Clearly, but not when you declare your condition…
This week has been a weird one thus far. Non productive yet productive if you get what I mean?
I’ll explain, since finishing at my last job within TV as a Production Coordinator I have spent the majority of my time thinking and analysing what i want to do next, whether I want to go with the flow and find another contract or do something else completely.
This is where the difficulty comes in, if I find another contract within TV, what do i do about disclosing my bipolar at interview stage or even when i’ve got the job afterwards – what implications would it cause?
Maybe I think about it too much but I really want to be vocal about my condition when at work but without prejudice so people have more of an understanding on the condition. However the stigma attached to having a mental health condition is really strong, so even if i was to talk about it it could make things worse who knows?
Also if I was going to go into another industry, i’d still feel the need to be vocal about my condition either way so i guess its a win win, or more evidently a lose lose.
At the end of the day I want to be known for being capable as person with a mental health condition not just the generic term bipolar. As this brings a lot of prejudice and stigma.
On my blog you will see a clip of me speaking on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire show, on the show i touch upon disclosure something that is oh so important.
From my previous experiences of interviews and getting jobs I have disclosed twice on interview not got one, but got the other which to be totally frank was a shock and a surprise as I felt that after I said i had the condition i had to over talk about my capabilities to prove I was capable. This shouldn’t be the case in any situation.
Just because I have a mental health condition doesn’t make me as less capable or less worthy of a job as another candidate my CV speaks volumes and I honestly do believe that when hiring you should focus on the skill set and talents that person can bring to the role rather than whether they have a mental health condition.
I don’t know, like i said sometimes I over think things but from my perspective this is what i strongly believe in.
Hence why I am dithering about what to do next.
I have worked in television and the media industry for 10 years now and I am currently questioning whether working in the industry is good for my mental health.
For those who do not know who I am or about me. I am/was (still trying to figure out) a Freelance Production Coordinator working for independent production companies and broadcasters. I have also set up a business helping those who find difficulty in getting paid work get the results they deserve.
I’m sure a lot of people dream about being in the position I am i in terms of my experience but I see it as a blessing and a curse and here’s why.
Working in television generally can be very stressful and pressurized due to the nature of the job and with my condition its twice as hard.
I have found that when working within the industry in my opinion its very rigid, in terms of creativity and atmosphere. With your team and colleagues its always nice to have a brief chat about general bits and bobs but generally speaking its very work orientated – and so it should be!
The point i am making is with someone, like me – who has a mental health condition its difficult to keep up with the requirements of a role in which doesn’t have the flexibility or the openness surrounding how you are feeling on that particular day or in general. I think mental health in general should be spoken about in every work atmosphere openly without the person who would like to speak about it be type casted, marginalised or seen as different.
I am not jumping to conclusions here but I have been told to leave a position in the past which I believe was due to this however I do not have any proof. I am sure I can blog about that particular situation in another blog post.
Also i’d like to add regarding disclosure in TV and any industry at interview you should be able to discuss this openly without being made to feel your chucking your career out the window. Because that is how i have felt on a number of occasions. I 100% believe I wouldn’t have got to where I have in the industry without me not disclosing and going with the flow. THIS IS WRONG and should be changed.
Every person within in TV or any other industry who is an employer should be trained around mental health conditions and how it affects people in an unbiased non judgemental way.
At the end of the day its now becoming a common thing with celebs like Kanye, Britney, Stephen Fry and others who have mental health conditions so why not be OPEN ABOUT IT ON THE OTHER SIDE.
We are just as talented and capable as anyone else, we just have a chemical imbalance in our brains that make us feel not as good as we should sometimes. Thats all really and the quicker people in general realise that and accommodate needs wise the world will be a better place for all.
On the other hand, there have been times I have gone into jobs and not felt the best and have decided to disclose my diagnosis and not returned since. This is due to shame and the sigma attached to my illness. The fear of being treated differently from anyone else. The look of uncertainty, and the closed body language says it all really.
The fight for equality is one that I feels right to me. Don’t get me wrong I know we’re not in the 1960’s but we still have a way to go.