Leon's journey from an Optical Assistant to a Regional Trainer

Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Posting date: 06/07/2022

Would you ever have thought that an Optical Assistant job could lead to a career in learning and development (L&D)? Leon didn’t, but that’s exactly the direction his career went in.

Like many others, Leon Moore lost his job due to Covid and ended up on a different track. He picked up three jobs - a Morrisons online picker, NHS track and trace operator, and delivery driver - and was working long days. So Leon wanted to find a full-time career where he could devote his time to developing his skills. And that’s when he came to Vision Express.

We wanted to know more about Leon’s career at Vision Express and why he’d recommend it as a place to work to other Optical Assistants. One of the first things he said was, “If you have the drive to develop, this is the place to be.”

Tell us about your career journey at Vision Express?

“I joined the company in December 2020, starting as an Optical Assistant, and immediately put a lot of time into my learning. So after a couple of months, I was the one training new starters from my own store and stores nearby.

I was constantly looking for more opportunities to learn, and my manager at the time picked up on my eagerness to progress. They helped me understand some of the processes you need to know to become a Store Manager.

At the beginning of 2022, I applied for the role of Regional Trainer and quickly progressed through the interview stages. By April, I’d moved on from the store and started my new challenge. There’s so much more to learn, so it feels like I’ve started my job all over again.”

What was your favourite thing about being an Optical Assistant?

“My favourite thing about being an Optical Assistant was the genuine sense of joy I got when someone put on their brand new glasses and just looked around, stunned at how clear everything was. It was a pleasure to contribute to the company mission - to create joy in vision.”

Why did you move into a Regional Trainer role?

“It was the feeling I got watching team members progress and knowing my training had helped them. I thought, if I can do this on a grander scale, I can really make a difference. Not just to the colleagues who I train, but the customers they serve. I can create joy in vision for those who create joy in vision.”

Can you tell us about the Visionary team?

“Midway through 2021, I took on the additional role of Visionary. The Visionary team is a group of colleagues put together to gather the thoughts and feelings of our colleagues and then communicate them to the executive team. Essentially, we acted as a bridge. We’ve shared a lot of ideas with the executive team, all of which have been listened to.”

Why should an Optical Assistant bring their career to Vision Express?

“This is a company that is willing to help you develop as far as you want to go. There are so many routes to go down, and we have such an amazing team who are willing and able to get the best out of everyone. If you are passionate about optics or customer service, this is the place to be.

Vision Express will invest in its people. When I was hired, I had zero optics knowledge and very little experience in a role of this type. And again, when I applied for the Regional Trainer role, I had no experience in a learning and development setting, but my manager saw something in me and took a chance.”

What has been your proudest moment at Vision Express so far?

“It’s difficult to pinpoint just one moment! I think my proudest moment is seeing how far I have come in such a short space of time. If I really had to narrow it down to a specific day, it would be between these two:

● The day I was invited to a company conference and had the chance to meet the executive team, regional managers and store managers from across the country.

● The day I found out I had successfully made it through the three-stage interview process and had earnt my title of Regional Trainer.”

Build an optical career with Vision Express

At Vision Express, we believe in creating limitless horizons for all our colleagues. We’ll empower you to curate your own career path, whether that's working in store as a Retail Assistant or Qualified Eye Care Professional, or out in the field as a Regional Manager.

Take a look at our Optical Assistant jobs and build a career with us. Or, you can send your CV , and you’ll hear from a member of our team.