For just a minute, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Multiple representatives from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your company for the job. As the call continues, voices rise and fall…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’re really good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for about a minute. This is the stage where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. What can you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
People go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.
But how is untreated hearing loss actually impacting your work in general? 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.
They found that people who have untreated hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than those who are able to hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your general performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a significant work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And it might come as a shock that people with mild hearing loss had the highest chance among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even realize how big an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to decrease that impact:
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. This way, it never seems like you’re not doing your part.
- When you’re talking with people, make sure you face them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
- Recognize that during a job interview, you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. However, you might need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you may choose to disclose this before the interview.
- Never neglect using your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even need many of the accommodations.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s compatible.
- Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your performance at work. But having it treated will often eliminate any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. Call us right away – we can help!