Many people reach a point in life when their existing career just doesn’t feel very rewarding. It’s not uncommon for choices made in haste or for dubious reasons during the teenage years to lead to people becoming trapped in lines of work that don’t really suit them; the good news, however, is that these days more and more of them are choosing to do something about it. Changing career part way through life no longer carries the taboo that it used to. Rather, employers see it as showing initiative. Those who show that they have what it takes to acquire the new skills and knowledge needed don’t have to start in junior roles but can move straight into doing something really interesting.
Looking for a new direction?
One of the most common statements people make about their dream jobs is that they’d like to be doing something that helps people. Getting into optics can be a fantastic way to do this – and a practical one, too. It’s a profession that’s very welcoming to new people at any stage in life, and it’s one where crossover skills from other jobs can come in very useful. Those who have experience of public facing roles, have good communication skills, enjoy problem solving, are well organized and are good at managing busy schedules will find that they already have a lot of what is necessary to excel.
Why choose optics?
Optics is a profession that combines human interest with a constant flow of puzzles and challenges that the analytical mind will relish. It’s a profession in which there are always new opportunities to learn. Those who think it’s only about eyes should think again – optometrists, performing routine tests, are often the first people to spot signs of diabetes, kidney and liver diseases. They can save lives.
Becoming an optician
No special qualifications are needed to become an optical assistant, and for many this is the first step in an exciting new career path. Those who wish to start higher up will find that courses in optometry are relatively easy to fit around work. The standard qualification needed to become an optician takes two years, or can be taken part time over four. Upon graduating, it’s also necessary to acquire certification from one of the professional bodies operating in the sector.
Optics students looking to improve their chances of finding good jobs should also hone their IT admin skills, as these are always in demand within the profession, and practicing opticians need to be able to manage files and write reports.
The great thing about Stanton Optical and other top optics companies is that they allow those who work for them a lot of flexibility. Even people starting high up have ample opportunities for progression. They can acquire further qualifications to become dispensing opticians or can specialize and become consultants called in to deal with unusual cases. Whatever they choose, the work is financially and emotionally rewarding. Changing career may be a big step, but it’s worth it.