David Casarez has a ton of experience in web development, a relatively in-demand field. He graduated from Texas A&M University. He is articulate and intelligent enough to piece together a resume that lists all of his skills and past work history.
He was also out of a job, and fell on hard times. So hard that he became homeless and resorted to sleeping in parks in the Mountain View, California area.
Rather than flipping the system “the bird,” David got dressed, made a sign, and went on the highway to ask people for help.
But, his idea of “help” was different than other roadside panhandlers you often see during your commute.
David decided that instead of asking for handouts, he’d hand something out himself: his resume.
Which caught the eye of tons of people, like Twitter user Jasmine Scofield, who asked David if she could take his photo and share news of his search for a job on Twitter.
Her post absolutely blew up — it has over 216,000 likes and 135,000 retweets as of right now.
Jasmine spoke with David to find out more about his background and what spurred him to make such a drastic gesture.
For David, it’s his desire to have a successful tech career Silicon Valley, the mecca of the tech world. A “teccha” if you’ve got a penchant for terrible pun-amalgams.
As much of a desperate act as it was, it paid off. David ended up getting calls from Google, Netflix, and LinkedIn, among others.
David’s persistence paved way for the viral moment that ultimately ended up nabbing him over 200 job offers.
In an interview with The New York Post, David sounds like he’s still trying to process the happy-insanity that’s befallen him since Jasmine’s tweet went viral.
“Google reached out to me…So many other companies. Pandora. A bunch of startups. A product manager for Bitcoin.com was wondering if I could work remotely or if I want to relocate to Tokyo. But tonight, I’ll be back on my bench in Rengstorff Park,” he told the Post.
The 26-year-old David left a good job with General Motors in Austin and moved out west in the hopes of launching his own tech startup.
He cashed out his 401k and pounded the pavement in Silicon Valley looking for a job. He was living out of his 2015 Ford utility van. More than a year passed and David was still living in his van. Thanks to free Starbucks WiFi, David was able to pick up some freelance gigs, but hadn’t landed a full-time job.
“No one was hiring. I had an interview with Apple in January, but the job was filled interally,” He told the Post.
David’s van was repossessed, and didn’t have anywhere to stay, except for a local park. Still, he didn’t give up hope: he kept applying to jobs, sleeping in the park day in, and day out. On Friday, July 27th, he decided to dress up to “look presentable” to prospective employers.
He carried his “Hungry 4 Success” sign and a stack of resumes.
“It was basically a make-or-break moment. I wanted to keep my head up high, keep looking forward and see what opportunity would come next,” he said.
For David, the over-the-top gesture signaled the end of the line for him. It was his last-ditch effort to try and finally make it in Silicon Valley before cutting his losses and returning to his hometown.
“I was thinking, you know, like this was like my last stop. If this didn’t work, I’d go back home and give up on my dream.”
A few hours passed before Jasmine stopped her car and snapped a photo of David and shared it online. From that fateful moment, the job offers kept pouring in for the young man.
We were all raised on movies that are filled with stories of people being driven to the edge where they’re forced to go past their breaking point before something finally pans out for them. For many who do this, things don’t pan out and they eventually give up. I’m happy that in David’s case, he did not.