For just a second, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Your company is being considered for a job and several people from your business have gathered on a conference call. All of the various voices get a bit muddled and difficult to understand. But you’re quite sure you got the gist of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue turning the volume up. So you simply make do, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’re very good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re trying to solve. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. So now what?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, individuals everywhere go through scenarios like this while working. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following will 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.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
The situation was misconstrued. But how do you think this affected his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things might have been.
Injuries on at work
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.
And people with only slight hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
You have a lot to offer an employer:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. But it is often a factor. You might not even realize how huge an impact on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to decrease that impact:
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear and not through background noise. You will need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Never overlook using your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even require many of the accommodations.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. Offer to do something else to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s a good idea to write a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Know that you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. In that situation, you may decide to disclose this before the interview.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you make out what’s being said.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But getting it treated will often eliminate any barriers you face with neglected hearing impairment. We can help so give us a call!