As part of our new ‘love what you do’ blog series we are interviewing autistic adults that love their jobs.
This week we have the fantastic Maxwell, who works as a Marketing Executive.
Maxwell has provided a fantastic insight into the world of marketing and has given us some brilliant advice on finding and searching for jobs.
Thank you Maxwell!
1.Hi Maxwell, whats your job and what do you do on a day to day basis?
“My Job Title is Marketing/Content Executive at the Autism Directory and I have been here for 1 year and a half, having moved from Northern Ireland to Cardiff in September 2018.
A typical day involves checking social media, creating content and visuals using my graphic design skills, video editing skills and taking part in general marketing. I also like to research and come up with content ideas for social media.”
2.What do you love about your job?
“I love working with other people on the autistic spectrum; at the Autism Directory over 70% of staff are autistic. This means I work in an understanding environment with people who also share a passion for helping others through challenges we have ourselves faced.
This can be anything from applying to Personal Independence Payment to employment experiences. Saying that, we also have a good laugh in the office and I have made some very good friends.”
3.Why did you want to start a career in marketing?
“I wanted to start a career in marketing as I enjoy using my creative skills and creating connections with people, to tell stories.
I also have enjoyed using my copywriting skills in the past to tell both my autism story through blogging/online articles and working with other creatives to change people’s perceptions.
I would love to get a marketing or creative job at organisations like Scope or Amnesty International in the future, to help fight for more positive change and change perceptions.”
4.After you made this decision, what did you do?
“After doing a work experience placement at BBC Cymru through Remploy due to my interest in current affairs, one of my first roles in marketing was a Campaigns Assistant at NUS Wales to help encourage young people and students to register to vote for the 2016 Assembly Elections. My interest in politics and current affairs was one of the reasons why I applied for this role.
Though the interview for this role went well and I was able to communicate well, interviews in general, have always been something I have found hard. It takes a little bit of time our me to build up my confidence before an interview and I am often still very nervous, so being rejected form roles can knock my confidence quite a lot.”
5.How do you think being autistic has impacted you in your marketing career?
“I think that there are some negatives of being autistic within marketing. Sometimes people in marketing can have a pre-conception, either intentionally or unintentionally, that I might not be able to do certain things or roles, as I would find communication hard, but this also makes me very determined to succeed and I am able to think differently.
By adopting different ways to communicate, this can actually benefit everyone in an organisation and how we reflect who we are communicating with.”
6.Stereotypically, autistic individuals aren’t commonly associated with careers in the creative industry. How would you challenge this stereotype?
“I would challenge such stereotypes, as I have done through my work with The Future Is ND, by arguing that not only can autistic people be very creative but that we are human too, and like everyone else, not every autistic person is the same.
We can be sociable and work as part of a creative team in the right environment.”
7.What has been your best moment within your career so far?
“One of my best moments in my career so far has been getting an article published in The Huffington Post about Mental Health and Autism.
I have also written articles for City AM and enjoyed working at BBC Cymru, where I got a researcher credit on an episode of the Week In Week Out investigative programme.”
8.After a long day at work, what do you like to do?
“I am very interested in films, particularly ones that have something to say about society, but I also enjoy the odd cheesy or scary horror film! I sometimes write and recently started learning salsa dancing to build my social confidence.”
9.What do you think is the most important thing to consider when finding a job that you love?
“One of the most important lessons I have learnt is that it is easy to put pressure on yourself, but it is important to remember that everyone is different and we all take different paths. I still often find it very hard to compare myself to other people but I overcome this by focusing on the positives of where I work and the impact we make as a team.”
10.What advice would you give to autistic job-seekers who haven’t yet decided what career path to take?
“Don’t put pressure on yourself to find the perfect career choice straight away, it is ok to take time!”
11.What advice would you give to autistic job-seekers in regards to the recruitment process?
“In regards to advice about recruitment processes, I would say that be honest about your autism is the best approach. There will always be employers who have negative pre-conceptions but there also those who are more positive and open-minded.
Remember, your greatest strength is what makes you unique and you should never be ashamed of who you are!”