Few careers offer the flexibility, pay and prospects of optics as Optician has been discovering in its series of Thursday night recruitment webinars (www.opticianjobsweeklywebinars.co.uk).

But it’s far from faultless. To get the best out of your career your have to manage your role, look ahead and be proactive with your employer. To do that you have to stay informed.

At the start of working life optometry students are the envy of their peers; virtually guaranteed employment and, for those prepared to travel, salaries north of £40,000. Set against a backdrop of student debt, scrapped graduate management schemes and last-in-first-out redundancy, optics is looking like a pretty good choice.

Delegates to the first Optician webinar (June 17) heard that pay across the UK can vary wildly; on average those in Northern Ireland will be earning 50% less than those in tricky-to-fill areas such as the North East. While starting salaries see gender parity, within nine years men will be earning 10% more; unless they work in domiciliary, which seems to have cracked the gender pay divide.

What webinar watchers also heard were stories of unacceptable treatment at work. Managers fobbing off their staff, newly qualifieds with no pay rise for four years or bosses offering pay rises only when presented with an offer from a rival.

These webinars will help you get the most out of your current job, find a new one or take your entire career in a new direction through insights into topics such as salaries, post-Covid confidence, domiciliary working and joint venture partnerships.

Covid has closed the zip on big tent talks so webinars are the way forward. This isn’t distant chatter. It’s about you, for you and with you, as evidenced by the real life stories above. It’s an opportunity for you to learn, air your thoughts and ask pertinent questions of those whose job is helping you get your job right.