Fear of the unknown

dan 26/07/2016 0 comments

Do you think fears might be holding back your career?

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies.

I know there have been times in my life when I have been, when the fear of the unknown has held me back. When I have made up illogical arguments in my head. Arguments not based on reality, but on what my stupid brain can think up.

This is especially true when it comes to progressing in our careers.

We could be relatively comfortable in our current position, pretty happy.

But wondering about that move to a new company…
How do you know you will like your new job, the patients, the people you work with?

You don’t.
Chances are you will. Chances are you will make some great new friends and have lovely patients/ customers and a great team. Not to mention developing your career and be earning more money.

Think of a time when you really developed personally or professionally, chances are you had to push yourself, you had to move out of your comfort zone, there may have been doubt.

Will I pass this exam?

But you did it, by overcoming your fears, your life reached new levels of success. You passed the exam, you took the next step in your career.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Take a shot, make the move, conquer your fear of the unknown and your life will be all the richer for it.

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WE LOVE Optometry. North East focus.

dan 29/06/2016 0 comments

WE LOVE Optometry. The North East.

Optometry is changing.

Our clients are changing.

Salary is changing.

Now is the time for you to make a change.

BlackSquare Recruitment, Optical and Audiology specialists, are focusing on the North East of England this week. With loads of new and exciting vacancies, up to £65k-£70k DoE OTE FTE, now really is the time to consider your options!

Including a Clinical Director / Joint Venture Partner opportunity in Gateshead Newcastle, as well as normal clinically orientated resident roles throughout Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

Flexibility is key with these positions. With the option to consider flexibility on weekends, days and times off and longer/shorter days, better work life balance is something you can definitely achieve with my clients in the North East.

If you still need convincing BlackSquare are the UK’s number one Optical Supplier of staff, give us a call. Let our consultants do the hard work and let us prove to you we can improve on nearly everyone’s situation.

We are BlackSquare. We build amazing teams.

We are number one. 

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Ever Considered Domiciliary?

dan 01/06/2016 1 comment

More and more Optometrists I speak to are considering Domiciliary as an option, but for those of you who haven’t researched this sector of the industry before, what does it actually involve? Well, be prepared to have all your questions answered and find out why you should consider domiciliary for your next career move.

Some of the reasons domiciliary is becoming so popular is because of the flexibility it gives to the Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians and Support Staff who come to work there. It has given some of our candidates the time to spend with their children at the weekend, as no weekend working is EVER required. Moreover, with the option now to work more days in the winter and less in the summer (so you can enjoy the lack of good weather we get!) and the option to chose one’s day off during the week, domiciliary clients are getting more and more ahead of the pack regarding flexible options for GOC registered professionals.

The vast majority of Optometrist we speak to also want to spend more time with their patients and is precisely something domiciliary can offer to Optometrists. Within a domiciliary environment, testing times are longer and thus you get to spend more time looking after the patients eye health accordingly. In a normal day you would see roughly 8 patients a day and because most of the patients you will be seeing will have past eye health problems (past cataract extraction, AMD etc.), it’s typical that most patients will require glasses – ultimately meaning you improve on the patient’s vision and day to day life!

Some of the more main reasons that more and more Optometrists are considering a domiciliary position can be found below:

  • Variation of your working day  – it’s rare to have two days that are the same
  • Being ‘out and about’ – being out of the testing room is something that really appeals to a lot Optometrists we speak too. Many Optometrists who work in domiciliary environment see towns and villages they would otherwise never of visited and get to be out in the fresh air – rather than being stuck in dark, dull and cramped testing room!
  •  Your day is fully planned – with a dedicated team planning your day for you, from location to the patient you’re seeing, all you need to do is navigate there!
  • Flexibility – all domiciliary positions include absolutely no weekends! Something that is rare to find in the optical industry. Also, as discussed above, the ability to work full time or part time, and chose your day off in week is imperative to many
  • Low Vision – many patients will have reduced and low vision. Optometrists working in a practice environment often have limited exposure to low vision, but find this type of work rewarding and varied

As you can see from the above reasons, choosing a career in domiciliary is a route that requires a vast amount of learning and it’s normally a steep learning curve for most Optometrists. However, the benefits and variation that can be obtained within a domiciliary environment are second to none!

If you are considering a position within domiciliary, or just want to have some more information regarding your career, please call the team on 0208 1234 609. Please ask for Tom Peppiatt, our Principal Consultant who will be able to guide you through the process.

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Making tough career decisions

dan 01/06/2016 0 comments


I think it’s fair to say we have all experienced having to make a tricky decision regarding work. Be that an internal move or promotion within your current company, or expanding your career into a new organisation. Making these decisions is something that certainly should not be taken lightly, however that decision should be made as easy as possible to reach your conclusion and course of action.

As a recruitment professional, I have to make tough choices every day. Although, I sometimes forget that my candidates also have to make multiple choices throughout the recruitment process. I’ve spent the past few years trying to understand how my candidates make decisions and have come across multiple ways and ‘rules’ that will make those strenuous decisions less laborious, and more importantly help you come to an answer more immediately!

Ask questions

Make sure you have all the available and necessary information you need to reach your conclusion. This is one of the most imperative factors in helping you think, decide and outline why a move is right or wrong for you. If you are working with an agency make sure your consultant gives you ALL the information you need to make your decision. Be that a job spec, holiday and sick pay information or a part time break down of your salary. Without this information, a lot of people start to make presumptions and make their decision based on information they just don’t know is correct!


