Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a minute, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Numerous agents from their offices have come together to discuss whether to employ your company for the job. All of the various voices get a bit jumbled and difficult to understand. But you’re fairly certain 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 really good at that.

As you listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client says “so exactly how will your firm help us solve this?””

You freeze. You have no clue what their company’s issue is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the conversation. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?

Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

People 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 affecting your work as a whole? Let’s find out.

Lower wages

The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 individuals utilizing the same method the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.

People who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.

Hey, that’s not fair!

Hearing loss effects your general performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. 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 contract would have been more than $1000.

The situation was misinterpreted. But how do you think this affected his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things might have been.

On the Job Injuries

Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a significant workplace injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. Studies also show a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And it might come as a surprise that people with minor hearing loss had the highest risk among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any type impairs a person at work.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Skills

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you realize. Take measures to reduce the impact like:

  • Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. 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. In this way, it will never seem like you aren’t doing your part.
  • Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you might need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • Keep a well lit work space. Even if you don’t read lips, being able to see them can help you make out what’s being said.
  • Requesting a written overview/agenda before a meeting. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
  • Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • Use your hearing aids while your working every day, at all times. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.

Working with hearing loss

Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your performance at work. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can pose will be solved by having it treated. We can help so contact us!

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