Specsavers in Wigston is raising awareness of the rewarding career path that optics can offer, as their new store manager undertakes a dispensing optician qualification, having risen through the ranks from optical assistant.
Hope Gowdridge, 22, joined the store as an optical assistant in 2014, carrying out pre-test processes and running the front desk, before undertaking training to dispense glasses. She completed her Cert 3 qualification two years ago, and last year added her Cert 4 to this.
When the opportunity arose to apply for the newly created manager’s position in time for the new store to open in Oadby, having already been promoted to supervisor, she jumped at the chance. Last month, with the support of Specsavers, Hope stepped up to the next stage in her career and began her training to become a dispensing optician.
Hope said: ‘I love working for Specsavers, the family-run feeling makes it a great working environment. Everyone cares for each other and looks after you – it’s a very close-knit team and the support I receive while training is amazing.
‘I’ve loved my journey so far and it has helped me forge a career. When I left school, I worked in retail for a couple of years. When I moved to Specsavers, the difference was immediate. Support, training and prospects for a career were clear and varied.’
Store director, Kay Chotai, said: ‘Hope has been amazing; a real star. Her customer service skills are exemplary, and she always goes the extra mile. It’s great to see her efforts rewarded, not just by this new opportunity, but when customers come back to the store with a card or a box of chocolates to say thank you – it makes a real difference, and it’s our staff who make it possible.
‘We’re delighted that Hope has begun her dispensing optician course as the next step in her career with us. I know she wants to own her own store one day and I have no doubt that she will achieve this too.’
Specsavers has a fantastic and varied training support package available to its staff, and Hope’s story is just one of many such success stories.