Deciding that you want to work in optometry is the first step in a rewarding and exciting journey. The field is constantly growing and has gone beyond the simple “eye doctor” with everything from contact lenses and vision correction to eye surgery and primary care in both the eye and vision, and offers the opportunity for a career that is as lucrative as it is fulfilling. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow an impressive 18% in the coming years.
However, not every optometry workplace will be one and the same. If you want real success and satisfaction in your career in optometry, you need to start by finding the best employer for your needs.
Here are some of our proven tips to help you find the best workplaces in optometry, and start your career on the right path:
You might be wondering where optometrists actually work. Do they tend to work in larger clinics and hospitals or smaller private practices?
Many optometrists choose to start their own private practice while others choose to work in group settings at optometry companies that may operate one or more offices specifically focused on vision care. However, other openings may be available at general outpatient clinics, hospitals, and academic institutions.
This one may feel obvious, but one of the most important steps to finding the right optometry company and the right people is to find openings for optometry positions.
Using major job search sites can be a challenge. It can be hard to view openings both in your immediate area and outside of it, and irrelevant postings can end up in your feed. Essentially, when a job search site isn’t catered to optometry, the end result is a more complicated application process.
If you would like to see positions that have various locations and requirements but are all relevant to optometry, consider iHireOptometry. An industry-focused approach can help you find the perfect job faster.
It’s a frustrating but familiar experience for job seekers everywhere: it can feel as though there are either too many postings to apply to all of them, or not enough available. On the other hand, you can find the perfect opening only to see that the deadline that is coming up too quickly for you to craft the best possible application.
One way to help you keep track of your job search and give yourself enough time to work on producing high-quality applications is to set up job alerts. iHireOptometry offers customizable job alert and saved search emails that allow you to view the latest openings straight from your inbox. If you feel as though you miss all the best opportunities simply because you do not have enough time to scroll through hundreds of vacancies, this might be the solution for you.
Even if you love your job, you should still be properly compensated for your hard work. The good news is that optometry is generally a very lucrative field, with the 2016 median salary for an optometrist being $106,140. However, simply because this is an industry median does not mean every single job seeker can expect these wages, especially if they are recent graduates. For most optometrists, this is not a problem as there will be lots of opportunities for growth.
Finances can be a taboo topic in the public sphere, but we should not feel uncomfortable speaking up with potential employers. During the interview process, feel free to inquire about salaries, especially if this detail was unclear on the listing. Understand your worth, familiarize yourself with standard salaries for entry-level, mid-career, and highly experienced optometrists, and refuse to undervalue yourself.
If you are a newcomer especially, ask about the opportunities to move up the corporate ladder—if your position will be part-time, ask how long it will be before you can expect to full-time employment, and so on. By knowing the financial details of every opportunity, you will be in a better position to make the right choice for yourself.
During an interview, your potential employer will, of course, be asking questions to see whether or not you are a good fit for the company, but you should also be seeing if the company feels like the right choice for you. If possible, ask if you can tour the office space and meet your potential co-workers.
Not only will this leave a stronger impression in the mind of your interviewer, but it can also help you gauge whether you would feel happy with this team. After all, a positive environment will support your success and happiness at work.
A dream job means nothing if it creates too many complications for yourself and your loved ones. If you are seeking a new job, chances are you have a lot of personal factors that need to be taken into consideration. These factors may include:
Ultimately, it is important to consider your own values, as well as those of your family. If being able to remain in the same area is a priority, keep your job search limited. It will not help you in the long run to spend time and energy on applications and interviews for positions that you do not feel are truly the right fit for your needs.
Searching for a job can be tough, especially when you do not know whether or not the “perfect” employer is truly out there. Although the process has its fair share of disappointments and frustrations, with the right strategy and a positive outlook, you can find a position at one of the best optometry companies in no time.