Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Numerous agents from their offices have gathered to discuss whether to hire your company for the job. All of the different voices get a little garbled 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 continue cranking the volume up. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re very 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 certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. What can you do?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They may think you weren’t paying attention. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? Let’s find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same method that the Census Bureau uses.
They found that individuals who have neglected hearing loss earn around $12,000 less per year than those who are able to hear.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
We could dig deep to try to find out what the cause is, but as the example above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. 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 firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
The situation was misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How may things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
Injuries on at work
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to suffer a significant work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And people with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.
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 great an effect on your job it’s having. Take measures to lessen the impact like:
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Use your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. If you have your hearing aids in you might not even need many of the accommodations.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Even if you don’t read lips, being able to see them can help you discern what’s being said.
- Recognize that during a job interview, you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the case.
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
- Face people when you’re conversing with them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
- If a task is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss may ask you to cover for somebody who works in a really loud part of the building. Offer to do something else to make up for it. This way, it never seems like you aren’t doing your part.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But having it treated will often eliminate any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. Give us a call right away – we can help!