For just a second, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Your company is being considered for a job and numerous people from your business have gathered on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.
Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’re very good at that.
As you try to listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for about a minute. This is the point where the potential client says “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You panic. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last part of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. What do you do?
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 slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Every single day, people everywhere go through situations like this while working. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.
But how is untreated hearing loss actually impacting your work in general? Let’s see.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals utilizing the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
Individuals who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going excellently until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.
The circumstances were misconstrued. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And it may come as a surprise that individuals with mild hearing loss had the highest risk among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
You have a lot to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even recognize how huge an effect on your job it’s having. Take steps to reduce the impact like:
- Face people when you’re talking to them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. For instance, your boss may ask you to cover for someone who works in a really loud part of the building. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. This way, it never seems as if you aren’t doing your part.
- 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 require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
- Know that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. However, you may need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will affect your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you might decide to disclose this before the interview.
- Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Be certain your work space is brightly lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Never overlook using your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you might not even require many of the accommodations.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But getting it treated will frequently minimize any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. We can help so give us a call!