For just a minute, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Your company is being considered for a job and numerous people from your company have gathered on a conference call. All of the different voices get a little jumbled and hard to comprehend. But you’re getting most of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking the volume up. So you simply do your best, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’ve become fairly good at that.
There comes a point in the conversation where things get particularly difficult to hear. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. So now what?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and get by.
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 individuals utilizing the same method the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
Individuals who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that’s not fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to deal 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? If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.
On the Job Injuries
Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a serious on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other research.
And people with only slight hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It may be having an effect on your job more than you recognize. Here are a few ways to lessen that impact:
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes directly into your ear and not through background noise. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
- Wear your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Understand that during a job interview, you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a good interview. In that case, you might choose to reveal this before the interview.
- Keep a well lit work space. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you make out what’s being said.
- If a task is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For instance, your boss might ask you to cover for someone who works in a really loud area. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different task. This way, it never seems as if you’re not doing your part.
- Face people when you’re talking to them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
- Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But having it treated will often eliminate any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. We can help so contact us!