Finding your first (or even second or third) job within the optometric profession can be a challenge for new optometrists. Dr. Jocelyn Leung walks us through the process from interviewing to contracts.

Jaclyn:  When you graduated, how did you go about finding a job? Can you touch on your interviewing experience?

Jocelyn: When I graduated, I found the Ontario Association of Optometrists to be a good resource. At the University of Waterloo, there is the student association that had job listings and an interview day. Word of mouth can also be a strong connection.

Most clinics start off with a phone interview. That’s when you can ask your questions to learn more about the office: How many doctors are there? How many exam lanes? What type of equipment does the clinic have? What are the hours? Does the clinic dispense? What are they looking for in an associate?

Before this phone interview, I would suggest checking the clinic’s website or social media. As much as they are interviewing you, you are also interviewing them to make sure that it’s a good match.

For an in-person interview, it’s helpful to go in on a working day. I always like to shadow so I would ask the hiring doctor if I could come in 30 minutes to an hour before the interview. Every practice runs differently; with a different number of staff and different procedures.. It is important to see how the staff interact with each other and with the patients.

The one-on-one interview with the hiring owner is when you get to know each other on a more personal level and see if your personalities and interests match long term.

Jaclyn: Looking for a job all starts with location. Did you mostly look at job postings in Toronto?

Jocelyn:  Yes, my family and friends are in Toronto and my partner also secured a job in Toronto. I value my personal life and that was something that I was not willing to compromise; my support system is very important to me.

Some people think Toronto is very competitive and you won’t get the same salary as you would in a different province or even in the suburbs. Generally speaking, that is true. However, I believe that if you find the right place for you, and you hustle and work hard, then it will all pay off in the end.

Jaclyn: What advice can you offer to new graduates on contracts and negotiation?

Jocelyn: Contracts are a bit scary at first. Before signing a contract, you want to get an idea of other contracts in the area. Contracts definitely vary from one area to the next.

In general, there are two compensation models: the dispensing model and the retail model. Depending on the model, compensation is based on a percentage of exam fees, a percentage of the gross revenue, or a percentage of the profits.

Within the contract there is always fine print, such as non-competes or non-solicits. Double check these and make sure it’s something you’re okay with. Bring up any questions or concerns in a very respectful way. If you feel like you are not fairly compensated, or you want a specific term modified, always bring it up, because you should know what your worth is and then do the best you can to meet in the middle.

Jaclyn: Yes, it is also important to know that just because an opportunity has come up, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to take it or it’s the only one out there.

Jocelyn: Exactly! When I graduated, everybody was looking for a job at the same time. Depending on when your board exams were, you would want to start practicing in August or September. Practice owners don’t work on our school schedule – they hire when they want to hire, and that can be all 12 months of the year.

You have student loans, you have the pressure of securing a job, and you are eager to enter the workforce, but I think it’s worth waiting and finding the right spot. Don’t sell yourself short just to secure a job.

Jaclyn: Great advice! Thanks for all your insight into the job hunting process!



Dr. Jaclyn Chang graduated from the University of Waterloo (UW) with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences before continuing at Waterloo to complete her Doctor of Optometry degree. She is currently a practicing optometrist in Toronto.

Dr. Chang is committed to sharing information and bringing new resources to her colleagues. As a student, she sat on the Board of Trustees for the American Optometric Student Association, organizing events to connect students with industry. She was the Co-Founder/Co-President of the award-winning UW Advancement of Independent Optometry Club, the first club at UW dedicated to private practice optometry. Dr. Chang is also a passionate writer, who aims to make information accessible and easily digestible to her colleagues. She has published in Optometry & Vision Science and Foresight magazine and contributed to Optik magazine. She is excited to bring valuable resources to Canada’s next generation of optometrists with


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You’ve just graduated from Optometry school and a world of opportunity and endless possibilities lie ahead. Finding the right job in corporate optometry can be difficult. Not all corporate opticals are the same. New grads looking toward Corporate Optometry would do well to learn about the different packages and requirements that are out there

There are many job opportunities in corporate optometry. Many can be found on job boards or on company websites. The most lucrative and sought out, however,  are usually not posted but found through word of mouth. can help new grads find these.

The branches of corporate optometry spread far more than job boards. This field is really diverse, and so you can find a job to your liking, and one where you can confidently apply as well. Many ODs can connect with recruiters via LinkedIn or by attending conference booths at trade shows like Vision Expos to discuss new opportunities.

Here are the Do’s & Don’ts for Corporate Optometry Job Hunting

Understand the Corporate Optical’s Vision

Although the list of qualifications plays an important role, it is not the only factor hiring Corporate Opticals consider when deciding whom to call in for an interview.

Many other factors are taken into account as well. Past work experiences, such as internships or part-time jobs you may have had during your studies, your academic track record and other notable achievements count a lot too.

What matters most is that you have the willingness to learn, improve your skills and adapt to change. If you can successfully demonstrate these abilities to the employer, you improve your chances of  getting  hired, even for a job for which you are not ‘qualified’.

Your focus should be on how you can benefit the company instead of focusing on what you have achieved. A smart candidate will draw out the lessons and skills they have  learned from past experiences and accomplishments and integrate them with future applications that can help both the company and themselves to grow.

Keep an Open Mind

Clear your perspective of what others say about corporate optometry. Not all ODs want the same thing. Think about what you can offer to the company and what the corporate optical can do for your personal development.

If you want that sublease and the ability to have your own business, go out and get it! If the traditional ways of applying for jobs online don’t work, go to the store, talk to the optical staff and find out who the regional manager is. Connect with as many people in the local area as you can for the corporate optical that you wish to work with. Many ODs will gladly help guide you to talk to the right person. If there are not any openings, consider doing fill-in work to gain an understanding of how the company works and see if it is the right fit for you.

Prepare Your Resume

Post your resume on various optometry boards. Recruiters are searching those sites to find potential candidates before jobs are posted and when a new location opens in your area.

If you are in your final year of optometry school, be proactive and network at school events, hand out your resume and post it to jobs that are out there already.

If you are a new graduate or soon to be one, be far-sighted and start applying for jobs as early as possible.

And if you need help in finding a job that matches your current skills well, you can use online tools available that compare your resume to job postings to help you find the job that will suit you best.

And remember: the horizon is wide and your future is bright. With consistent efforts, you will soon shine.


is the founder of Corporate Optometry, a peer-to-peer web resource for ODs interested to learn more about opportunities in corporate optometry. Canadian ODs and optometry students can visit to learn more.


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