Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Multiple agents from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your company for the job. As the call proceeds, voices rise and fall…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re getting most of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’ve become fairly good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for around a minute. This is the stage where the potential client says “so exactly how will your firm help us solve this?””
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re trying to resolve. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. So now what?
Should you acknowledge you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Every single day, individuals everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following can help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same method that the Census Bureau uses.
They found that individuals who have untreated hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than those who are able to hear.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. Everything was going great 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 contract would have been more than $1000.
The circumstances were misconstrued. But how do you think this impacted his career? How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
Individuals who have neglected 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. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And individuals with only slight hearing loss were at the highest 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
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 might not even realize how great an impact on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear and not through background noise. You will need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss may want you to cover for someone who works in a noisy 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 coping out.
- Know that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer may not ask. Conversely, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that case, you might decide to disclose this before the interview.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to follow.
- Keep a brightly lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Never neglect wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even need many of the accommodations.
- When you’re talking with people, make sure you face them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s minor. But many of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can present will be solved by having it treated. Contact us right away – we can help!