For just a second, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of individuals from your business have gathered on a conference call. As the call goes on, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re getting most of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’re quite good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly hard to hear. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re attempting to resolve. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. What can you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Individuals go through scenarios 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? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same method that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that’s not 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. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going excellently until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. 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
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases 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 grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs a person at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
You have a lot to offer an employer:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is frequently a factor. You may not even know how big an impact on your job it’s having. Take steps to reduce the impact like:
- Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you may choose to disclose this before the interview.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad plan to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- When you’re speaking with people, make certain you face them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. Conversations will be easier to follow.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, at all times. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even require many of the accommodations.
- If a job is going to be beyond 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 noisy. Offer to do something else to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But having it treated will often minimize any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. Give us a call right away – we can help!