For just a minute, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Your company is being looked at for a job and numerous individuals from your business have come together on a conference call. All of the different voices get a bit jumbled and difficult to understand. But you’re hearing most of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re really good at that.
There comes a point in the conversation where things get particularly hard to hear. This is the point where the potential client asks “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. This is your contract 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 resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Individuals go through situations 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 in general? The following will help us 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.
Individuals who have disregarded 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 hard to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
The circumstances were misconstrued. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
On the Job Injuries
People who have untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to sustain a serious on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your risk of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other studies.
And it might come as a shock that individuals with minor hearing loss had the highest risk among those with hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You might not even recognize how big an impact on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to lessen that impact:
- Face people when you’re talking to them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
- Be aware that you aren’t required to disclose that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an impact 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.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s a good idea to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Requesting a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
- If a job 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 really loud. In order to make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Make sure your work space is well lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes directly into your ear and not through background noise. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- Never overlook using your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But many of the challenges that neglected hearing loss can present will be solved by getting it treated. Contact us right away – we can help!