For just a moment, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Your company is being looked at for a job and a number of people from your company have gathered on a conference call. As the call continues, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes difficult to hear. 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’re very good at that.
There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly difficult to hear. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re attempting to resolve. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. What do you do?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, individuals everywhere go through scenarios like this at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same approach 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 effects your overall performance so it isn’t difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they went with someone else. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been more than $1000.
The situation was misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
On the Job Injuries
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. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And people with only slight hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they don’t even know about it.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You may not even recognize how huge an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:
- If a task is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very loud. Offer to do something else to make up for it. That way, it never seems as if you’re not doing your part.
- So that you have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to compose a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
- Requesting a written overview/agenda before a meeting. Discussions will be easier to follow.
- Know that you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you might need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
- Make sure your work space is brightly lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Wear your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But lots of the challenges that neglected hearing loss can present will be solved by having it treated. We can help so contact us!