For just a minute, picture that you’re working as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Multiple agents from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to hire your business for the job. All of the various voices get a little garbled and difficult to understand. But you’re hearing most of it.
Turning up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’re very good at that.
As you try to listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for about a minute. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”
You panic. You have no idea what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the discussion. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. So now what?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
But how is neglected hearing loss actually affecting your work in general? The following can help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 individuals using the same approach the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
Individuals who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.
He missed out on a $1000 commission.
It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was using hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.
On the Job Injuries
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to suffer a significant work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And it might come as a surprise that people with minor hearing loss had the highest risk among those with hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You might not even realize how big an impact on your job it’s having. Take actions to reduce the impact like:
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
- Never neglect using your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Know that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer can’t ask. However, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
- Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
- Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be very loud. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. This way, it will never seem like you’re not doing your part.
- Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will often minimize any obstacles you face with untreated hearing impairment. We can help so give us a call!