For just a second, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Numerous agents from their offices have gathered to discuss whether to employ your business for the job. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re quite sure you got the gist of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion 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 catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what problem they’re trying to resolve. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. So now what?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Every single day, individuals everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this while working. 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 see.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals utilizing the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
They discovered that people who have untreated hearing loss make around $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t hard 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 decided to go with a company that listens better.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
The circumstances were misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things could have been.
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.
And it may come as a shock that individuals with minor hearing loss had the highest chance among those who have hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is mild enough that they don’t even know about it.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be having an effect on your job more than you realize. Take measures to lessen the impact like:
- Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Be certain your work area is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear and not through background noise. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Understand that during a job interview, you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t 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 case.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
- If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss might want you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. So that you can make up for it, offer to take on a different job. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- Never overlook wearing your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- When you’re talking with people, make certain you look directly at them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But having it treated will frequently eliminate any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. Call us today – we can help!