Aleix initially wanted to be a comedian but eventually studied optometry at university. “I thought a career in optometry would be more lucrative than comedy,” says Aleix with a smile. “Achieving my optometry degree required a lot of dedication. The programme wasn't available in my hometown, so I had to commute for four years, spending two hours each way. During this time, I focused on binocular vision and contact lenses. I finally completed my degree in the summer of 2020 and started working as a salesperson at an optical retailer in Barcelona. The internship at the hospital was the most valuable aspect of my education. It taught me that every eye is distinct, like a puzzle with a unique solution. This is why I’m so passionate about my profession.”
To work as an optometrist in Sweden, obtaining a Swedish optometrist license is a requirement, and to obtain the license, you need to be able to speak Swedish. Aleix, who relocated to Luleå during the pandemic to be with his girlfriend, secured an interview with Specsavers in his new hometown. He seized the opportunity to start as a sales assistant while diligently learning Swedish to meet the requirements.
“At my first meeting with Specsavers, they welcomed me with open arms and said that we never say no to a good optometrist, regardless of the language he or she speaks. And once I started, I was allowed to spend an hour of work time studying Swedish. I think that says a lot about how great it is to work here. Everyone can work 100%, but I wanted to give more because there was a language barrier at the beginning, and I wanted to learn Swedish as quickly as possible so that I could start working as a full-fledged optometrist. And the day I got my Swedish license was one of the best days of my life. Now I've been working as an optometrist for a whole year. I enjoy it very much. I love my job and all my colleagues. It's simply the best job I've ever had.”
What made the big difference for Aleix was the support and assistance he received from both the team and the support office. Each store benefits from an experienced in-store trainer responsible for team training and ongoing coaching throughout their careers.
“As a new optometrist without knowing the language perfectly, I got all the support I needed. I quickly learned to handle different situations from different perspectives, especially since I had a mentor I could always turn to with my questions. We discussed everything related to my new job, what was happening in the store and customer situations. I felt very well taken care of. In Spain, I worked under the supervision of an ophthalmologist, and I always had to perform all the tests, regardless of the customer's symptoms. Here, we talk more with the customers and focus on their needs. We do the same work in less time, which provides a smoother process and less stress.”