Ep148: “I Was Fired For Requesting a Single Mental Health Day” | with Jim Page

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When editor Jim Page recently tweeted about getting fired for requesting a single mental health day, it caught a lot of people's attention. Depression, long work hours, and burnout are all too common in the entertainment industry. The gig economy and being a freelancer instills fear and insecurity in creative professionals leaving us feeling undervalued and pressured to outperform and outlast.

Thread. Please RT. I'm scared to say this publically, but I feel I need to. Recently I was fired from a show on a major TV channel because I needed a day off for mental health reasons. I made the mistake of being honest, instead of pretending to have a physical sickness.

— Jimstagram (@iamjimpage) March 17, 2021

My own experience with burnout is what led me to start the Optimizer coaching & mentorship program so I could start to teach people to take positive steps towards healthier lifestyles and improved working conditions. After seeing Jim's tweet, I knew I had to have him on the show to talk about this important topic.

Jim Page has been editing for 15 years in the UK cutting features, shorts, documentaries, and many other types of media. His work includes the feature "The Pugilist" which was nominated for the Michael Powell Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival, while short film "No More Wings" won best film at Tribeca, and "Hair Cut" was long listed for a BAFTA. Like many creatives, Jim is passionate about his work and takes pride in what he does. But the burden of the "The Passion Tax" often becomes too much to bear without sacrificing physical and mental well-being. Jim and I discuss ways in which creatives can take action on their own behalf and embrace the power of saying no.

If you have ever felt like the long hours aren't worth the toll on your happiness and health, then this episode will inspire you to take control of your career and bring your life back into balance, not to mention helping you learn how to set boundaries or yourself, even if those boundaries might cost you a gig.

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Here's What You'll Learn:
  • Why Jim calls himself an Award Losing Editor
  • The Twitter post that went viral and got my attention.
  • Jim's history of mental health problems since he was 14 years old.
  • The division between above the line and below the line workers makes change for mental health issues impossible.
  • Jim’s struggle with depression and how he got started in editing.
  • The fear that comes from being a freelancer knowing you can easily be replaced.
  • How to take responsibility of your own mental health.
  • What happened when Jim learned to say no to jobs he didn’t feel passionate about.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: There’s no shame in saying no to a paycheck job but saying yes out of fear often leads to burnout and unhappiness.
  • The lifestyle changes that Jim has made to improve his mental health.
  • Ways that you can set yourself up for success in your career while balancing your mental health and lifestyle.
  • How to clearly communicate your needs to potential employers so that expectations are set properly from the beginning.
  • What's next for Jim.
Useful Resources Mentioned:

Jim's Twitter Post About Getting Fired

I Was Tired of Putting My Kids to Bed via FaceTime Every Night. Here’s What I Did About It.

Ep141: Michelle Tesoro (ACE) On Playing Chess With Your Career (Instead of Checkers) - pt1

Ep142: Michelle Tesoro (ACE) On Playing Chess With Your Health & Well-Being (Pt2)

Jim's Facebook Page

Jim's Instagram Page

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Guest Bio:

Named a Berlinale Talent in 2021, and a BAFTA Crew Talent for 7 years running, Jim Page has 15 years of experience cutting features, shorts, documentaries. His work includes feature "The Pugilist" which was nominated for the Michael Powell Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival, whilst short "No More Wings" won best film at Tribeca, and"Hair Cut" was longlisted for a BAFTA. His work has drawn praise from David Fincher, Mark Romanek and David Yates amongst others. In addition to his cinematic work, he is also a respected editor of documentaries.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

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