For just a moment, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of people from your business have gathered on a conference call. All of the different voices get a little muddled and hard to understand. But you’re getting most of it.
Turning up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things become 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 have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last part of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. What can you do?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following will help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute using the same method that the Census Bureau uses.
Individuals who have neglected 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 hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
He lost out on a $1000 commission.
It was only a misunderstanding. But how do you think this affected his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.
Injuries on at work
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a significant 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 surprise that people with mild hearing loss had the highest danger among those with hearing loss. Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they don’t even know about it.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you realize. Take actions to decrease the impact like:
- So that you have it in writing, it’s a good idea to write a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you may choose to reveal this before the interview.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. For instance, your boss may ask you to cover for someone who works in a really loud area. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. This way, it never seems like you aren’t doing your part.
- Face people when you’re talking to them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Never disregard wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Keep a well lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Requesting a written overview/agenda before a meeting. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s mild. But having it treated will often eliminate any barriers you face with neglected hearing impairment. We can help so contact us!