Good points...and since IT is such a vaaaaast field (even a DBA job nowadays) it has happened to me over & over.
Started as a Civil Engineer (those guys laying roads, standing in the middle of a limestone storm with goggles & scarf over mouth - that's what convinced me to change!), had helped a depot fix their budgeting models in Lotus123, got the opening into MS Access 1.0 and panicked.
A crash course in relational DB's + a LOT of playing around in my spare time and then realised I needed more power - enter VB3.
Again it was like staring into a bottomless abyss - even searching for beginners literature seemed to return a thousand strange and confusing terms, like a foreign language. Hey, it WAS a foreign language!
But, like eating an elephant (1 bite at a time) the balance slowly tipped and I began to understand more terms than I did not.
Again a lot of playing around - I find taking apart other people's code gets me 80% of the way in 20% of the time, then I use books to fill in the gaps - and I emigrated. Had jack-of-all-master-of-none skills in a "it's not in my job description" country, but got a job programming in VB5...I had a month to become productive as part of my evaluation.
Then I bumped into SQL Server 6.5 - looked like a return to Unix and again a baulk, but the tides tipped eventually and paved the way for a SQL7 job making it dance a Russian Cossack.
Eventually .Net arrived and VB.Net suddenly looked nothing like VB and more.
And no-one wanted to employ someone without the word "dot" in their skillset.
So more after hours playing...choose a project (a web service - bit of a high goal, but the concept appealed and the floundering humbled my ego a little 🙂 ) and wittle away, re-writing it, improving it until again I could understand some of the terminology in the user forums!
So I heartily concur - you may end up at the bottom of the tree again, but you can prepare beforehand and if you stick to it you'll soon be further up.
And thank goodness people started hiring based on potential instead of bits of paper...you still get both (sometimes a "grunt" is needed, but they're usually low paid, thankless jobs) but there's enough of a market out there that, in an interview, you don't need to stretch the truth - "nope - not had time to do that yet, but it appeals to me, reckon I could pick it up in a week"...and, with the way things progress, you'll have the new productivity enhancing Visual X language to learn next month anyway!