Starting my career in optometry - Charlotte's story

Posted on September 06, 2018
Author: Lifeatspecsavers

Charlotte joined Specsavers unsure of what she really wanted to pursue in terms of her career.  Our store in Taunton offered her some work experience which has proved to be the link to her new career path, Optometry. She has just received her results and is off to Cardiff to study the degree! Below she tells us a little more about her career journey with Specsavers. 

What was your background before joining Specsavers?
I had just finished my GCSEs and was interested in possibly pursuing a career in optometry but I needed a better idea of what the job entailed before I could be sure. Fortunately I was able to get two days of work experience in my summer holiday in the Taunton branch and from there I started working every Sunday in the Tiverton branch as I began my A Levels which I continued until I started university two years later.

Tell us a bit about your career journey at Specsavers?
Although I only worked one day a week, as I was balancing my job with my A Levels, I have made lots of progress. Clinical had been my predominate role but thanks to the support and training from those around me I progressed onto also being able to do collections and helping customers find suitable frames. As I grew in clinical I also grew more confident in my abilities and my knowledge, for example in recommending contact lenses and hear care.

How has Specsavers supported your development?
By working at Specsavers it has made me even more keen to pursue a career in optometry as by working with those who have gone through university and are at different stages of their careers it has been a real eye-opener as to what being an optometrist is. The encouragement of those around me played an immense part in this as I always felt that someone had my back whether it was supporting me in store with my development and training or out of store with my exams, it’s really made me realise that this is a working environment that I want to be a part of.

What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far?
The progress I’ve made, I started off unsure and I felt very out of my depth as it was my first job but I feel that I really settled in and became more confident in my tasks in clinical but also as a person which helped build rapport with the customers helping them have a better experience.

Describe the Specsavers culture in three words
Supportive, progressive, welcoming

What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers?
Give yourself time to settle in as it can seem a bit daunting at first but Specsavers offers so many opportunities to further yourself in your career, it’s well worth persevering.

Read more stories about people starting their career in optometry here