The Optometric Minute

Understand the Emerging Millennial OD Workforce

Oct. 5, 2016

Quy Nguyen, OD, Director of Career Development and Minority Enrichment at SUNY College of Optometry, shares findings from a recent survey of career expectations of OD students. Prospective employers should note, says Dr. Nguyen, that emerging ODs offer clinical and social skills that can greatly benefit existing practices. Prime student wants: independence and flexibility in work-life balance.

Understand Millennial Employment Expectations
Network with Millennials

RECOGNIZE MILLENNIAL ATTRIBUTES. Millennials are often as motivated as any generation to work hard. Many work seven days a week to begin their careers.

LEARN MILLENNIAL PRIORITIES. Work-life balance and flexibility in work schedule are most important to Millennials. They also value working for an employer invested in the social causes they care about.

EXPECT MOBILITY. Millennials have many choices today in where they work, so it’s not unusual for many to switch jobs every year or two at the start of their career.

OPTIMIZE TECH-KNOW-HOW. Millennials are generally more tech-savvy than older generations, and many are used to managing their own blogs and doing graphic design online. Use that knowledge to help market your practice.

KNOW THE PRIVATE PRACTICE TIMELINE. Many optometry students say they would like to enter private practice within 3-7 years after graduating, but may have to adjust that timetable due to student debt, which can be as high as $150,000-$200,000+.

MEET POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES. Optometry schools hold symposia and meet-and-greets which local practice owners can participate in. You can meet students, offer advice, and make connections for future recruitment.

BECOME A MENTOR. You can establish long-term mentoring relationships with students to guide their career. In the process you may learn more about what it takes to successfully recruit and retain Millennial ODs.

Quy Nguyen, OD, is Director of Career Development and Minority Enrichment at SUNY College of Optometry in New York City.

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