"I thought my job was just helping people choose stylish glasses, but it turned out to be much more," Thomas reflects.
Rather than leading to a banking career he had initially contemplated, this job unexpectedly set Thomas on a path that, though winding, now directly aligns with his ultimate goal: owning his own Louis Nielsen store.
In Esbjerg, Thomas got the job after a successful trial shift and started training as a sales assistant. While working, he found he was good at sales but also developed a strong interest in the optical side of things. After a year in sales, the store owner offered him a chance to become an optician. This meant more education and a new career path, but it also guaranteed him an internship and a permanent job once he finished the training. Thomas eagerly accepted this opportunity.
"It was great getting started. As an optician, you must be very attentive to what you're doing. This deepened my engagement with my work. For the first time since primary school, I got good grades and enjoyed going to school," says Thomas.
He graduated as an optician in 2022, and his commitment to the job promptly led to his role as the chief optician and daily manager, responsible for overseeing the store owner's second store in Ribe. This role provides a glimpse into the work life that lies ahead. In a year or two, he’ll be ready to take over as owner, and he’s already making plans on how to foster growth and boost the store's local presence in Ribe (Denmark’s oldest city, situated in southwest Jutland).
"The store has enormous potential, and now it's all about tapping into it. Therefore, I'm eagerly anticipating the challenge of running a store entirely on my own," says Thomas.
For Thomas, the optometry career quickly became more than just a job. Today, it’s more of a passion, and he enjoys delving into the pathological aspect of the work to figure out the cause of customers' vision problems.
"Understanding how the eyes work and being able to explain to people what's preventing them from seeing properly is really fascinating," Thomas explains, beaming with enthusiasm.
However, it's not only the technical aspect of the job that motivates Thomas. He also places a high value on the personal part of the work. It’s professionally satisfying for him when he can provide support and guidance to customers, helping them find the perfect solutions.
"In this profession, you can genuinely bring happiness to people. Witnessing the joy people experience when they regain clear vision is incredibly rewarding. It gives you the sense that you are truly making a meaningful difference in people's lives."
Today, he's happy that he took the opportunity to embark on a new career path with Louis Nielsen. He also highlights the sense of belonging to a company with a distinct, unique culture.
"From day one, you feel you can become anything you aspire to be. When you visit Louis Nielsen's main office, you're greeted by all the VIPs, engaging with you as peers. Everyone supports one another, and a genuine sense of community motivates you to persist."