For just a second, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Your company is being looked at for a job and numerous individuals from your company have come together on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re quite sure you got the gist of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep cranking up the volume. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’re really good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly hard to hear. This is the point where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t hear the last part of the conversation. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. What can you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, individuals everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
But how is untreated hearing loss actually impacting your work in general? Let’s find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals using the same technique the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
They discovered that individuals who have neglected hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it isn’t difficult to understand the above example. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. Everything was going excellently 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 commission of $1000.
The situation was misconstrued. But how do you think this impacted his career? How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
People who have neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a serious 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 increases by 300% according to other studies.
And it might come as a shock that people with minor hearing loss had the highest chance among those with hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is mild enough that they don’t even know about it.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
You have so much to offer an employer:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You may not even realize how big an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to lessen that impact:
- When you’re talking with people, make sure you look directly at them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
- Recognize that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the case.
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you discern what’s being said.
- 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.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss may want you to cover for somebody who works in a really loud area. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Use your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even require many of the accommodations.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to follow.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. Call us right away – we can help!