Imagine for a minute you’re 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 several individuals from your company have come together on a conference call. As the call goes on, voices go up and down…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.
Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the conversation where things get particularly difficult to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”
You freeze. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re attempting to solve. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. What do you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and get by.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? The following will help us 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.
Individuals who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t difficult to understand the above example. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.
He lost out on a commission of $1000.
The circumstances were misinterpreted. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.
Injuries on at work
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And people with only mild hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps, 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 a lot to offer an employer:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It may be affecting your job more than you realize. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:
- Never neglect 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 need many of the accommodations.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Know that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a good interview. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
- So that you have it in writing, it’s a good plan to write a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Speak up when a job 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 like you aren’t doing your part.
- Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Asking for a written overview/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you make out what’s being said.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But lots of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can pose will be resolved by having it treated. We can help so contact us!