From store role to support office - Amelia's career journey with Specsavers

Posted on August 07, 2018
Author: Sam Reed

What was your background before joining Specsavers?
Before joining Specsavers I had no optical experience. I left School and joined the Army, were I completed 6 months basic training in Winchester. After leaving the Army I studied Health and Social Care at Wigan and Leigh college and went on to work within the care industry looking after the
elderly in their homes and then working within schools and nurseries.

In a nutshell, what do you do?
My role consists of delivering a range of different classroom days to staff members from store, this could be anything from frame perfection which has been endorsed by London School of Styling and really helps store colleagues change the way they frame style by taking into account different face shapes and colouring of customers to Audiology Essentials which helps store colleagues understand hearing loss and what Specsavers has to offer. Another huge part of my role is supporting new businesses that are opening. I will be putting bespoke training plans together for partners to deliver the training that they feel their new team will need depending on how their team will look and delivering this over a number of days.

What does your typical day look like?
As I am still in my induction my day consists of observing or co-delivering courses that are running, this could be anywhere in the country so I am seeing lots of new places outside of sunny Wigan. In preparation for the new business training I will also spend time consulting with the new store partners and developing training plans for them so that I can tailor it to their needs.

What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far?
The thing that makes me most proud is all the opportunities that I have been given at Specsavers, I was lucky enough to complete an apprenticeship and gain a qualification. My store partners always believed in me and offered me a role as the In-Store Trainer, it made me proud of myself when I was able to do this as it just showed that even though I hadn't been in optics for very long they believed that I could do it and it helped me develop into the role I am in now. Another thing that I am very proud of is being awarded a Customer First Award, I was able to travel over to Guernsey where I was presented an award by Dame Mary and John Perkins which was an amazing experience.

How have you developed?
I have developed by having an amazing support network around me! After finishing my apprenticeship my store partners continued to develop me by putting me through the In-Store trainer pathway, which consists of 3 levels - bronze, silver and gold and gave me the tools to adapt my training delivery to different learning styles. Part of being an in-store trainer enabled me to attend IST meetings where I could chat to other in-store trainers and get ideas but also we were informed of all the new things within the business. This definitely helped me when applying for the role as a regional trainer.

What do you love about your job? What is a challenge?
I love the people that I work with, Specsavers has a real talent in finding the best people! The other thing I really love about my role is seeing people progress, I look at the new apprentices coming through and know that they have an excellent career ahead of them with Specsavers and I love hearing stories about different people within stores and what they are up to. A challenge for me at the minute is getting used to all the systems we use, I can sometimes be known as a bit of a technophobe but I am getting better!

Describe the Specsavers culture in three words
One Big Family!

What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers?
Joining Specsavers was one of the best decisions I ever made. I completed an employee spotlight just under 1 year ago after my apprenticeship and one of the things I said was 'Specsavers are really keen on people's development and you can work your way up after completing your apprenticeship'. For myself going from apprentice to regional trainer in 2 and a half years is a huge achievement and something I am very proud of but it also highlights Specsavers as a company and how good they are to
work for.