It was through a work experience placement when Dimple was 15 that introduced her to Specsavers and triggered her career in optometry.
She took a Saturday job at the same store and studied optometry at university. Working through her degree, securing her pre-registration, and becoming a fully trained optometrist until Partnership piqued her interest and she fancied the challenge.
Pathway is Specsaver’s internal development plan for aspiring partners and prepares you for each stage of becoming a business owner.
I loved the idea of Partnership and becoming a Partner. The beauty of being part of Specsavers is that your career isn’t pre-planned and mapped out. I was having a conversation with a business support colleague when he mentioned they were creating a new role for a Contact Lens Business Manager. This wasn’t somewhere I ever imagined my career could take me, so I took the leap and that’s what I’m doing now and I’m really enjoying it.
When you train for a specific profession and reach that goal, you may think there aren’t any other opportunities out there. That’s your life. With Specsavers, there are other paths to take. Partnership may be one way to explore your business interests, but there are other business roles within Specsavers.
Your future as a clinician is not 100% mapped out there are a variety of opportunities.
I’ve had a high level of support throughout my career with Specsavers. I have been encouraged to do a little bit more than what I thought I was capable of. Yes, I was scared I might get something wrong, but my colleagues were really supportive in the sense of “don’t worry if you get things wrong, we’re going to make mistakes. Just go for it.” that was really reassuring.
As an optometrist, I became a WOPEC assessor, and this led to facilitating sessions at Specsavers Professional Advancement Conferences (PAC). Whether it’s providing face-to-face PAC training sessions or online, it’s really brilliant. I know a lot of friends working for other businesses, or as locums, who don’t get these opportunities.
It’s these little bits that have really kept me going and excited to be part of Specsavers in between testing 9 to 5. It’s a supportive atmosphere and everyone’s really nice. I enjoy coming to work every day, and that enjoyment keeps me here.
Seeing how you can make a slight change and see a big return is really rewarding.
When I was an Optometry Partner, I only knew how 2 stores operated. Now I look after 175 stores, meet lots of partners, and see how everything works across their different stores. I affect their businesses and it’s really rewarding. I enjoy providing that personal touch and meeting their teams.
I’m two years into this role and it’s definitely been a massive learning curve. It’s different from testing eyes and overseeing two stores. I joined at the beginning of the pandemic so missed having an induction, but because of the high level of support, being thrown in at the deep end didn’t really matter. We’ve got a magnificent structure, and everyone is always really willing to help, which has been really nice.
I miss elements of practicing as an optometrist, the biggest part being the patients. They keep you going, they can be so lovely. I may go back into partnership in the future, but I’m really enjoying what I do right now.
The three words which sum up my Specsavers career are successful, unconventional, and constantly evolving!
There are so many areas Specsavers can help your development. Whether that’s funding your further education or WOPEC Max qualifications. Or whether it’s allowing you to supervise pre-reg’s or facilitate training. The opportunities are endless, and I don’t think I’ve heard of any other company that provides the number of opportunities that we do.
I never really thought I’d have the chance to present and facilitate training sessions, let alone become a WOPEC assessor. I just thought I was going to be a 9-5 optometrist. Specsavers really believe in developing their people, looking at their skill sets and boosting their advantage. The conversations I have with my manager are always about where I want to be, not where they think I should be. I am in control of my career, and I love that!