For just a moment, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Multiple reps from their offices have come together to talk about 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 fairly sure you got the gist of it.
Cranking 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.
There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client says “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re trying to resolve. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. So now what?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Every single day, individuals everywhere go through scenarios like this while working. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? Let’s find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
They discovered that people who have neglected hearing loss earn around $12,000 less per year than those who are able to hear.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
We could dig deep to try to find out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they went with someone else. They didn’t want to deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.
He missed out on a commission of $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But how do you think this affected his career? If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.
Injuries on at work
People who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a significant workplace injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other research.
And people with only mild hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career
You have a lot to offer an employer:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You might not even realize how great an impact on your job it’s having. Take actions to decrease the impact like:
- When you’re talking to people, make certain you look directly at them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Even if you don’t read lips, being able to see them can help you make out what’s being said.
- Recognize that during a job interview, you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that situation, you might choose to reveal this before the interview.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- If a task is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For instance, your boss might want you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. In order to make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. That way, it never seems as if you’re not doing your part.
- Before attending a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
- Wear your hearing aids while your working every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even need many of the accommodations.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will often get rid of any obstacles you face with untreated hearing loss. Give us a call today – we can help!