Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Numerous representatives from their offices have come together to discuss whether to employ your company for the job. As the call goes on, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re quite certain you got the gist of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’re really good at that.
As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You panic. You have no clue what their company’s problem is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the discussion. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. So now what?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? The following can help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people utilizing the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
People who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the example above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your general performance. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
The circumstances were misinterpreted. But how do you think this impacted his career? How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
On the Job Injuries
Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a serious workplace injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And it might come as a shock that people with mild hearing loss had the highest chance among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
You have a lot to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You might not even realize how great an impact on your job it’s having. Take measures to minimize the impact like:
- Never neglect using your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Be certain your work area is well lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer can’t ask. However, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. You will most likely need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the case.
- If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really loud. In order to make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to follow.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s minor. But getting it treated will frequently minimize any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. We can help so give us a call!