For just a moment, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Your company is being looked at for a job and a number of people from your business have gathered on a conference call. All of the various voices get a bit jumbled and hard to comprehend. But you’re quite certain you got the gist of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning the volume up. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re very good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t sure what problem they’re trying to resolve. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. So now what?
Should you acknowledge you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, individuals everywhere go through situations like this while working. They try to read between the lines and get by.
But how is untreated hearing loss actually impacting your work as a whole? The following will help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same approach that the Census Bureau uses.
They discovered that individuals who have untreated hearing loss earn around $12,000 less per year than people who are able to hear.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
We could dig deep to attempt to figure out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things could have been.
Injuries on the job
Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a serious workplace injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And individuals with only slight hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It may be impacting your job more than you realize. Here are some ways to decrease that impact:
- Use your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even need many of the accommodations.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
- Recognize that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a good interview. In that case, you might choose to divulge this before the interview.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Make sure your work space is brightly lit. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. For example, your boss may want you to cover for somebody who works in a really loud part of the building. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- When you’re speaking with people, make sure you look directly at them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with neglected hearing loss. We can help so call us!