Watch Me Bloom: Ellie Middleton
Updated: May 30, 2022
Ellie Middleton is a powerful voice in the Neurodiversity space and a Personal Brand Manager at Great Influence.
With a combined social media following of 60k+, Ellie uses her platform to speak candidly about her own experiences as a woman with late-diagnosed ADHD and Autism, encouraging people to celebrate their differences and offering guidance for employers on how best to support their neurodivergent team members.
The inspiration behind LinkedIn’s ‘I Am Professional’ campaign, Ellie is working hard to break down stereotypes and has been recognised for this work with award nominations such as ‘Stereotype Buster’ at the 2022 Celebrating Neurodiversity Awards and being named as Top 50 Influential Neurodivergent Women 2022.
What have you learnt over your career so far?
Over the past 6 months, I've been diagnosed with ADHD and autism. It's been such a time of change, processing, understanding, and learning so much about myself.
In those 6 months I've also started a new job (which I love), grown an audience of over 65,000 across platforms, started public speaking, and had so many amazing and exciting opportunities (including speaking at the Bloom panel!). And I really don't think there is any coincidence in the fact that both of those things have happened at the same time.
The moment I learned who I really am, started showing up as my real self, learned to love the real me - is the moment that amazing things have started happening for me in my career!
What would you recommend to anyone feeling like they are in a similar boat?
I think it can be super scary to show up as your full self at work - whether that's sharing your hobbies, whether it's a part of yourself that you're scared your employer might not consider "professional" or might judge you over. But I think it's super important to be able to be yourself 100% at work - I'm no longer "Ellie" on a weekend and "Ellie the Personal Brand Manager" during the week - I'm just ELLIE all the time.
I think it's so important to remind yourself that if your employer/team can't accept you for who you REALLY are, then they probably aren't the right one for you! And so, so often - people are so much more accepting than we think - and will appreciate your openness and honesty, and feel able to be open and honest themselves!
Focus on the ones that love you, rather than the ones that don't. You will never please everyone - but if you trust your gut and show up and your true self, you will find the spaces and the people that are meant for you.
What kept you motivated during the last six months of big change?
I'm super lucky to be surrounded by a really supportive team who accept me for the real me - but I think finding my "tribe" online too has really helped!
Whether it's online, in work, or through a network like Bloom, surrounding yourself with like-minded people who you can relate to, and who encourage you to be the real you can honestly make such a huge difference to how validated, accepted and happy you feel!