What’s the best thing about working at Specsavers? For Audiology Partner Robyn Mitchell, who’s progressed from summer job to owning her own business, that’s easy.
“Without a doubt, it’s the pathways that are open to you for your career,” she says. “If you’re not quite sure exactly what you want to focus on, there are so many roads that you can go down, so many parts to the business. At Specsavers, it’s very clear in terms of the directions that your career can take you, and how you can change, refocus, retrain. It’s not just a job, it’s a career.”
This has certainly been the case for Robyn, whose Specsavers journey began when she worked in the call centre at the Glasgow Trongate store over one summer. After moving through various roles, she focused on training, eventually moving to the Sauchiehall Street store in the city as in-store trainer before becoming assistant manager.
But it was always hearing care that fascinated Robyn. She’s prone to ear infections, which can impair her hearing, so she was drawn to the work of Specsavers’ Audiologists right at the start of her career.
‘I’ve gained so much confidence from the different roles I’ve had and the belief that people have had in me’
In 2014, she decided to focus her career on Audiology. With the support of the Partners at the Sauciehall store, Robyn passed the Hearing Care Assistant (HCA) course, promptly followed by the Audiology Hearing Aid Dispenser foundation degree. A qualified clinician, Robyn moved to the Glasgow Fort store to start the next stage of her career as an Audiologist.
“When I look back to when I started at Specsavers, I was very quiet,” Robyn says. “In fact, I was terrified. I was only 15 and from a really small village, so coming into the big city was a bit scary. I wouldn’t even go out to get my lunch – my colleagues had to go out and get me something to eat!
“I’m a completely different person now. I’ve grown up with Specsavers and the support of lots of amazing people here. I’ve gained so much confidence from the different roles I’ve done and the belief that people have had in me.”
‘It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come’
Robyn is now the Audiology Partner at Specsavers Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre. All Specsavers stores are locally owned by Partners, with the independence to run their stores, but with the support of Specsavers behind them. Everything from payroll and HR to marketing and IT is delivered by Specsavers support office teams. Partners receive a salary, plus their share of business profits, and the freedom to build their own business.
“Because all the businesses are individually owned, your career at Specsavers feels more like a personal journey rather than just a series of job openings,” Robyn says.
For Robyn, becoming a Partner was always her ambition – she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mum, who’s a Specsavers Partner too.
‘I’m a business owner, but I’m a clinician first and foremost”
Robyn says: “It’s an amazing feeling to know that I’m responsible for the Audiology business at Glasgow Fort and to see how far I’ve come. We’re focusing on continuing to deliver an amazing service for our current patients, and to be there for new ones too, but I’m also supervising a trainee HCA, so I’m already growing the team and planning for the future. I’m a business owner but I’m still a clinician first and foremost.”
All of Robyn’s experience, training and development have brought her to this point. And at the heart of Robyn’s current role remains the passion to change people’s lives through better hearing.
“It’s a privilege to guide someone through the journey of addressing the problem with their hearing, to give them back their connection to the world around them, to their family and friends.”