Over 300,000 people enter the job market in Ghana every year, looking for jobs that often do not exist.
When you spread this number to the continent, we are talking about over 4.5 million every year looking for jobs.
Juxtaposing that against the fact that technology and efficiency have continuously replaced human beings with machines, the employment situation has been worsened.
With the COVID-19 pandemic further decimating the workforce, it is time for a radical response.
It is against this background that the Springboard, Your Virtual University, used last week’s edition to do a playback of a presentation at the 2019 global convocation by Rev. Albert Ocran.
The presentation was on the theme: ‘Nurturing a world-class talent’.
Rev. Ocran said the idea of nurturing gave the impression of a seedling that was being planted and carefully looked after to ensure that it reached its full potential.
“So when we say nurturing world-class talent, the impression I get is a seed that is being grown to become big,” he said.
He defined talent as the natural ability to do something without struggle and naturally.
“The word nurturing and the word talent suggest something that you are able to do naturally.
“You just have to invest time and effort to polish it to the very highest level,” he noted.
One talent is all you need
Rev. Ocran pointed out that an individual needed just one talent to succeed.
“Many of us have read the biblical story of the talents and we feel that the person who had the five talents had an advantage because he was able to generate five more and was commended.
“But one talent is all you need to succeed. In real life today, many of you have five talents and have hidden them, someone has one and is using it in many ways.
“For many people you talk to about talent, very often they raise an objection immediately and they try and explain to you why it won’t be possible to pursue it,” he stated.
Seven barriers to discovering talent
He said based on a number of years of research into this subject, he had identified seven objections that people often raised at the mention of talent.
Those objections, he said, were:
1. “I am not good at anything: Some people say listen, as for me I am not good anything. There is nothing that I can say is my talent. If you are 18 and above and still can’t tell what you are good at, then half of your life is not being lived. A huge chunk of your life is being left unattended. The biggest fulfilment and most engaging, exciting time of your life is around your talent and its use.
2. How do I find my talent?
3. I have so many talents but I am confused about which one is the real deal; multiple talents and confusion.
4. There are giants ahead of me and the concern is that I have an idea about what I am good at but there are so many people who are so established in that field.
5. Timing: I should have started far earlier. They complain and say if I had known this 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have wasted my time.
6. Nobody believes in my talent; and this is the kind of objection that people raise when others laugh at them. Please note that nobody is under any obligation to endorse your talent. For many people, it is easier to laugh at you than encourage you. People will just laugh at you so please note that people will sometimes denigrate what you have and will not be excited about it, but that should not discourage you.
7. I know my talent but there is no money in it; nobody has made money from this so I’m not excited.
These are the seven basic barriers people raise when you talk about talents,” he explained.
Rev. Ocran also pointed out that one’s God-given talent could take the person a place where his or her degree might not qualify and could open doors that formal education might have closed.
“I sat down to evaluate the number of awards we have won, international experiences and major recognitions and largely, they are all talent-related.
Sharing some Ghanaian examples of people who have used their talents to succeed, he said many of the areas they found themselves were not perceived as profitable 10 years ago.
“In some of these fields, if you had suggested to your parents some time ago that you wanted to pursue a career in those areas, a family meeting would have been called,” he stated.
Some of the fields he mentioned included acting, comedy, poetry, football, music among others.
“There is something that God has given you that you can utilise to full advantage and have more fulfilling and a more productive life without excuses,” he said.
Discovering your talent
On how to discover one’s talent, Rev. Ocran advised the youth to look at what they were passionate about.
“You should also look at your ideas. If you get a lot of ideas in a particular area, if majority of your ideas congregate around a particular area of interest, that is your one talent.
“No matter how disadvantaged anyone might be, you have one talent that can open doors for you and change your life.
“Intuition is also something you must consider and this is something you didn’t go and learn in school but know somehow,” he pointed out.
He said execution was also very important in the discovery of one’s talent.
“Anytime you get the opportunity to execute that one thing God has given you, you must shine. There is no room for bad days and not in the mood,” he said.