterday. I don't have a source of income or health insurance anymore. I can't be sure that this person won't disappear (If he does, I'll let you guys know and you can berate my stupidity & naïveté) or that this won't put me in a worse position. In this moment, I'm terrified as fuck. But I'm also excited.
I woke up this morning for the first time in a long time excited about the future. Tomorrow begins the rest of my life. I'm looking forward to something -- completing this program, getting a good job and being able to provide an opportunity like this for someone else-- which has not been the case for quite some time in my life.
@ppapplepie - I want to say more. "Thank you" doesn't seem sufficient. I've already done a ton of worshipping and appreciating privately and you don't seem to care too much for it. You just want to help people and teach people to code. You're doing just that. So I'll demonstrate my gratitude by taking this opportunity by the reins and learning my ass off.
I'm starting a blog I'll be updating with my notes and the things I'm learning. If anyone's interested (and I get permission), I'll edit it in so if other noobs wanna follow along with me or if the professionals wanna judge me (or offer advice!) on my journey.
Original Post: https://www.teamblind.com/article/Sick-of-being-poor-will-sell-soul-for-career-advice-04OXkNno
tl;dr - Found blind through reddit, posted & asked for help transitioning into tech career from unrelated position. Post blows up, Blind was incredibly kind and positive in reception to me. One blind member saw my post, offered me the opportunity to quit my job and pay me a salary to learn to be a software engineer full-time. I quit my job and begin my new job learning Oct 1.