Ellie Middleton on ADHD, food blogs, and tailored branding
Personal branding is Ellie Middleton’s forte. Working for both an agency, and freelance, Ellie creates tailored content to elevate your brand. Not only is Ellie well versed in branding and marketing, she also speaks openly to her audience on the topic of ADHD, highlighting the positives and common misconceptions. We chat to Ellie about myth-busting ADHD stereotypes, her hopes for the future, and what it's like going (extremely) viral on LinkedIn.
Tell us a little bit about your career experience and current role.
I currently work in personal branding, which is actually very new to me but I love it! I work with an agency called Kurogo and also do some freelance work - and my work includes copywriting, meeting with clients and helping them to communicate themselves to their audience. Before this, I was working in e-commerce and social media and I also did some customer service work when I first left school.
What does a typical day to day look like for you?
A typical day for me will include writing social media posts for clients, looking into any relevant news which their audience will be interested in, chatting with clients and content creation. I'm working from home at the minute so I always try to squeeze in a lunchtime walk to make sure I'm getting some fresh air!
Can you tell us a little bit about your food blog?
My food blog is like my baby! I started an Instagram account in February this year - bored, mid-lockdown and trying to hold myself accountable for what I was eating! It started off as just somewhere to document my meals, but as the account has grown it's led to me being invited to lots of local restaurants to try them out and post a review. I've always been a huge foodie, so it's a bit surreal that I get to try all these amazing restaurants for free!
You’re very vocal about ADHD and the positives of it. If you could debunk one myth about ADHD what would it be?
I think it would be the myth of the "naughty little boy" ADHD persona. Until this year, I myself didn't know much about ADHD. I think a lot of us just associate it with a loud, naughty schoolboy kicking up a fuss in class. This stereotype is the reason that so many women and girls go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed for such a long time!
The 9-5 working week is often specifically tailored to suit neurotypical people, have you had to adapt work to find ways of working that suit you? If so, how have you done this?
This is something I definitely have to be wary of - I'm seriously prone to burnout! I'm very lucky to be in a job that allows for flexibility, and I think the lockdowns helped a lot with this. I make sure to take breaks and get out for fresh air, and have to make a conscious effort not to say "yes" to too many projects at once! My freelance career is just beginning so I'm excited to have even more control around my own schedule.
How would you like to see people with ADHD better supported in the workplace?
Understanding, flexibility and communication are key. Having a manager that understands and supports you is seriously underrated. I've always been lucky to have managers that understand if I say that it's just one of those days and I need to take some time out and make the time up later.
Do you have any personal career highlights?
I think I've got to mention the viral post here! I had a post reach 3.4 million views, within my first month on LinkedIn. The number of people that reached out to me was insane, and people I'd never have dreamed would be interested in what I had to say were singing my praises! My inbox was filled with lovely messages, job offers, opportunities to feature on podcasts and I even got to chat with the creator team from LinkedIn!
What are your hopes for the future?
In terms of job roles - I love personal branding and social media, and my favourite part of the job is getting to really know people and understand how their brains work. I'd love to speak to as many people as possible and help them communicate to their audience. I'd really love to do some more advocating around ADHD and neurodiversity in general, and help other women and girls get their diagnosis earlier. Some more travelling would be nice, too!
If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice what would it be?
Don't spend so much time worrying about what others think of you. Yes, you might be a bit different - but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. You are a good person, and if people can't appreciate you then they're not worth your time. Focus on the ones that love you, rather than the ones that don't. You will never be able to please everyone.
You can find Ellie on LinkedIn here!
Words: Grace Goslin