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    How I found my mentors

    Mentors build confidence, offer advice, and expand career horizons


    After handing it to the team member behind the desk, I remember thinking about turning around and saying, “I’m sure I made a mistake, and I would like my resume back!” But I didn’t say it, and with the awareness of both dread and excitement I held my head up, returned to my car, and drove from the parking lot straight to the local coffee shop.

    New beginning

    I ordered my coffee and sat there for what seemed like hours. I just sat there! My thoughts were a little muddled. I knew it was time for a change, but was it time for a change? After all, this was the next phase in my life; it was time to relax…right? What was I worried about, it was just a resume, and they probably won’t even call…right? I finished my coffee, reclaimed my jumbled thoughts, and drove home.

    Related: How to prevent no-shows in your practice

    I was almost home when I received the call. I almost didn’t answer and let it go to voicemail, but I did answer. The person on the other end said he had reviewed my resume and would love the opportunity to speak to me in person. Now, this was serious! I would have to meet with him—my most dreaded thought was an interview. I can’t possibly have an interview; it had been more than 17 years since my last interview!

    As these thoughts began to whirl around my again poor scattered brain, I calmly scheduled a time to meet with him. I did, however, give myself a few days in between to prepare for my (yikes!) interview.

    On the day of the interview I felt strangely calm, a little apprehensive maybe, but the feeling that I was about to embark on a new journey was beginning to pique my interest. When I arrived, I took some time to look at my surroundings. The office itself looked normal enough. It was a late winter afternoon and beginning to get dark. The office had a warm glow, and it felt homey and comfortable.

    Meeting the doctor for the interview would prove to be just as comfortable. I found that we hit it off, and we talked for more than an hour. I remember thinking, as I walked out into the night, that it was a good interview. I actually smiled as I drove home. My feeling of dread was gone, replaced by a sensation of accomplishment.

    Related: 3 steps to staff empowerment

    After a few weeks, I was offered the job. This was a pretty exciting time for me until I had the ridiculous thought that after more than 20 years of experience, I was about to become the “new girl.”

    Adding something new

    My transition into new employee status was painless. It wasn’t long before I felt like part of this amazing new team. My positivity when interacting with patients impressed our office manager, and within a few months, I was asked to speak to my team at our weekly office meeting to share my ideas.

    Following the meeting, when the doctor asked if I enjoyed speaking to the team, my response was, “Yes, it was fun!” He then asked if I would be interested in speaking at eye conferences.

    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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