You can only get fired from your job, not from your gift
“A man’s gift maketh room for him and bringeth him before great men” – Proverbs 18:16
Myles Munroe said, ‘’Wealth does not come from your job; it comes from your personal gifting”. Everyman is gifted for something. Education will never make you wealthy; it will only give you a platform to express your gift. Real wealth lies not in your job but in your gifts. We must educate the youth to discover their latent gifts and potentials instead of wasting their precious time and ‘destiny’ looking for jobs that only exist in the figment of their imagination. The job you are looking for is not out there, it is right within your gifting!
As an entrepreneurship coach, I normally tell graduates during some of my training sessions that they are not unemployed because they can’t find a job; they are unemployed because they have not started using their gifts. Unemployment has little or nothing to do with job vacancies; it is a function of whether we are putting our gifts to use or rendering them dormant. I have at several fora, reached out to people in government that we need to re-define the meaning of unemployment in order to solve the nagging issue. Unemployment is not the inability to find a job, but rather the inability to discover and use one’s gift productively and maximally. It is a gross waste of human resource and latent potentials when gifted and talented individuals spend a chunk of their life looking for jobs.
The menace of unemployment has turned youths to economic fugitives. Salary is becoming increasingly unsustainable and undependable. Any life that is designed around salary makes the victim live in a vicious circle. Apart from the sober truth that the proceeds from salary is unsustainable, you could actually get fired from your job! Find your gift and you’ll always have work to do. The key to personal success is the discovering of your personal gifting.
Steve Jobs was “ejected” from Apple, a company that he started with Steve Wozniak but was later reinstated when it was very glaring that Apple couldn’t move forward without his unique gift. The firing of Jobs and his reinstatement eventually became the two defining moments in the history of the personal computer industry. Steve Jobs was just 30 years old, wildly successful, fabulously wealthy and a global celebrity. And then it all came crashing down. He had revolutionized personal computing and created an iconic brand – only to be forced out of the company he had built into a billion-dollar colossus.
Steve Jobs’ career followed a different and unusual trajectory: a meteoric rise, a humbling fall, and then one amazing comeback, perhaps the most spectacular comeback of all time. After dropping out of Reed College, Jobs and his buddy Steve Wozniak launched the company from his family’s suburban California garage in 1976. Jobs lived his whole life trying to put the computer in a phone. Nobody thought the cell phone could do what a normal household PC does until Steve Jobs changed the game.
Jobs was Apple’s chief visionary, a role that put him in charge of the team developing Apple’s next revolutionary product, the Macintosh computer. In 1981, Apple Computer went public. Just two years later, Apple cracked the Fortune 500 and Jobs recruited John Sculley, the head of Pepsi-Cola, to be its new chief executive. As the President and CEO of Pepsi-Cola, it was not easy ‘poaching’ away Sculley from the much adored corporation but record has it that it took Steve Jobs just a question to unsettle even Sculley’s confidence in a drink that he has come a long way to believe in. “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?” Jobs famously asked.
With the passage of time, the friendly relationship between Jobs and Sculley got sour due to power tussle. In an unusual and pathetic twist of fate, Sculley later masterminded the ejection of the same man that hired him!
As power struggle erupted between Sculley and Jobs, the loyalty of some Apple executives became polarised. In the spring of 1985 Apple’s board sided with the CEO (Sculley), removing Jobs from his command of the Macintosh group for his unguarded drive, disruptive lifestyle and overzealousness. Apple’s new world was emerging without Jobs and seemingly, Jobs’ world came crashing. Jobs captured what transpired in one of his famous speeches when he said, “We had just released our finest creation – the Macintosh – a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew, we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so, things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. And so, at 30, I was out! What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.”
Jobs left Apple and spent the summer of 1985 in a ‘midlife crisis’, a crisis that later gave him the impetus to rise. He alongside few other loyalists went on to create NeXT, a company which focused on making high end computers targeting education, science and finance market. In the 1990s, Apple was a sinking ship. With a sprawling product line and a host of dysfunctional products, apple incurred heavy losses and was in deep financial mess. Under Sculley’s leadership, Apple sunk down like a ship with a hole. Apple had lost its market share and the respect that came with it. The company was no more innovative, having not actually created anything after Jobs left.
Microsoft had launched its incredibly successful windows 95, which was way more sophisticated than the Mac counterpart from Apple. Microsoft eventually became Apple’s nightmare! By then NeXT had begun licensing its NeXT operating system and had all the features that Apple needed. Realizing their mistake, the Board ousted Sculley and bought NeXT for a handsome price (427 million dollars) and requested Jobs to become CEO of Apple again. The decision to sack Sculley was tough but there were greater odds against him. One of US greatest investors, Larry Ellison, along with Prince Talaweed of Saudi, had bought a large chunk of depressed Apple stock and threatened a hostile takeover unless Jobs was brought back. So, Apple ended up buying NeXT at a highly inflated price to get Jobs back in as the CEO. This time, he didn’t only become the CEO, they also made him the iCEO! Jobs did not only bring back Apple, he turned it into an empire, driving the company to its greatest successes, from the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad.
There are some life situations that put a demand on our creativity. Some people need to be fired in order for them to be fired-up. In his memorable speech to Stanford graduates, the “tech revolutionist” said, “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life”.
Education is not the solution to unemployment, the discovery of your gift is! Any education that does not teach us to discover, nurture and develop our gifting and uniqueness is a waste. We need to redesign our educational sector in such a way that it allows for the nurturing of individual gifts. Each year, the Nigerian educational sector keeps churning out ‘graduates with certificates’ but with no intrinsic value.
The aspect of self-discovery and entrepreneurship training must be blended formally into our curriculum. Education cannot solve the problem of unemployment, entrepreneurship will. In fact, education without entrepreneurship training aggravates unemployment. When it comes to job creation, it is not the government’s responsibility, it is the entrepreneur’s. Government is only needed to create the conducive environment. It is entrepreneurs that generate jobs, not government.
Our individual gift is an indicator of our purpose and calling in life. In the words of Sam Adeyemi: ‘‘You will only shine in the area of your gifting”. I dare say that salary is the bribe we are paid to forget our gifts. In order to live a fulfilled and impactful life, we need to work harder on our gift than our job. We need to discover our gift, develop it and sell it. We can retire from our jobs, but we cannot retire from our gift. We can get fired from our job, but we cannot be fired from our gift!