For just a minute, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Your company is being looked at for a job and numerous individuals from your company have gathered on a conference call. All of the different voices get a little garbled and hard to understand. But you’re quite certain you got the gist 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 fairly good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly difficult to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”
You panic. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the discussion. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. What can you do?
Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your general performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things might have been.
On the Job Injuries
Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a significant on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other research.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the highest risk, surprisingly! Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
You have a lot to offer an employer:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You might not even realize how big an effect on your job it’s having. Take measures to decrease the impact like:
- Recognize that during a job interview, you aren’t required to divulge 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. In that case, you might decide to disclose this before the interview.
- Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- When you’re talking with people, make sure you look directly at them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Never neglect wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even need many of the accommodations.
- Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. Offer to do something else to make up for it. That way, it will never seem as if you’re not doing your part.
- Make sure your work area is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. Discussions will be easier to follow.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will frequently minimize any obstacles you face with neglected hearing impairment. We can help so contact us!