For just a minute, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Numerous reps from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to hire your company for the job. All of the various voices get a bit garbled and difficult to understand. But you’re hearing most of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue turning the volume up. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’ve become fairly good at that.
As you try to listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for around a minute. 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 issue they’re attempting to resolve. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. So now what?
Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.
But how is untreated hearing loss really impacting your work as a whole? Let’s find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique 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 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 listening to them, they went with someone else. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
His commission on this contract would have been more than $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?
On the Job Injuries
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. And, your risk of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
You have a lot to offer an employer:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You might not even realize how huge an effect on your job it’s having. Take actions to minimize the impact like:
- Never overlook wearing your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Before attending a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- When you’re talking with people, make sure you look directly at them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
- Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Make sure your work space is brightly lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Understand that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a good interview. In that case, you might decide to disclose this before the interview.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But getting it treated will frequently eliminate any barriers you face with neglected hearing impairment. Call us right away – we can help!