As mentioned previously, some of the decisions my candidates have to make are substantial and will drastically alter their current lifestyle (for the best) and thus I understand people wanting to take their time. Although this is the case, too much time can be a bad thing. I’ve experienced many situations where I personally have taken too much time to decide and over complicated the process! If you start to spend more than a few days discussing and thinking about an opportunity then you can start to come up with objections that just don’t make sense and would not normally affect one’s ability to come to a conclusion. Weigh up your options; spend a day or two speaking with family and friends. Make the jump or not, sometimes you have to take a risk to forward yourself.


One proven, and well wrote about technique is to discuss! Take some time out to speak to a colleague or family member about the opportunity you are considering. You can find out a lot of things by simply talking about the job to someone – specifically those whose opinion matters to you. Even if your co-workers, friends and family have concerns about your job move, when speaking to them you will start to see yourself either agreeing with them or pushing for why it is the right move for you! You then have your answer.


If you are working with a recruitment agency, respect the time and effort the consultant is putting in to find you specific and detailed vacancies that match your criteria. Try and not manage the process yourself, but always push your consultant to keep you in the loop regarding changes to the process, offers and other extra details. Make sure you know all the details you need to know in order to attend an interview and more importantly treat the agency as your friend – not foe. This is such an important part of the recruitment process and without your patience, respect and time a consultant will not be able to provide you with necessary advice regarding your next job move.

I hope this gives you some more insight into individual decision making, but also the recruitment industry and how best to use an agency.

If you have any other ideas or thoughts on this, I’m more than happy to hear them!

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Can you learn to love your job?

dan 01/06/2016 0 comments

I recently was asked by a candidate of mine “Why I do you work so late? Are you crazy?!” The person asking me couldn’t figure out why I would ever want to work long hours, work some unpaid Saturdays and spend a lot of my time in the office. My reply sounded something like this “I love my job, I don’t actually have an exact answer for why I work late, but I enjoy what I do and never feel begrudged about turning up for work in the morning. It all feels very normal.”

I’m definitely not saying you have to be a workaholic to love your job. That’s just my personality! Although this is the case, can you really learn to enjoy a job you don’t enjoy?

I think it’s fare to say most people have been in roles they really dislike, but think they should ‘learn to love it’.Personally, I think you should always give your job a good amount of effort and try to get engaged and excited about it. If you can’t, then you probably need to evaluate where the problem comes from. Is it a management problem, office politics or a horrible working environment? Perhaps it’s just you and this current job role really isn’t for you. Maybe you can’t learn to love this position?

I have conversations like this with my candidates on a daily basis, and it really is hard to give advice. I’m obviously not the person doing the job, and I can’t specify as to why they are currently not enjoying their role. I want to make sure my candidates are making the right decisions for them and therefore I always ask the following questions and try to ascertain what advice to give:

1.) Have you discussed your situation with your boss?

2.) If yes, have they subsequently made any effort to help you, and retain you in their organisation?

3.) Have you spoken with your colleagues to see how they feel?

4.) Do you find real value in your job?

I normally encounter a variety of answers to all the above questions. I normally advice my candidates to make sure they do all the above to see exactly where they stand with their employer. If their boss hasn’t tried or hasn’t taken any reasonable action towards sorting the problem, then I normally suggest the candidate looks at their options with work and explore how I can find them a position that will genuinely improve on their current role. In all honestly, the company you work for is your choice. You applied for that position however long ago, and thus must have had a reason to want to work there. If that reason has been removed due to a variety of factors, then why not find that reason again somewhere else?

You could probably find reasons to stay. You can either continue to become bogged down in your role, or find something more exciting and enjoyable. The decision to do one or the other is ultimately in your hands – so make sure you make the best decision for you!

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Why it’s important to take a risk

dan 01/06/2016 0 comments


How often do we actually take a risk in day to day life? Personally, I follow the same routine day in, day out. I go to the coffee shop next to my office, pick up my cappuccino and spend half an hour before work contemplating what I need to do that day.

I’m sure most people who read this will be in a similar situation to me. It happens at work, the weekends and when we meet friends and family. After all, people like to have a routine – no matter how small.

When was the last time you changed what you do? Be that with your morning routine, with your weekend meeting place with friends or even with your career.

Taking a risk, and changing what you do, are especially important in your career. Most people I speak to are really comfortable in their current position. But why be comfortable when you can have something that challenges you every day and gives you progression in all directions?

When my candidates consider a move to a new company, I usually get the following objections:

  • I’m really comfortable
  • I don’t know if moving will work out
  • What if I’m not happy after I move?
  • What if I don’t get on with my colleagues?

You’re never going to know if a new company will accept you, help you progress and move forward.

Although this is the case, how are you going to know if you don’t give it a go, and take a risk?

You won’t.

You can never be certain about anything, and if you don’t commit and take a risk on occasion with work – how are you ever going to know if something better is on the horizon?

If the job fits, and it’s a genuine improvement, take it! Changing your job is similar to moving house. You don’t know who the neighbours are. You don’t know the area. But you move in anyway.

Look at your options. Take the risk. You will never know if you never try.

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