Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a minute, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Your company is being considered for a job and numerous individuals from your business have come together on a conference call. All of the different voices get a little muddled and difficult to comprehend. But you’re fairly certain you got the gist of it.

Turning up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’ve become pretty good at that.

There comes a point in the conversation where things get particularly difficult to hear. This is the point where the potential client says “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””

You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this at work. They attempt to read between the lines and get by.

So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following can help us find out.

Unequal pay

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

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

That doesn’t seem fair!

Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. 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 deal would have been over $1000.

It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was using hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.

Injuries on at work

People who have neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a significant workplace injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other research.

And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Empathy

These positive qualities shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You may not even know how huge an effect on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to decrease that impact:

  • Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
  • Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different job. That way, it will never seem as if you aren’t doing your part.
  • Never neglect using your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear and not through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s a good idea to compose a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Keep a well lit work space. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you make out what’s being said.
  • Know that you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a good interview. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the situation.

Working with hearing loss

Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But getting it treated will frequently minimize any barriers you face with neglected hearing impairment. Give us a call today – we can help!

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