We spoke with Patrick, an Optometrist based in both our Meadowhall and Barnsley clinics, to discuss his career journey with Optical Express.
Patrick has been a practicing optometrist for around 2 and a half years but when starting Optical Express 15 years ago as an Optical Assistant in Meadowhall, he could never have imagined the amazing journey his career would take. Keen to progress his profession, Patrick went from his initial role as Optical Assistant quickly onto the managerial track fully supported by Optical Express. His journey saw him develop in roles across multiple clinics before becoming Assistant Manager of the Barnsley clinic and then our surgery centre in Meadowhall, Sheffield. From there he started doing a dispensing opticians course sponsored by Optical Express before progressing even further up the managerial ladder, eventually ending up back at the Meadowhall clinic in Sheffield as the General Manager.
From there, Patrick progressed on to Regional Manager but with the development opportunities available at Optical Express his interests grew in the clinical side of the industry and he decided to advance his studies in the field of optometry. Patrick’s experience with Optical Express has been “absolutely incredible” especially when he was able to work and attend university with full support from the business and given everything he needed to progress without having any extra worries, commenting “They paid for me to be there one day a week, making sure I got my time off, paid for all my accommodation and my travel for my studying”,
After being with Optical Express for so many years, Patrick explained how grateful he was to have built up such a fantastic support network, saying “Once you’ve been here for quite a long time you do build up a network and I’ve definitely felt the support from my colleagues”. Talking about the relationships he has made throughout the country with fellow optometrists and colleagues he described them as, “Really nice people, really easy to talk to and very knowledgeable that have been here a long time”. This gives him the peace of mind that if he ever does need any help or a second opinion on something, he is able to just pick up the phone and ask for help describing it as “Almost like a family”.
When asked what he enjoyed most about his role as an optometrist, Patrick straight away responded “The challenge. I’m somebody who needs to feel challenged, it keeps me motivated”. Feeling like he has thrived in his career due to his can-do attitude and his willingness to accept and meet any new task head on, Patrick explained that he feels like he has excelled in his career with Optical Express because “The company has always presented me with something challenging to work towards”. Patrick explained that within Optical Express there is always further progression thanks to constant milestones to reach and the continual learning and development offered saying “With this company it is something that comes naturally, it’s something that keeps me here”.
Patrick described the patient journey at Optical Express as much more “intimate” than other providers, as it is not just a case of selling them a pair of glasses but actually getting to know the patient, assessing them for surgery, completing their aftercare and actually seeing the life-changing results they experience. From a patient perspective Patrick feels that this type of journey is “far more memorable” thanks to the life-changing service they have received from their Optical Express optometrist. When it comes to the importance of a work-life balance, Patrick is more than happy with how Optical Express has accommodated his needs. Stressing his wishes to start a family in the near future and be able to balance this with work commitments, he feels it is important to be part of an organisation that offers this flexibility.