“I feel completely at home here”

01/04 2024 - Stores

“I feel completely at home here”

Ester Eggengoor (44) is a hearing care specialist at Specsavers in Hardenberg. After years of working in the insurance business, she started looking for a new job and saw an opening in this – at the time – new store. Since then, she’s developed professionally and switched from optics to hearing care. She’s never regretted her decision to start working at Specsavers: “I liked it immediately; this company fits me like a glove.”

“Specsavers was new in this town, and I didn’t know a thing about the company or optics. But I thought it would be interesting and I was right. When I was visiting the private optician in my home town, I always assumed that this profession requires a bachelor’s degree. It was only when I started working here that I found out there are many opportunities for me as well.”


Ester knows what it’s like to have poor eyesight. In high school, she took an eye test just for fun and proved to have a -6, which no one had ever noticed. She’s always been a quiet kid, sitting in front and paying attention in class, so school was never a problem. Eventually, she needed -11. When she started wearing glasses, she discovered a whole new world. “I suddenly saw details in the grass, in walls and many more colours…and I realised how having poor sight impacts your life. You always have to adapt in a certain way to keep up with others. Because of this personal experience, I can totally empathise with Specsavers’ customers.”

Ester looked forward to starting a new store with a team. “I was excited but actually didn’t know what I was getting into. None of us had optical experience. While the building was being renovated, my colleagues and I were trained. I found out what kind of company Specsavers is: there is no fuss here. We do what we have to do, and in the meantime, we have a great time together. Specsavers is a large but very accessible organisation. It feels like a family. The ‘green blood’ really started pumping through my veins. Now, Specsavers is an even larger company than when I started, but I still have my network from the early days, and it is great to be able to lean on so many people.”

Green grass

To increase her chances of becoming a store owner, Ester started her optician training in 2018. “I always took every chance I got to develop myself. In Hardenberg, the optical partner left our store, which wasn’t easy at the time. When the retail partner took over, I started wondering if the grass would be greener on the other side. In 2019, I accepted an offer from another company, but it didn’t suit me at all. I only worked there for a short period but learned a lot. Now, I know for sure that I’m in the right place.”

When Ester found out that Specsavers was recruiting hearing care specialists, she went back for an interview. She was now an optician and had also been trained in hearing care, so the time was right for a new chapter. Transitioning from eyecare to hearing care is the icing on the cake: “This job is so rewarding. As a hearing expert, you literally turn the switch to make everything better for a customer. You form a bond, and you can see the smile on their face when their hearing improves. To be able to contribute to someone’s well-being is what I love about my job.”

She also enjoys the technical part of the profession. “People seem to think that hearing care is dull or boring, which is actually strange. I am still amazed about all the technical functionalities that these little machines demonstrate every day.”

A lot of attention

Now she’s back where she started, Ester enjoys her working environment even more: “We have a steady and great team. Our hearing care partner left the store because of health issues, so it’s now up to the assistant hearing care specialist and me. We can now do a lot – which fills me with energy. Our schedule is filled to the brim: how much more proof would we need to know that our services are needed?”

The programme to become a store partner is the next step in her career. “Because I have been here from day one, this store feels like mine already. Now that I’ve finished my education in hearing, I’m stepping onto the road towards running my own store.”

She’s very happy with Specsavers as an employer, especially after working in another company. “This is a wonderful company with great opportunities to develop yourself. Anything is possible. And you’re really taken care of as an employee. It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in. You’re always being seen and heard, and others take you seriously. Working here contributes to my own well-being.”

Want to find out more about Specsavers? Read more about hearing care or the Specsavers partnership.

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