Job satisfaction can be a highly individualized experience, and what surprises one OD in their job satisfaction may not apply to others. However, here are some potential surprises related to job satisfaction that ODs have encounter in their careers:
Work Life Balance: Some ODs were pleasantly surprised by their ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance in corporate optometry. ODs commented on getting PTO when I want it and not fighting the owner over who gets what weekend . Receiving 401k with match, insurance including malpractice, disability and life insurance and bonus. Many corporate opticals paid their ODs during Covid lockdown.
Impact on Others: ODs were surprised by the positive impact their work with charity effort. Knowing that each pair of glasses sold at Warby Parker, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It makes a difference and can be incredibly rewarding to work with a company that makes an impact and you are part of something like that.
Job Autonomy: ODs may find that they have more autonomy and control over their work than they expected. One OD stated that he loved being his own boss as a sublease owner. This sense of ownership and responsibility can lead to greater job satisfaction. Job satisfaction varies among different brands and locations.
Job dissatisfaction presented in various experiences in corporate optometry. Here are some things ODs expressed dissatisfaction :
Hours of Operation. Working 10-7 and weekends with lack of flexibility can take a toll on you. Burn out in corporate optometry is a very real thing. Mandates to have coverage for CE or vacation make if difficult to want to continue to work in this setting.
Ineffective Communication: Poor communication between the OD and regional manager has impacted many ODs. One OD commented, “How a change in district manager can change SO much about your day. Even though you rarely see/interact with them” ODs may feel left out or disconnected from the larger goals of the organization and vice versa.
Overemphasis on Short Term Results : Major focus in corporate optometry are results. Many times individuals that achieved short-term financial gains, are promoted. These decision can come at an expense. The expense of long-term sustainability and growth and it impacts the OD side as well. One of the biggest disappointment were that many leaders at had authority to drive the business were not as knowledgeable as perceived.
Shallow Networking : Relationships may be established for business purposes, without a genuine interest in the success of the OD business. Relationship are set with expectations for one sided financial gain, yet once lease is terminated or someone goes to a different company the interaction is as the relationship never existed.