What is your advice for someone working their way to become an Optician?
Accept any training someone is willing to give/teach. Those who have been in the industry and have personal experience, will offer some great tips and tricks of the trade. We are all continuously learning and every day we can learn something new!! I love asking other Opticians “what is your trade secret?” So many fellow OptiGeeks have shared some golden nuggets of information and tricks to even simple things like nose pad insertion on custom frames, that is both a time saver and pain relief! Never think you know it all and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Why should anyone get certified/licensed?
If you are planning on this (Optical/Opticianry) being your career – invest in yourself! You will never regret it!
In your experience, what is the best way to prepare for an Opticianry test?
Study, Study, Study!! Get hands on with equipment that you are not used to using everyday – reach out to fellow Opticians and ask for a study buddy! There are online test prep courses offered – highly recommend taking one.
What do you remember as being a prominent part of the test or that you were surprised to see on the test?
Rose K fitting. There were way more questions on this than I was prepared for! I actually had to take the CL portion of the written test 2 times. I missed the first time by 2 points!!
How do you decide if an additional credential should be earned?
Again, invest in yourself! I’m currently looking at taking the ABO and NCLE even though I am already LDO. I would like to have options to move later in my career if desired and ABO/NCLE credentials would open more doors.
What was the point when you decided to attain your license/certification?
Lynn Coffman called me out of the blue and told me I was taking the test whether I wanted to or not! I have severe test anxiety and had been working full time for almost 7 years before I finally tested. Now, my only regret is not doing it sooner!
What do you feel is your strongest skill as an Optician?
Troubleshooting. I love a challenge and helping someone to see better with less frustration is so rewarding!!
What role have you held that best helped you to be the Optician you are today?
Youngest team member – learning from everyone who is more experienced than I am.
What is your advice to someone who lacks sales skills or confidence?
Believe in yourself. If you are not challenging yourself, you are not growing!! Someone once told me, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable!!” I believe in this with all my heart!
If you are no longer an Optician in the traditional sense on a daily basis, how did your Optician skills help you with what you’re doing now?
I am currently a Shamir Insight Account Executive in WA. I love meeting new people and being a resource to solve problems!! If you need help understanding how a lens design affects your patient’s vision? I got you! Don’t understand how to verify a PAL or what those markings mean? I got you! What in the world does PAL mean? I got you!
Get involved in your local Optician’s Association. There are so many perks to being involved in your community, please reach out and ask how you can help!
Responses in this interview provided by Lauren Lessley, LDO