“My job is still so much fun after many years”

22/01 2024 - Stores

“My job is still so much fun after many years”

Guido van Waas never thought he’d be an optician one day. But the apple never falls far from the tree: just like his father, he now wants to become a store owner at Specsavers and is very proud of his role and store. “I never regretted my decision to start working in the Maarssen store.”

New store

In 2016, Guido worked as a gardener, but that job became too challenging physically. When he started looking for a new challenge, he was told a new Specsavers store was about to open in a shopping mall in Maarssen. “I lived in Gouda and didn’t want to work in my home town. Maarssen was close by. I didn’t know anything about optics or hearing, but helping start a new store sounded appealing. And I liked Specsavers’ mission of making better eye care accessible to everyone with its competitive prices. On top of all that, my future wife walked into the store as a customer on my second day of work, so it’s been a life-changing decision to start working at Specsavers.”

Back to school

When Guido started as a sales employee, he thought he’d never become an optician. Back to school? That didn’t seem appealing to him. But that changed. “I immediately liked the world of optics. It has so many different aspects, ranging from fashion to healthcare, making it a fascinating profession. I found myself peering into the eye examination rooms more and more often. After two years, I decided to start studying to become an optician. My girlfriend’s ambition is to become a notary, so it’s great that we’re both studying.”

Guido followed classes at the Deltion College in Zwolle and got extra help from the support office during a weekly training day. He also got to experience how other stores operate: “The last couple of months, I supported the team in Antwerp, where Specsavers used to have two stores. Their systems and working methods differed from those in the Netherlands, so it was very insightful.”

Guido’s next step is doing the development programme to become a store partner. “My father is a retail partner of the Specsavers store in Woerden. He always told me many things about Specsavers, and I sense his pride. I’d love to be a store owner one day myself. In Maarssen, the optical partner will retire within a few years, so I might become his successor. The current retail partner would be up for that, too. There’s always room to grow at Specsavers, so I have endless options.”

Spreading the vibe

Specsavers fits him like a glove. “I started this adventure with an open mind, but I thought I’d feel like a small part of a huge machine. After all, Specsavers is a massive company. But it doesn’t feel like that at all. The vibe is nice and informal. Specsavers cares about its people. Of course, things also depend on your attitude. There are so many courses and seminars to choose from, but you have to do it yourself. I like stepping into a new industry with a clean slate: then you’ll learn and develop the most.” And he’s been spreading the vibe ever since: “When I finished my first year of my optics studies, my stories inspired my dad too. So he decided, at 60 years old, to start studying again too.”

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