5 reasons to pursue your career vision in Optometry

Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Posting date: 16/12/2021

There’s no doubt that career progression requires planning and constant development. You’ll need to have a sense of direction and prioritize building your skills and experiences to take your next step in your career path.

We spoke with some of our in-store Optical Professionals to learn about their career journeys so far. Here’s what they had to say, which might inspire you to take that step!

Gain experience and knowledge

“I’ve recently celebrated my 25th year with Vision Express, however, when I started I had no formal knowledge or prior training in optics. My first role back then was as an Optical Assistant and I really enjoyed the training, which gave me a strong foundation.

“I love being able to help customers and understand their needs to be able to recommend products and explain how it can help them. I was looking at how I could improve both my skills and knowledge and with a passion to give a really great service. It’s put me in a strong position to progress as an Assistant Store Manager – and in less than a year, I was responsible for running a store of my own as a Store Manager.”

“The training I’ve had has been excellent, from support office-based classroom learning, online modules to one-to-one mentoring with more experienced managers, but ultimately, nothing beats the experience you get in-store every single day. I would say if you have passion, ambition and a real desire to do the best for every customer, there is no barrier to achieving whatever goals you want and to be really successful.”

-Robert, Joint Venture Partner

Create your career path

“I’m currently the Optometrist Store Manager at Bolton. I’ve been with the company for nearly nine years. I started as an Optical Assistant when I was at university and I did my registration in Manchester. It’s been a really good opportunity. As an Optometrist, I’ve done everything I could do working in stores. I’ve been a supervisor and the opportunity came about to become an Optometrist Store Manager, so I thought I’d grab it and give it a go.

“You get so much support from Store Support Centre and from the team with learning what to do. Even now in store, I have a mentor to help me if there are any HR issues. I get a lot of support from my Regional [Manager] as well. If you’re thinking about it, I would definitely give it a go. You get the flexibility and to be your own boss a little bit as you’re in control of your diary.

-Ayra, Optometrist Store Manager

Professional growth

“I’m the Optometrist Store Manager at Glasgow Fort. I started working for Vision Express in 2008 when I was at university. I qualified in 2013 after doing my Optometrist Pre-Registration with them, and last year in 2020, I started doing my Optometrist Store Manager (OSM) training here at Glasgow fort. The training was brilliant. There’s lots of support with OSM. I received specific information about any areas I was unsure to start off with. These were things like Personal Development Reviews (PDR), stock-take – and I received support not just from head office, but other OSMs as well.”

-Megan, Optometrist Store Manager

We always offer great support here at Vision Express and we want to ensure that our Optometrist Store Managers, like Megan, feel they can ask questions and learn from more experienced professionals.

Take on new challenges

“I started out my optics career a few years ago now working as a Saturday boy as an Optical Assistant, whilst studying my A-Levels. I loved it so much that I actually decided to work from there and become a Dispensing Optician. I then decided to turn my hand to becoming an Optometrist. I’ve been an Optom for about 18 months now and I think it’s a fantastic role. I love the daily challenges and the fact that every patient is unique and that we’re able to think of interesting and unique ways to help them with their visual difficulties.”

“It was while working and studying as an Optometrist that I found myself more interested in the business side of things, and the day-to-day running of the store. I was also really interested in the people and culture side of Vision Express, so when the Optometrist Store Manager position was introduced to me, I jumped at the chance.

“The training was fantastic. I had the ability to work with Regional Managers and heads of departments at the Store Support Centre. I was also able to do it alongside other people learning the Optometrist Store Manager training. I really enjoyed the partner training where I got to go into a store. So, if you’re ambitious and are considering a new challenge, then OSM might be the one for you.”

-Richie, Optometrist Store Manager

We hope you enjoyed the stories of our in-store professionals. Above all, a career in an Optical Professional role, offers variety, opportunities and flexibility, and the chance to keep growing your skills.

Our colleagues have a true passion for patient care, they enjoy working as a team to win together and achieve more, inspiring and motivating others by sharing their clinical and commercial experience. Helping our customers to resolve their eyecare needs or concerns and meeting and engaging with a variety of different people. If you’re eager to make an impact, now’s the time to explore this career path.

Move forward in your career

“My journey with Vision Express started ten years ago when I was in my first year of university. I started as an Optical Assistant at the Oxford Street branch and from there, I did my pre reg placement since then I’ve gone on to become a resident Optometrist at three different stores with Vision Express.

“I think the biggest fear with Optoms is once you get recruited, you’ll be stuck in a room where you have to do it and get on with it yourself. What I’ve found in my experience, is that there’s been support in every role, in every step of the way. From induction and professional services to in-store and tech support, there’s always somewhere to go to get that support.”

-Nandini, Optometrist

Are you looking for your next role?

At Vision Express, we have a wide range of roles and opportunities to support you at any stage in your career. We make sure you have everything you need. We prioritize learning, so we’ll equip you with the skills and knowledge to help you grow your career with us. If you’re interested in a career as an Optometrist or Optometrist Store Manager in one of our stores, contact us for more information, and browse through our job vacancies today.