Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a moment, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Multiple reps from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your company for the job. All of the various voices get a bit garbled and difficult to understand. But you’re getting most of it.

Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re really good at that.

There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly difficult to hear. This is the point where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””

You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. So now what?

Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.

But how is neglected hearing loss really impacting your work in general? The following will help us find out.

Unequal pay

The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals using the same approach 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 effects your overall performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

It was only a misunderstanding. But how do you think this impacted his career? How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?

Injuries on the job

A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people with untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other research.

And it may come as a shock that people with mild hearing loss had the highest danger among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t realize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Empathy
  • Personality
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Confidence

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. You may not even recognize how big an effect on your job it’s having. Take actions to reduce the impact like:

  • Asking for a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. Discussions will be easier to follow.
  • Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss may ask you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. Offer to do something else to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
  • Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even require many of the accommodations.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • Make sure your work area is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
  • Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • When you’re talking with people, make certain you face them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
  • Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you might decide to disclose this before the interview.

Hearing loss at work

Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But lots of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can pose will be resolved by having it treated. We can help so contact us!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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