Meet Lydia: Surviving a Dark Storm

4-minute read

In the second of our “Success Stories,” we learn about Lydia’s journey working with Galt Foundation. Through her story, we gain valuable insight into how Galt helped Lydia advance her education and career, despite her medical history. We also learn about the significant ways in which this experience differed when compared to another employment agency that she worked with previously.

After dealing with serious medical complications and being hospitalized, the last thing any person would want to worry about is their employment status. However, this was a situation that Lydia had to endure. Following an emergency hospitalization, she was fired shortly after returning to her job placement.

The employment opportunities on the job market were lacking at the time, and the circumstance left Lydia feeling extremely vulnerable. That is when she decided to turn to Galt Foundation to help her find meaningful work.

Galt asked Lydia to share her story and life experiences before and after working with our team.

Life Before Galt
For nearly fifteen years, Lydia had worked in special education as a substitute instructional assistant. However, she had been, in her words, “bouncing around” for a few years, seeking temporary positions that could offer her the work-life balance that she needed.
Lydia stated that she has a “lengthy medical history.” She is a cancer survivor and has intermittently lived with high-functioning anxiety and depression since college. As a result, she needed a work schedule that enabled her to tend to her personal matters and medical appointments. Lydia was unable to work on the weekends, but many temporary positions required weekend work and this made it hard to find suitable employment.
Prior to working with Galt, Lydia was in a seasonal role which she had found through another employment agency. While working in this position, Lydia was faced with a life-changing medical emergency. During her hospitalization, the employment agency assured her that she would be guaranteed a job after leaving the hospital. However, this was not the case. She was fired from her position just two weeks after returning to work.
Lydia’s experience with her previous employment agency left her questioning her self-worth and asking herself, “Am I unhirable?”

A Much Needed Change
Lydia ended up applying as a seasonal worker through Galt and in the span of just one week, everything changed. Compared to other employment agencies, Lydia’s experience at Galt was completely different.
She said, “Temp agencies don’t care about people, they don’t care about disability, [and] they don’t care [if] you have issues.” She added that temp agencies tend to hold you back and don’t make an attempt to advance your long-term career, stating, “They don’t want you to go anywhere else; they want you to stay with them.”
Galt, on the other hand, had no problems with her medical history or her schedule requests. In fact, Galt looked at Lydia’s resume and said, “I don’t understand how you haven’t been hired yet.”
The foundation highlighted her skills and then helped Lydia land an interview. Within a week, Lydia was hired for a short-term project assistant position in a human services department. Through this opportunity, she has gained highly valuable technical and interpersonal skills, and she has learned to adapt to different types of settings. She believes these new skills can take her far in the workforce.

Stepping Stones
Although there is much personal and professional healing to be done, Lydia has regained the confidence that she believes she had lost due to the tumultuous times in her life. She credits this to Galt’s attention to the “human” aspect in the human resources industry.
“People are people. We all want to be treated with respect, regardless of what’s going on in our lives,” stated Lydia. She added that Galt was very attentive, treated her like a human being, and provided her with a sense of hope and affirmation. “They made me realize I was not as worthless as I [thought I was].”
Galt’s determination and drive to help Lydia gave her the push she needed to advance her career and education. Lydia is currently working in a temporary front desk reception role at another firm. It’s her goal to find state work, and she strongly believes that one of the primary ways to get her foot in the door for this line of work is through a position like hers.

Let Galt Foundation Help You
When asked if she would recommend Galt to her peers, Lydia exclaimed, “Absolutely! And I have!” She says that Galt will always be her first phone call if she is seeking new job opportunities in the future.
If you are an individual with a disability who needs help finding employment or know of someone who is, feel free to get in touch with the friendly associates at Galt Foundation here, or call us at 1-877-361-1277, and we’d be more than happy to help.

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