I have been a dispensing optician nearly 13 years.
I started my optics career as a receptionist. Straight away I found optics really interesting. My interest grew and so did my passion so I asked to the DO course in Bradford on day release course. I was really lucky as my employer at the time said yes and from that moment I didn’t look back.
The best part of being a dispensing optician is helping people gain better sight and improving the quality of their lives. I am a people person and love the fact I see a range of ages and meet interesting people. As dispensing optician, you have many chances to pass on your knowledge to optical assistants and help them to develop into dispensing opticians themselves.
For the last 4 years I have worked as a practice manager with my current position being Specsavers Coulby Newham practice. I have been there 9 months which has been with it challenges but some many rewards. I have a great team who work within a busy practice. My main roles are ensuring the shop floor runs smoothly and we provide the best customer service. I also train and guide the team which has a wide range of experience.
At the moment I am starting my ILM 3 in management and leadership I knew my direction as a DO was certainly the management route. For me to ensure that I can do my day job and study is planning and dedication. I tend to study on Sundays and allocate time on my day off. I am also fortunate I have supportive partner. Doing the DO course has helped to start this mind set up for me. Still working and studying you have to be prepared and ensure you find the time for everything that needs to be done.
My advice to anybody who is thinking about training as dispensing optician is just do it. It opens so many doors and there is so many directions you can take. From management, contact lens optician, low vision to optometry. You don’t have to be really academic I have no a levels but that never stopped me gaining a rewarding and flexible career that has changed my life.