For just a moment, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Your company is being considered for a job and several people from your company have gathered on a conference call. As the call goes on, voices go up and down…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re quite certain you got the gist of it.
Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. 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 assist us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re trying to solve. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. So now what?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
People 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 affected by your hearing loss? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
Individuals who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close the deal. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But how do you think this impacted his career? How may things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
Injuries on at work
People who have neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a significant on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And it may come as a shock that people with mild hearing loss had the highest chance among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. You may not even know how big an impact on your job it’s having. Take measures to minimize the impact like:
- If a task is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different job. That way, it will never seem like you’re not doing your part.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear and not through background noise. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- Make sure your work area is brightly lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Wear your hearing aids while your working every day, all the time. If you have your hearing aids in you might not even need many of the accommodations.
- When you’re talking with people, make certain you face them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
- So that you have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Recognize that when you’re interviewing, you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you may need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that situation, you may decide to disclose this before the interview.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with untreated hearing loss. We can help so contact us!