For just a second, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a potential client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several individuals from your business have come together on a conference call. As the call goes on, voices go up and down…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.
Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’ve become fairly good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly hard to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”
You panic. You have no clue what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch the last part of the discussion. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?
Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They may think you weren’t paying attention. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.
But how is neglected hearing loss actually affecting your work as a whole? The following will help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
They discovered that individuals who have untreated hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your general performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. Everything was going excellently until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
He missed out on a commission of $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But how do you think this affected his career? If he was using hearing aids, imagine how different things may have been.
Injuries on the job
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased chance of having a serious fall and ending 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 grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
You have a lot to offer an employer:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is often a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you recognize. Take measures to reduce the impact like:
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Wear your hearing aids while your working every day, at all times. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Make sure your work space is brightly lit. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you make out what’s being said.
- If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss may want you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. Offer to do something else to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
- Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a good interview. In that situation, you might choose to divulge this before the interview.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can pose will be solved by getting it treated. We can help so call us!