US Marine Veteran Who Lived Out Of His Car Lands Dream Job At Microsoft
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Zach Jones was a Motor Transport Operator in the US Marine Corps, and - like so many others - found it hard to adjust to live on the outside of the military.
After leaving the forces, he managed to work his way up from being a truck driver to owning his own company, but a downturn in fortunes in 2019 saw him struggling to pay for medicine, and finding it difficult to support his family.
So, for about three months he lived out of the back of his car - unbeknownst to members of his family - to retrain through Coding Dojo and land a dream job as a support engineer for Microsoft.
He explained: "Transitioning was difficult. I wasn't mentally prepared to go back into the general population, and had a very difficult time adjusting to non-regimented life.
"Around the time that I started driving trucks commercially, I started going through a lot of difficult times in my personal life as well.
"I turned it around and by 2018 I had started my own trucking company. 2019 was a bad year for trucking companies of all sizes though, and while I did a decent job keeping the business afloat, many companies were going under - a few articles called it 'The Slaughter'."
So, after leaving the trucking world, he needed to keep financially afloat whilst studying for his new career. That meant leaving the comforts of home and living out of a car.
Zach continued: "I stayed in the car for almost three solid months, occasionally staying with a new friend from the class and hotels when I needed to stretch my legs a bit. "
However, it wasn't all bad. In fact, living in the car had some financial benefits.
He said: "For the first time in months, I could afford to pay certain bills, like the rent and medicine.
"Compared to that, sleeping in the car was nothing, once you got the right sleeping bag for the weather."
Now, after a lengthy interview process, Zach has managed to become a support engineer at Microsoft, and is no longer struggling to make ends meet.
He concluded: "It was five months after I had finished my classes at Coding Dojo that I finally got hired. It's not easy, and it was a really scary time, especially considering the widespread unemployment due to Covid-19.
"I went from not being able to afford a relatively cheap medicine every month to being able to ask my wife, 'Hey, what kind of house do you want?'"
"The strangest part is the amount of time I have now. For the first time, I can finish a work day and not think to myself, 'Alright, what's the next thing I can do to stay afloat and eventually get out of this mess'.
"I can just sit down, drink a beer, and do nothing for a few minutes."