At the age of 16, Hesham was working on a Saturday for a high street optical retailer – something he enjoyed so much that he studied to be an optometrist. He completed his pre-reg for the same optical chain.
Now qualified for 9 years, he worked initially in a store in Southampton before spending a year as a resident optometrist. He changed role to work for another well-known chain, followed by an optometrist role in an independent family-run practice.
When an opportunity to join a small group of independent opticians in Leicestershire arose, Hesham made the move and became commercial manager as well as working as an optometrist.
Hesham says, “I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of the clinical and commercial sides of the business. However, I took a bit of a back step when our baby was born to concentrate more on family life.”
After 4 years, he decided that it was time for a career change and became a mobile optician for a national optical company for a year. “Unfortunately, I didn’t find working between 4 and 5 practices very satisfying, and the organisation was so big that I felt it that it wasn’t the right place for me long-term.”
The move to Optical Express followed, and Hesham’s been with the business for just over a month now. “I’d never considered Optical Express previously, but in the months prior to joining I’d seen more and more on Linkedin and in industry publications about the direction in which the company was headed. It looked to be a very positive and proactive business, so when the opportunity to become part of it came up I was pretty receptive to the idea.”
Was the refractive surgery element to the business a key part of Hesham’s decision? “That definitely sets it apart from other optical businesses,” he nods. “As an optometrist, it means I can keep on learning. It’s one of the main reasons I joined.”
In his first few weeks at Optical Express, Hesham’s induction has seen him spend time learning about the operation of the optical division of the business. “I’ve been getting used to how the optical side of company operates,” he says, “and now I’ve just been introduced to the refractive surgery element too. I’ll become a Senior Refractive Optometrist, conducting suitability for surgery consultations and post-operative appointments. I have to think a bit deeper now than I did when I was working on the High Street!”
Hesham’s been delighted with the clinical support and access to second opinions that he has at Optical Express. “It’s comforting to have these, and it’s amazing to discover how much you do actually already know but have never had to put into practice until now.”
He’s clear that gaining more clinical experience is important to him. “I hadn’t really considered Independent Prescribing in the past, but I’m looking forward to gaining this qualification in the future.”
Hesham works between the Derby, Lincoln and Nottingham clinics at Optical Express and feels that the role will help him find the career satisfaction that he’s been looking for. “There are opportunities here to grow and to be rewarded for my own performance, rather than that of the practice as a whole. I feel I’m going to get a lot more out of my career here.”
If you are interested in joining Optical Express and gaining access to our industry leading training, then contact our Recruitment team who’ll be happy to let you know what opportunities we have across the UK and what other development opportunities we can offer you. You can contact us at email@example.com or 01236 795146.