Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of people from your company have gathered on a conference call. As the call continues, voices go up and down…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.
Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’re quite good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. This is the point where the potential client says “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””
You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re trying to resolve. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. What can you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Every single day, individuals everywhere go through situations like this at work. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? Let’s find out.
The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 individuals utilizing the same approach 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 find out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.
He missed out on a $1000 commission.
It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things could have been.
Injuries on the job
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.
And it might come as a shock that people with minor hearing loss had the highest danger among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is often a factor. It may be impacting your job more than you realize. Take steps to decrease the impact like:
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really loud. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- Requesting a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s a good idea to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Know that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer can’t ask. Conversely, you may need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. In that situation, you might decide to disclose this before the interview.
- Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Never overlook using your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But lots of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can pose will be solved by having it treated. We can help so contact us!