Saloni's flexible working story as a Resident Optometrist at Vision Express

Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Posting date: 25/01/2024

There are many things to think about when looking for the next step in your career, and one of the biggest considerations could be the flexibility of the role.

Maybe you’re looking for set hours to work around university, hours that enable you to do the school run, a weekend only position, or you could simply prefer a compressed week to continue to have time for the things you love.

Of course, when job searching, you’ll find that the benefits vary by company, each with pros and cons, and they may not be able to offer you exactly what you’re looking for. At Vision Express, part of EssilorLuxottica, we’re proud to work with candidates and our colleagues to find something that works for them. We know that a career isn’t a one size fits all, and what might be right for others, might not be right for you.

We caught up with Vision Express Resident Optometrist, Saloni, in our Epsom store, to hear about her flexible working week.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far at Vision Express?

“I started with Vision Express in 2015, as a Retail Optical Assistant in Ealing, where I worked full time over the summer period, whilst I was a 3rd year Dispensing Optician student.

“I then started working the weekends, so I could study during the week and travel home at weekends and work in store close by.

“I became a key holder very soon after starting in Ealing store, and after graduating, I became the Assistant Store Manager in 2016! I was also completing my Dispensing Optician Pre-Registration.”


“In 2017, I decided to go back to university to study Optometry at Aston University. This meant I had to move, so I moved to Birmingham Bullring Vision Express store, where I worked weekends during university until 2020 - when Covid hit.

“After completing my third-year exams virtually, I started my Optometry Pre-Registration at Brent Cross, under two amazing supervisors. In October 2022, I became a fully qualified Optometrist.

“I decided to stay at Brent Cross and work in other stores around the area, I then had the opportunity to become an Optometrist Store Manager at Vision Express on a four-month secondment, which was a great opportunity.

“I’ve now moved location and Epsom is my closest Vision Express store - I’ve had some great opportunities here.”

"I work over an hour away from home, each way, so to condense my working days and extend my shifts is a huge help for me.”

What does your working week look like now you’re a Resident Optometrist with Vision Express Epsom?

“I work a full-time contract with Vision Express, so that means I work 38.75 hours a week, I spread that out over five days and do 09:00–17:30. After having discussions with my Store Manager, we have decided that Thursdays and Sundays will be my days off, and that will be set. That allows me to spend more time with my family, as I have other commitments outside of work. My partner is a Joint Venture Partner, so this allows us to have the same days off.

“I have catch ups with my Store Manager every two weeks to confirm my rota and discuss if any changes are needed.”

How do you communicate with your manager to ensure your work schedule meets both your personal business needs?

“Every two weeks my manager and I sit down and have a conversation about the following two weeks at work. We talk about the rotas, and what is going on in the business.

“This is really good because if there is any flexibility that I need, I can bring it up, and if my needs don't meet the business needs, then we can have a discussion about what the options are available for me.

“If there’s no availability in my store, my Store Manager will work with the Regional Manager to check other stores availability, to find a store in my region.”

It's great that you get the two days that you need, as well as working your full-time hours, and even if the hours aren’t available in your store an alternative option is found to try and make it work. Do you find this works well? What would you say the positives are for doing this?

“This is great just because I get to work with different teams around my region and meet new people but also from a business point of view reduces the locums that we need.”

It's clear from your career progression at Vision Express that you've been presented with some incredible career opportunities that have allowed you to thrive in your Eyecare Professional Career Have you taken part in other initiatives or projects during your time with us?

“I’ve had some amazing opportunities during my time at Vision Express, one of the most recent ones being part of the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation Mission to Moldova!

At Vision Express, we take pride in supporting the career progression of our colleagues. We believe in providing flexibility to our employees, whether it’s to work around their university, personal life, or simply to add variety to their routine. One of our core values is to support our colleagues and help them grow with us, so they can See More and Be More. Saloni’s experience is a testament to this belief.

We value open communication with our colleagues and encourage them to speak with their line manager on how we can help them to See More and Be More. By providing a supportive and flexible work environment, we believe that our colleagues can achieve their career goals and thrive in their professional and personal lives. 

Browse all our vacancies here or submit your details via our flexible working quick apply where our team will reach out to you, to chat through what you’re looking for, to find you the perfect role.