A recent WO Poll asked respondents a seemingly simple question: do optometrists love what they do? More than 54% of respondents said “most of the time” and nearly one-fifth (19%) said they are loving almost every minute.
On the flip side, seven percent of respondents felt neutral to the question, nearly 11% said “not so much,” and nine percent said they are “really struggling.”
IN THE PLUS COLUMN
Eighty-six percent of respondents said they work with good people. Four-out-of-five said they feel that their skills and experience are being put to good use. However, more than 10% said they don’t feel their skills are being used to their full potential.
Almost 80% said people express their gratitude to them in their jobs, and 73% are personally satisfied with their work.
While two-thirds of the respondents feel that their earnings are satisfactory, one in every five respondents answered no. Another 14% were not sure. Majorities agree that they understand what is expected of them and that the work brings them recognition.
The category where the smallest percentage concurred was satisfactory is work-life balance. A quarter of respondents said they do not feel they have a successful work-life balance, and 18 percent are not sure if that’s the case.
BALANCE IS TOUGH FOR EVERYONE
Although just 17% of the respondents were male ODs, they all chose that they love their work almost every minute or most of the time. However, on the question of creating a satisfying work-life balance, 20% of the male ODs who responded said they have not achieved this and 20% are unsure.
WHAT RESPONDENTS SAID
“My patients make [my job] worth it, and it is gratifying to have them tell me every day how much they appreciate my care. But taking care of mostly older patients is very time-consuming in a ‘set’ schedule my employer puts in place.”
“[I am] staying true to myself with no false pretenses. I find happiness just being who I am. I share a smile with everyone I encounter … and keep my life simple. I am grateful that I get to share the joy of laughter with my family daily.”
“Growing a practice from zero to nine doctors has been fun, creative and satisfying. And now I get to work with my son!”
“I found happiness owning my own practice.”
“I wish I could say optometry makes me happy, but nothing about it or trying to run a private practice is positive. It’s getting harder and harder with the lack of doctors, corporate offices and online retailers. I’d [like] to get out, but unfortunately I’m stuck.”
“[I] plan on switching roles from owner to joining a group practice as an employee. Hoping for work/life balance and increased enjoyment at work!”
“I used to work in retail and found that the business model did not align with my values. I’m more of a philanthropist. In my current career, I work in the school health program, providing free glasses to students in need. This has been my favorite job in my 15 years as an optometrist. I wake up happy every morning, knowing that I can change a life by improving their vision for free.”
Check out more WO Poll responses here.
Feature photo credit: Nora Carol Photography, Getty Images