Recently, I read an article entitled, “Why Geniuses Don’t Have Jobs.” The author, Dave Logan, made some valid points with regards to how employers fail those who are genuine geniuses.
He pointed out that some geniuses are fired because they’re far too outspoken and are rude to the point of being insulting when they speak out. Some geniuses can’t shine when interviewed for a job because they’re extremely introverted. And some geniuses are all over the map in terms of emotional stability as well as productivity and output.
But you know, from watching interactions on social media and in some online groups and communities, I’ve noticed a disproportionate number of people who claim to be geniuses. What’s more likely, from observing their online interactions, is that they have bought into the culture of entitlement and aren’t geniuses at all.
In this world, there are those who are cut out to work for others and there are those who are cut out to be entrepreneurs. Both types of people are important to the economy. However, both choices rely on the ability to interact appropriately with others, and to complete the job for which they have been hired or contracted.
Whether you’re a genius or an everyday kind of person, there are a lot of similarities in the humdrum of living. Even those with a diagnosed disability or medical condition experience a lot of similarities in the humdrum of living.
A diagnosis doesn’t mean that the community whose members all have the diagnosis should petition the United Nations for recognition as a cultural minority. Just because a diagnosis means that the individual navigates the social maze differently than the majority of people doesn’t mean it’s a cultural difference. It’s a disability difference.
And just because there’s a disability difference, doesn’t mean that it’s caused by genius!
So for those geniuses out there who claim to be unemployable solely because they are geniuses (whether due to a diagnosis or anything else), maybe it’s time to step away from that way of thinking and look at geniuses who overcame the issues that come with being a genius in order to earn a living.
People like Albert Einstein. And Thomas Edison. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Stephen Spielberg. The list is incredibly long if you take the time to find successful people who belong on that list.
What they all appear to have in common is the understanding that this world is a social world, and if you want to succeed, you have to cultivate certain social graces that will allow you to travel successfully in social circles. If you aren’t willing to learn those few social graces, then don’t be surprised if you find yourself unemployed or unemployable.
Undoubtedly, there will be those who claim that they just can’t interact socially because of their genius. Most of those so-called geniuses, however, function well with those who share their perseverative interests. If they can figure out the social graces that allow them to interact successfully with those who share their perseverative interests, they can modify those same social graces to fit situations outside of their perseverative interests.
In other words, if they can cultivate social graces when it suits them, they can modify social graces to fit with what the rest of society expects of others.
Maybe it’s time for some of those geniuses to step outside their own egocentric natures and see things from other people’s perspectives. If it’s considered inappropriate to point out other people’s shortcomings loudly and publicly, take note of how others discuss such matters with those whose shortcomings need to be addressed. If it’s considered inappropriate to discuss certain personal matters in public, take note of what is considered objectionable or volatile discussion topics and steer clear of them in the presence of those who aren’t your closest friends. If it’s considered inappropriate to prattle on and on about television shows, comic books, graphic novels, cosplay (be it the current version or its forerunner, the Medieval Fairs), and more, then learn to curb your excitement until you’re in the company of those who are like-minded.
In the end, even geniuses know how to interact socially so that they can secure long-term employment, either as an employee or as an entrepreneur. Just because someone is intelligent doesn’t mean the world owes that person anything other than his or her place in the world.
Put that genius to work and do something amazingly awesome that benefits the world in some unique way. The world will forever be grateful to those geniuses who do just that.