For just a second, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Multiple representatives from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to employ your company for the job. All of the different voices get a bit garbled and difficult to comprehend. But you’re hearing most of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep cranking the volume up. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly difficult to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the conversation. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. What can you do?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, people everywhere go through scenarios like this while working. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? Let’s find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same approach that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your general performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they went with someone else. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
He missed out on a commission of $1000.
The circumstances were misconstrued. But how do you think this affected his career? How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
Injuries on at work
People who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a serious workplace injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And individuals with only mild hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
You have so much to offer an employer:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It could be affecting your job more than you recognize. Take actions to minimize the impact like:
- Keep a brightly lit work space. 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 pass through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad plan to write a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Use your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before a meeting. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
- Understand that during a job interview, you aren’t required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that situation, you might decide to disclose this before the interview.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- When you’re talking with people, make certain you look directly at them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s minor. But having it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. Call us right away – we can help!