An entire year.
Before I wanted to become a developer, fresh out of school, I wanted to work in IT support - repairing computers and peripherals, that sort of thing.
I'm from the UK, and I got onto an apprenticeship programme, which for the unfamiliar, is where you work for a reduced wage below the national minimum (yes, it's true) for an employer, and in turn receive vocational qualifications and training throughout the the year from a training provider. As I did my apprenticeship in 2013, I was paid £2.36 an hour, so roughly £400 a month, working 9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.
I received very little training and got to do very little repair work, with promises that this would change and there would always be excuses or reasons as to why I'm not as involved as I could be. The environment was a toxic, family-business affair, and I was forever made to feel worthless and like a simple waste of funds, despite the fact I was costing the company basically nothing, and spent most of my time, in essence, as a retail employee for half the cost, since they often had me working on the shop floor.
I couldn't leave early, because to do so would forfeit the qualifications that were extremely valuable (including ITIL Foundation v3) and I had made it already this far. I ended up sticking it out for the entire year, and it did a real number on my mental health.
I'll never forget walking out on my last day, without a care in the world, as I had received an unconditional offer to study Computer Science at my university, thanks to my new qualifications.
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