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The Shadow of Success

By Yung Lam

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Did you know one of the wealthiest women in the world once thought that she was the biggest failure? She had been jobless, living in poverty, and her work had been rejected dozens of times. I can relate with her because I was unable to find full-time employment for a long time despite graduating with two bachelor’s degrees and going on many interviews. The prediction about me becoming society’s burden had came true. At that time, I was the biggest failure too, but I knew that I had to be my biggest believer before I could convince anyone to believe in me. However, it was very hard to keep believing in myself when the memories of failure kept playing like a pop song in my head. Then one day, Galt Foundation offered me a job.

I was very shocked by that news since I thought the position that I interviewed for was not within my capability.  The interviewer, Hope Crumley, had told me that she was looking for someone to help her improve their accounts receivable by making it more effective/efficient and convincing their clients to pay their bills on time. I had doubts that I could do that because I had no experience working with clients. Mostly, I was worried about my speaking disability.

Nevertheless, I got hired and went to work with that self-doubting song still in my head.  However, after the first training session with Hope, I saw that she was very good at hiring the right people for the job and working with their disability. I thought to myself that if she thought that I could do this job then I should believe her professional judgment more than that self-doubting song. She was not the only one who inspired me, but everyone at Galt Foundation did too. I saw how all my coworkers were very passionate about the mission of working with people with disabilities to find them employment.  They have encouraged and taught me how to work with my disability.

It has always been difficult for me to communicate well with people due to my speaking condition, but Galt Foundation had given me the right accommodations such as Text-to-Speech software to use on the phone. Furthermore, everyone has been very patient with my speaking and my mistakes.  For example, talking on the phone with clients was a great challenge for me even with my accommodations.  I have made numerous mistakes, yet the clients and my coworkers were very understanding. As a result, I have got a lot better at it now and have more confidence in communication with others. Although it is still not an effortless duty, I am not afraid of it anymore because everyone will let me to learn from my mistakes and trust in my ability of handle the task again.  All these experiences have given me the power to fight against my greatest fear, failure.

I would not do many things because I was afraid that I would fail at them. My disability was my excuse but working at Galt Foundation has proved that I could overcome my disability and my failures.  I also recognized that success never comes without failure. That woman that I mentioned embodied this idea because she is J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. She is just one of many people who have achieved their goals after they have endured countless failures in their life. Her story and my own experiences taught me to not let my failures stop me from achieving my goals in life. Lastly, I hope that my post will motivate people to not let their failures stop them from facing their adversities. Also, this post will serve as a reminder for me which is why I want to end this with a quote from J. K. Rowling. "You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

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Yung Lam

Finance Associate, Galt Foundation
Prior to joining Galt Foundation, Yung received two bachelor's degrees in Accounting and Management Information Systems from Oklahoma State University. In her free time, Yung likes to read books, listen to audiobooks, and watch movies and TV shows.

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