Ep14: Are Creative and Tech Workers the New ‘Blue Collar?’ | with Maxim Jago


Up until maybe the last three to five years, when hearing the term “Blue Collar” one would immediately picture a coal miner, a steel worker, people working in factories, or other types of physically demanding manual labor jobs. But as our society has progressed so rapidly due to advances in technology, a common question that has begun to arise is, “Are tech workers becoming the new ‘Blue Collar’?”

While working in a coal mine or a steel factory might sound imminently more dangerous than sitting behind a computer, it actually isn’t.

“The typical seated office worker has more musculoskeletal injuries than any other industry sector worker, including construction, metal industry, and transportation workers. Today, the World Health Organization ranks physical inactivity—sitting too much—as the fourth biggest preventable killer globally, causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths annually. In just the last 20 years, the simple act of sitting has leapfrogged to the top of the health killer charts globally.”1

I dive deep into this concept of tech workers and creatives like us who spend endless hours chained to a computer becoming the next blue collar with my guest today, the brilliant Maxim Jago, an award-winning filmmaker, editor, teacher, and futurist. This episode was inspired by an article in Wired Magazine titled, “The Next Big Blue Collar Job Is Coding.”

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How having a sedentary job can be more unhealthy than working in a mine
  • The game-ification of personal development
  • Ways the mind influences physical healing
  • The relationship between cognitive function and activity
  • How expressive creativity affects physical and mental health
  • The implications of a highly-automated future
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
  • How important is your emotional response to your work?
  • Creation as necessity rather than commodity
  • Changing your perspective of monotonous work from boring to meditative
  • What will labor look like in twenty-five years?
  • The importance of pursuing work that invigorates you

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Programming is the New Blue Collar Job

1Deskbound: Standing Up in a Sitting World

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

This episode is made possible by the HumanCharger,  a revolutionary new light therapy device made specifically for people who spend long days in the dark and don’t get enough sunlight…i.e. You and me. Simply put in the earbuds for 12 minutes a day to receive your daily recommended dosage of UV-free white light. Doing so can drastically increase your energy, improve your mood, and increase mental alertness and focus.This device has literally changed my life and I use it every morning without fail. Use the code ‘OPTIMIZE’ to get 20% off your order.

Guest Bio:

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Maxim Jago speaks on wide-ranging subjects exploring lessons learns from his work as a filmmaker, futurist, author, and media technology expert.

He proposes an optimistic-realist attitude to future technologies and opportunities for growth in society, and in ourselves. As an award winning filmmaker and screenwriter, Maxim is currently engaged in three feature film projects that include true VR storytelling elements.

As an Author, Maxim writes the official Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book – the standard text used by film schools all around the world.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

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).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold is an award-winning film & television editor (Burn Notice, Empire, Shooter, Glee), member of the American Cinema Editors, a documentary director (GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story), and creator of the Optimize Yourself program (formerly ‘Fitness In Post’). He helps ambitious creative professionals like you learn how to more efficiently manage your time, energy, and attention so you can maximize your creative focus and minimize procrastination, depression, and burnout. After all, what’s the point of killing yourself for the sake of your career if you don’t have energy to spare for the most important people in your life?