For just a moment, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Multiple agents from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your company for the job. As the call proceeds, voices rise and fall…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.
Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’re quite good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly hard to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re trying to solve. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. What do you do?
Should you acknowledge 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.
People 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? Let’s find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals utilizing the same approach the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
They found that people who have untreated hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than those who are able to hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to try to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they went with someone else. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
He lost out on a commission of $1000.
The situation was misinterpreted. But how do you think this impacted his career? How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
Injuries on at work
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And people with only mild hearing loss were at the highest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
You have so much to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is frequently a factor. You may not even recognize how big an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:
- Asking for a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very loud. In order to make up for it, offer to undertake a different job. In this way, it never seems like you’re not doing your part.
- Wear your hearing aids while your working every day, at all times. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even require many of the accommodations.
- Face people when you’re talking to them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Be certain your work space is brightly lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Understand that during a job interview, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t ask. Conversely, you might need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will affect your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
- So that you have it in writing, it’s not a bad plan to compose a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But many of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can create will be solved by getting it treated. We can help so contact us!