Meet Lisa Marshall, Ophthalmic Director in Specsavers Arbroath
What was your background before joining Specsavers?
I never had a doubt in my mind that I wanted to have a career where I could make a difference. My love of Science and academia, my passion and interest in Healthcare and my competitive nature and drive lead me to a career in Optometry. As a High School student, I undertook work experience in an independent opticians which led me to be offered a job as an Optical Assistant. My path into optics was cemented. As an Optical Assistant, I learned the basic fundamental skills relevant to becoming an Optometrist.
I was then accepted into Glasgow Caledonian University to study Optometry. During my second year at university, I sought out the best training I could find from a company I felt could offer me the best support in my education and, ultimately, my career. For my graduate pre-reg year, I joined the fantastic training program Specsavers have on offer.
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I am an Optometrist and I test people’s eyesight. I aim to improve their quality of vision and help to diagnose ocular conditions.
What does your typical day look like?
All of my working days are clinic-based. I start work at 9am and finish at 5:30pm and I have a full clinic of patients to see. I am also a pre-registration supervisor, which means I have a student Optometrist testing next door to me and I have their clinic and patients to overlook as well as my own. In-between tests and on my lunch break, I catch up with my business partner to discuss the running of the practice and any issues which may or may not arise. It’s a busy day every day!
What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far?
Being able to make a difference to the lives of both my patients and my staff. For my patients, in particular, I’m proud of being able to help them see better, as well as the excellent customer service we provide along the way in implementing that. For my staff, I’m proud of the training and support we offer to help them excel in their chosen career.
How have you developed?
Joining Specsavers was the best decision I could have made. I was supported and encouraged to develop into the best Optometrist I could be.
Upon qualifying in 2013, I sat down with my then Director to make a 5-year plan. I had a lot of goals I wanted to achieve! I furthered my clinical education and undertook Independent Prescribing training. It was after this that my Directors offered me the opportunity to take leads on business projects to ultimately enhance the store. It was these projects and the exposure to business development that solidified my desire to push myself forward to become a Director. In Summer 2016, I joined my Director’s other Specsavers store to become a Principal Optometrist. This was a very fast but very good learning curve where I saw myself grow tremendously. I am a career-driven, highly-motivated individual who strives for excellence in everything I set my mind to.
In January 2017, I became a Director in that store and partnered with the Director who had set me my 5-year professional development plan in 2013! All of this development happened in just 3 and a half years!
What do you love about your job? What is a challenge?
Everything. I love that I can progress. Whatever you want to do with your career, wherever you want to go with it, Specsavers will listen and your Directors will do whatever they can to get you there. You have busy days and you have quiet days but you’re never bored; there’s always something new going on. It can be challenging some days but who doesn’t love a challenge?
Describe the Scottish Specsavers culture in three words
Providing passionate eyecare/hearcare.
What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers?
Do it. It’s the best training ground you’ll have and the support is unimaginable.