For just a second, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Multiple representatives from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your business for the job. As the call proceeds, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re pretty sure you got the gist of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’re quite good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client says “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””
You freeze. You have no clue what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch the last part of the conversation. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. 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 conspicuous.
Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? The following can help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals using the same technique the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
Individuals who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. 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 company that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
The situation was misconstrued. But how do you think this affected his career? How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a significant on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And individuals with only mild hearing loss were at the highest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is minor enough that they don’t even know about it.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
You have so much to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. You may not even know how huge an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:
- When you’re speaking with people, make certain you look directly at them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. For instance, your boss might ask you to cover for somebody who works in a really loud part of the building. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different task. In this way, it will never seem as if you aren’t doing your part.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
- Be certain your work space is brightly lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Wear your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even need many of the accommodations.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to follow.
- Know that you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer can’t ask. However, you might need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. You will most likely need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s minor. But having it treated will often eliminate any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. We can help so give us a call!