Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Numerous reps from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to hire your business for the job. All of the various voices get a bit garbled and hard to understand. But you’re hearing most of it.
Cranking up the speaker 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 conversation where things become particularly hard to hear. Then all of a sudden 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 issue they’re trying to solve. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. What do you do?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and get by.
But how is neglected hearing loss actually impacting your work as a whole? Let’s find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
They found that individuals who have neglected hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.
Hey, that’s not 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. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things might have been.
Injuries on the job
People who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a significant workplace injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And it might come as a surprise that individuals with minor hearing loss had the highest risk among those who have hearing loss. Maybe they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is frequently a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you realize. Take steps to decrease the impact like:
- Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Request 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 appropriate.
- Never overlook wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you understand what’s being said.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be very noisy. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
- Understand that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. Conversely, you may need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
- Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s minor. But many of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can create will be solved by having it treated. Give us a call today – we can help!