55 Year Old Uber Driver, Becomes Cisco UCCE Engineer with $100K+ CAD Career
Meet Selim, entirely down to earth hard-working Bangladeshi-Canadian who has been in Canada for over 20+ years. Like many immigrants, he migrated to Canada with his wish wife to have a better and prosperous life.
Like many immigrants, Selim also faces that very “No Canadian Experience” problem. After trying many business ventures, one after another he failed and finally settle for a labor-intensive job in many different fields from constructions to pizza delivery or whatever he could get to support his family. Like this almost 20 some years passed by. His young child born in Canada grew up to go to University
One day suddenly due to health complication, Selim could no longer do labor-intensive jobs and got laid off from many jobs and missed out many opportunities.
The journey of IT begins
I knew Selim for many years due to community interaction (though we did not keep in touch for over 10 years). As I was running VoiceBootcamp, providing training in Cisco Technologies from Toronto, Canada. One day a student of mine (another 50+ years student of mine) brought Selim to my office, hoping to convince him to learn Cisco networking, especially become CCIE Voice/Collaboration Certified. Selim has tried to learn IT Before as part-time and has completed basic CCNA training but never continued it.
So when I met Selim again, honestly I was not sure what to offer him. I mean he was 50+ years old, had no IT background or experience. What do I suggest him, I was a bit puzzled? But I wanted to help him, but could not offer him false hope. I was not going to sell a course just because he will pay me for it. I wanted to make sure, that whatever he purchases from me, will ultimately change his life. But I was worried to commit to a 50+ years old man, who is facing some physical challenge. I was saying to my self, how many 50+ years have you seen change their entire career in a short time.
I told him to drop by from time to time to see if he is interested without making any promises or asking him to take any courses. He started to spend some time at our Toronto training facility and listen to my Cisco self-study kits. He began to show interested in Cisco Contact Center for some reason it clicked with him
He was being groomed for CCIE Collaboration by his friend, but I was not sure if that would be the right course of action for him.
While Salim started to take interests in IT and show up at my office even when there were no classes, I began to see a dedication that I did not see among 20 to 30 years old student. He was consistent, analytical, and very detailed. I started to get a feeling that may be, and maybe I can turn this man from Zero To Engineer, but I was still skeptical. I mean he had a bit of a particular issue as well who wouldn’t have. After 20+ years of living in Canada, though gave a decent life to his family, he had nothing to show as an achievement (career-wise) to his one and only son. He kept mentioning that from time to time.
Zero To Engineer Program
As I was thinking about his situation, I started to get an idea. What if I craft a program that can help a candidate like him stand out in the market.
Becoming a Cisco Certified as CCNP Collaboration or CCIE Collaboration was not enough for him. Because he his age was against him. He had to compete with many young guys who are becoming CCNP/CCIE Certified like there is no Tomorrow. We had to come up with a unique program so that by the time he finishes that, he will have more leverage than anyone else in the market even CCIE Certified guys.
I suggested him, not to pursue CCIE Collaboration. Instead, follow a program that I designed for him. So we made a deal (financial, as of course, he had to pay for the classes) and his journey begun.
To support his family, he decided that he would drive Uber during day or weekend and attend VoiceBootcamp’s classes whenever they are scheduled.