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Made For Each Other: Millennial Doctors and Corporate Optometry

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Let’s face it: there is a lot of talk going around about millennial doctors and corporate optometry.

If you are reading this, likely you are one of them!

Millennials have been defined in all sorts of ways, both in positive and negative lights.

We’ve been called lazy, self-expressive, open-minded, entitled, passionate, economically resilient, and narcissistic.

It depends on who is doing the talking, but the fact remains that we are a collective group of young professionals who know what we want, leading to some flattering and derogatory terminology.

This in turn, plays out in the working world, as looking for a job brings out many of these characteristics.

So what exactly do millennial doctors want in an optometry job?

If I had to wager, I’d guess your ideal job would be defined as such: Monday-Friday, 9-5, ample lunch break, generous salary and bonuses, health benefits, in your desired town, with plenty of vacation time. No weekends, no administrative headaches, no challenging patient demographics. New equipment, easy-to-use EMR and billing, great staff.

Am I wrong?

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: this likely isn’t going to happen, especially in your very first job out of school. And if you did land the perfect job, congratulations – you found the needle in the haystack!

But don’t get disheartened, my children – this isn’t to say that most jobs are undesirable.

In fact, most Optometry jobs for millennial doctors are pretty great in the grand scheme of things. However, you may have to redefine your expectations and lay out your priorities a bit better.

Would you be very happy in a job that was missing only one of the aforementioned attributes?

Absolutely.

Knowing where to look relies on what you are looking for.

So – what are you looking for?

Do you even know?

Seriously, take out a sheet of paper and delineate your Top 5 priorities.

For a millennial optometrist, it could look something like this:

  1. Full-Time Work
  2. Good Salary
  3. Office Location
  4. Health Benefits
  5. Updated Technology

This brings us to the issue of finding the practice modality that suits you best.

The answer is not the same for everyone, and finding a job that encompasses your preferences can take different forms, but a great launch-pad for Millennial doctors is that of Corporate Optometry.

Even considering this Top 5 list, it is quite likely that you can find all 5 of these traits in a highly desirable corporate clinic, and still leave room to fill many of your other ideal preferences.

Corporate Optometry entities typically offer very competitive compensation packages with a salary, bonus structure, health benefits, and more.

Full-time work is easier to find in a corporate setting than potentially a private practice or other modality, and the financial backing of the company often lends to updated and well-maintained instruments.

Consider some of the other perks of Corporate Optometry that appeal to us millennial doctors:

  • Defined policies and procedures – no guesswork in contracts, few administrative headaches
  • National/Regional recognition and brand-name appeal
  • Advertising/Marketing power
  • Buying power – more likely to acquire hot new products and technologies (blue-blocking lenses, ophthalmic equipment, etc.)
  • Digitally focused – professional websites, apps, appointment reminders and more, connecting you to your patients
  • The clinic is already set up for you – you get to focus on patient care, without making business decisions in which you have little experience
  • Popular frame lines
  • “Instant“ gratification for patients – have ophthalmic lenses made at the in-house lab, or buy contact lenses on the spot!
  • An easy way to test the waters of practice management and ownership, without starting cold or buying a practice outright

These perks go a long way in making your Optometry career an enjoyable one.

Corporate Optometry may not be for everyone, but it is an excellent choice for many.

On a bit more altruistic note, it is important to consider your own needs, but don’t forget about the multitude of patients that rely on Corporate Optometrists to provide their eye care every year, and the impact you make on your community.

However, I do have a word of caution to share.

Most Millennials tend to shop around – it is ingrained in us.

In an age of online shopping and review websites, it is easy to hope the next best thing is just around the corner. How can we not, having been raised to evaluate all options, and finally pick the best one based on feedback from others?

The danger here is to not let a great job opportunity slip through your fingers while you are waiting for something better – it looks unprofessional, and grants you unrealistic hope that you will find your unicorn. Resist the urge to “swipe left” on every job opportunity that comes your way, as the perfect job likely isn’t out there. Employers assume you know what you want, and are decisive enough to fight for it.

We are all seeking our match.

Be it love or work, this has not changed over the generations, but our new-age world brings us many new and exciting possibilities.

In the scheme of the Millennial psyche, corporate optometry is a fitting match in many cases. Know what you want in a job, and go for it when you find it.

Try it for yourself – find your match, and get to work!

Works Cited:

Abbot, Lydia. “8 Millennials’ Traits You Should Know About Before You Hire Them.” LinkedIn Talent Blog, 4 Dec. 2013, https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/2013/12/8-millennials-traits-you-should-know-about-before-you-hire-them. Accessed 17 Aug. 2016.

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About Cory Hakanen

Cory Hakanen
Hi, everyone! I'm Cory Hakanen, an Optometrist practicing near San Francisco, CA. I am a born-and-raised Midwesterner pursuing my passions for eye care and business management on the West Coast. I like helping others be their best, either by providing patient care or through career mentorship of students and practicing clinicians. I'm excited to help our readers develop skills to reach their unique goals!

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