Thirty at Thirty – Stories to Celebrate Thirty Years of Vision Express – With Judith Crowe
13 years ago, Judith Crowe started her journey at Vision Express as an Optical Assistant where she gradually progressed to store manager. Judith says the opportunity to work in our York store came at the perfect time – it changed her life and she’s never looked back.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I love the customer service element of my job and the fact that I can make a difference to someone (it sounds a bit gushy, but it’s true). Whether we’re greeting a child for their first eye test or an elderly customer who has only ever visited the same store, we get to meet so many different people and we can have a positive impact on their experience. I also love the team that I work with, I can honestly say that I adore my job!
Who or what motivated you to progress within Vision Express?
A regional manager believed in me and gave me an opportunity that truly changed my life. In fact, all regional managers that I’ve worked with have been so supportive – they think I’m a bit eccentric to say the least, but they’ve believed in me and trust that I will always put the company and customers interests first.
What’s been a highlight of your career?
I was honoured to have been nominated and win at the Corporate Engagement Awards in 2015. It was in recognition of my contribution to our partnership with the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT); I was so shocked, but it was a very proud moment for me. To be recognised for something you love doing is amazing and CHECT is a charity that’s really close to my heart; fundraising for children and the families affected by retinoblastoma not only helps the cause but it brings teams together and gives us a purpose. I’m really proud that Vision Express support such a deserving charity.
What skills do you think are important for a manager to have?
I don’t think it comes naturally to anyone, but the skills are developed over time. Having empathy is key and having a sense of humour is equally as important! Also keeping everyone involved, whether that’s the Optical Assistants or our Optoms – everyone should be motivated to be the best they can. I absolutely love seeing my team achieve their own goals and develop their career, especially when you see them work so hard for it; I’m like a proud mum cheering them on!
What advice do you give to new starters?
You can be anyone you want to be at Vision Express if you have a strong work ethic and believe in yourself. Your hard work won’t go unnoticed, don’t compare yourself to others and just go for it!
Where does your positive attitude come from?
My mother. Her work ethic was to always give it your best and give back to society, no matter what life throws at you, you get up and carry on. I’m proud that my children can do the same. A can-do attitude can make a difference to your own and other people’s lives.
How do you look after your health and wellbeing?
My family are a bit wild and eccentric like me so they’re my escapism from my work life. I also have a very supportive partner who allows me to be me and he actively encourages me to go for whatever I set my mind to – we laugh all the time!
I live a fantastic life professionally and personally which I appreciate even more having experienced some challenges of my own. I realised that the only person who could make a difference to my situation was me. The opportunity to move to the York store came at the right time for me, I took a risk and never looked back. That means Vision Express has me until I retire!