“Sales employee? I always assumed that was some kind of host,” Olav admits, “but at Specsavers, that job is a lot more interesting than I thought. As a fifteen-year-old boy, I was supposed to do some kind of social internship, but I ended up at Specsavers. Things were meant to be: my manager liked it, and so did I!”
During his internship, Olav experienced a working week at the store, and he was eager to find out more: “The optical industry is very diverse: you’re able to help people, but there are also many technical aspects. A lot more fun than stocking shelves at the supermarket!” Olav decided to stay; he kept working in Hoofddorp during the weekends as a side job. On those Saturdays, he discovered more aspects of working at Specsavers that pleased him, such as the family feeling: “We work really hard here, but this team is very welcoming and immediately received me with open arms.”
When Olav turned 18, he started working full-time, and everything fell into place. He started dispensing, sharpening glasses and handling orders and repairs. “I gradually learned about this profession. It’s incredibly interesting! As an optician, you deal with technical stuff, but you also deliver healthcare. A unique combination.”
Since 1.5 years, Olav has been the retail manager of the store in Hoofddorp. He enjoys being a source of information and challenges himself to help colleagues that have been at Specsavers for many years with their issues. Every morning, they start the day together: what’s on the agenda, what’s going well and what should be improved? Then, between 10 am and 6 pm, he helps out customers, performs eye examinations and handles complaints. “Picking out a good and nice-looking frame and giving customers the best advice is what I like most about my job, but the variety is the very best. I’m doing so many things; this never gets boring.”
His role, as well as the organisation, suit him well. “Of course, we focus on volume: every commercial company aims to be profitable,” Olav explains, “but there are a lot of other aspects that make me glad and proud to work here. Professionalism is a high priority for Specsavers: quality and healthcare are important elements in our work. And the optometry part makes my job even more interesting.”
His working environment is important to him: “There’s a good vibe; my colleagues make it a fun place to work. There’s a good set of rules at Specsavers, but the atmosphere in the stores is far from strict. Every employee is equal to others, and there’s good interaction with other store teams and the support office. For example, we’re now using an order form that we copied from our colleagues in the store in Woerden. The advantage of such a large company is that you can support others, but you can also rely on others to help you. We all learn from each other.”
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