Helen Curran, Audiology Relationship manager, tells us about her learning journey

Helen Curran, Audiology Relationship Manager, will celebrate her 10th anniversary with Specsavers this year and through that time, has worked in a number of different departments and roles. Helen tells us about her Specsavers career and the development she has received as part of that…  

“I started with Specsavers as an Optical Assistant in Dun Loaghaire Specsavers during a break from University where I was studying to be a Dispensing Optician and loved it – my colleagues, the pace of the business and the customers. It felt right.

I moved stores a few times, before finishing my instore roles as a General Manager for Brunswick and Holborn Specsavers.

In February 2019, I was given a fantastic opportunity and became a part of the Future Talent Programme (FTP). I am passionate about being the best version of myself and had always wanted to work in all areas of the business. Specsavers, as a multi-category business, is the perfect place to develop my skillset and learn new and better ways of working. And so I jumped at the chance to be a part of the this amazing programme.

I did lots of roles during my time on the FTP, including working as a Retail Trading Consultant on our competitor strategy; in a strategic marketing role to support the launch of Specsavers in Sainsbury’s; and then as Head of Central Operations for Domiciliary and managing a contact centre. And then Covid hit and following the pandemic I joined the Audiology Team as a Regional Relationship Manager.

Throughout my time in Specsavers I’ve had great support from leaders across the business, my direct line managers and colleagues in my team – each and every one of them supported my development.  

Carina Hummel, General Manager – Audiology,  was my first line manager and unleashed the expectations I had of my own capabilities – she gave me exposure and responsibility and allowed me to grow at a fast pace and create a great network in the business.

Alongside line management I had a career lead who pushed me to expand the network I’d created and encouraged me to talk to leaders across the business and ask the questions I needed to expand my knowledge. He pushed me past the normal route of learning, allowing me to create my own story and brand and remove myself from linear thinking.

Also, while in Marketing, mentors ignited and nurtured my passion for marketing  and I received great guidance and support. I made friends for life and having the experience of working in the Guernsey office was fantastic.     I had great support from my Future Talent Programme gang and felt I was given direction and challenged to grow as a leader.     Best of all, I had a unit of people to experience the same journey with. It was a great experience.    All of this has absolutely contributed to my development at Specsavers.

But for me, development isn’t just about learning the role. Something that was really important to me during my development was considering my behaviours and language. Behaviours matter, how you treat people always matters. Your words and actions can have a huge impact and treating people the way they want to be treated has always been important to me.

Specsavers benefits from diversity – across our stores and globally, and that’s a great place to learn from. Alongside this, to aid my development, I also did one-on-one Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) sessions which have completely changed my thought process and two months ago I took my passion for NLP and qualified as an NLP coach.

I am really proud of my career at Specsavers – I’ve had a breadth of roles that have taught me so much. I am passionate about working with partners and managers to create the very best experience for all customers.  

I’m thoroughly enjoying my role in Audiology – and back working for Carina! and I know no matter what role or team I work in next, I always want to make a positive impact for my colleagues, the partners, store teams and the customer.

One last thing – if you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend reading (or listening to!) ‘The Ride of a Lifetime’ by Robert Iger (the CEO of Walt Disney Company) and listening to ‘The High Performance Podcast’.”

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