You May be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Trouble Hearing at Work

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a second, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Your company is being looked at for a job and a number of individuals from your company have come together on a conference call. All of the various voices get a bit garbled and hard to comprehend. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning the volume up. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’re really good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. This is the point where the potential client says “so precisely 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. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. What can you do?

Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

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

So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? Let’s see.

Unequal pay

The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people using the same approach the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.

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

That doesn’t seem fair!

Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they went with someone else. They decided to work with a company that listens better.

His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.

The circumstances were misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things may have been.

Injuries on at work

A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a significant work accident. And, your risk of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other research.

And it might come as a surprise that individuals with minor hearing loss had the highest chance among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps, 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:

  • Empathy
  • Personality
  • Skills
  • Confidence
  • Experience

These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even recognize how huge an impact on your job it’s having. Take steps to lessen the impact like:

  • Wear your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. If you have your hearing aids in you might not even require many of the accommodations.
  • Face people when you’re talking to them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
  • Asking for a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
  • Be aware that you’re not required to reveal 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 impact on your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you might choose to disclose this before the interview.
  • So that you have it in writing, it’s a good idea to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Be certain your work space is well lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.

Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with neglected hearing loss. Contact us right away – we can help!

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