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    How I found my mentors

    Mentors build confidence, offer advice, and expand career horizons

    I have been fortunate in my professional life to have not one but two mentors who have given me direction and helped expand my optical career into an amazing instrument of communication. I am now able to connect with my peers, and appreciate the opportunity to speak at optical conferences.

    My youngest child was preparing for college, and, just like her three brothers before her, getting ready to “leave the nest,” a process which I knew only too well. I felt totally ready to embark on my life with just the two of us, my husband and myself. With friends telling me it would become my “new normal,” I felt consoled.

    Related: Help your patients out of their optical comfort zone

    My quiet professional life had become a little too quiet. I had worked in a comfortable private practice for many years, and was beginning to become a little complacent. I began to feel restless.

    I thought it would pass; after all, I felt well respected and had earned the trust of my peers as well as that of many patients. But it didn’t pass. Although I went through the motions of my day-to-day activities, I continued to suspect that there was more for me to do.

    Finding an opportunity

    I found myself looking for opportunities but felt limited by my abilities. At the time I thought because I had invested many years to my optical career, I was somehow too far gone to learn anything new. I felt my years of experience would hold me back; I may be incapable of becoming the professional I wanted to be.

    Related: Help! My team is falling apart

    It was at my lowest emotional point when I found an ad in our local newspaper. A practice was looking for an optician; it was close to home and sounded perfect. At first I did not respond, but I began to work on my resume. With as much courage as I could muster, giving my resume one last look, I went to the address from the ad and dropped it off.

    Tami L. Hagemeyer, ABOC, FNAO
    Tami Hagemeyer is the lead optician at Premier Vision Group in Bowling Green, OH. She is responsible for all phases of optometric and ...


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