Only five months ago Jed Cartwright was off contract at Penrith and on SEEK looking for his next job.
Come Saturday night, he'll run out against the Panthers club his Cartwright surname is intrinsically linked to in an NRL preliminary final for South Sydney.
Another creation of Penrith's production line, Cartwright carries with him the Panthers' most famous football name.
His father John was a member of their 1991 premiership-winning team, while his grandfather Merv was the club's founding father.
Ideally, Penrith would have loved to have kept the Cartwright clan together.
Jed's cousin Bryce never quite reached his potential and moved to Gold Coast in 2018.
Bryce's little brother Ben never made it to the NRL, playing lower grades before exiting the system.
And while Jed was mentally strong enough, his body constantly let him down in the form of shoulder injuries that put him behind their next crop of talent.
So, when told earlier this year he wouldn't be re-signed, Cartwright feared he was finished at age 23.
"It was a bitter pill to swallow," he said.
"When all the COVID hit and we went into meltdown I was on SEEK looking for jobs ... I was looking at construction jobs.
"I was off contract and I didn't think I would get another game with no NSW Cup.
"So I'm very grateful the Rabbitohs reached out and I am in this position now."
By his own admission, the second-rower wasn't sure of a Plan B.
"It was pretty daunting. I've never really known anything else," he said.
"I've had a lot of jobs but none of them have been jobs I have been looking for in the future.
"Everything was short-terms while in under-20s and I was just doing it for the sake of it."
Enter: South Sydney.
Cartwright's debut last year was his solitary game for Penrith, and by his own felt like he "was progressing nowhere".
So after he was offered a three-year deal and the chance came to move to Redfern mid-season, he jumped at it.
Since his first game in round 18 he's played every one, now set to become the first Cartwright ever to play against Penrith in an NRL final.
And while the fairytale of carrying the family name at the Panthers was a childhood dream, he admits it potentially weighed him down.
"Subconsciously maybe," he said.
"I never really felt that weight on my shoulders as such. But subconsciously possibly.
"I feel a lot more relaxed now than when I did when I was out there."
Not that he has a point to prove to Penrith next week.
"If anything I want to prove to myself that I deserve to be here," he said.
"Me and my family will always have a soft spot for Penrith and always hope they go well ... But just not next week."