For many people, their part-time weekend job often leads to bigger and better things, and that’s exactly what happened for Tring’s store manager Bradley Foster-Edwards.
Here, we find out how 22-year-old Bradley has worked his way up the ranks, what he has planned for the future, and what makes him tick.
How did you get into a career in optics?
‘It all started in September 2013 while I was studying for my A-levels. I got a part-time job at the store on Sundays after my friend who also worked there recommended me. During my final A-levels year, I started doing more hours over the weekend and after school because I enjoyed it so much and wanted to do something meaningful with my spare time.
‘When I left school at the age of 18, Divya and Bindi, the store partners, offered me a full-time job as an optical assistant, and that’s when things really took off’, said Bradley.
You’ve worked your way up the career ladder. Have you learned a lot along the way?
‘After nine months in my full-time role as optical assistant I was promoted to team leader. I loved how much there was to learn; everything from the different optical tests, why they’re necessary, and how they work, to dispensing glasses after the test has taken place.
‘I was always very interested in that side of things as well as helping other people learn. That’s how my role as a manager really came into play. What does a typical day look like for you?
‘Every day is so different! One of my focusses is on making sure staff are happy – after all if they’re not happy, our customers won’t be either. We have a good culture in store whereby hard work is encouraged but we also make sure we’re having fun while we’re at it.’
Does your role solely involve the work you do in store?
‘No, I also work very closely with the Hertfordshire Regional Relationship Manager, Sujith Weerasinghe, to liaise with store managers from other stores in the area. I am also the Hertfordshire regional chairman for managers so my job involves communicating with them, organising seminars and setting up group meetings. It’s the best feeling when a manager from another store asks for my help or advice – I don’t think that’s something you’d get in many of other jobs.’
What do you have planned for the future?
‘Over the next few months I will begin Specsavers Pathway Programme, which is a specialist training scheme for staff who are looking to develop to store partner level. I will have exams to sit but if I pass it would mean I am qualified to own and run my own store, which would be amazing. Whether that’s here in Tring, who knows, but I can’t wait for the next chapter!’