Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Multiple agents from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to hire your company for the job. As the call goes on, voices go up and down…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking up the volume. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’ve become fairly good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””

You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last part of the discussion. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. What can you do?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.

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

Unequal pay

A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.

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

That doesn’t seem fair!

We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well 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.

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

On the Job Injuries

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

And it might come as a shock that individuals with minor hearing loss had the highest risk among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.

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

Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:

  • Empathy
  • Confidence
  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Experience

These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even know how great an impact on your job it’s having. Take actions to reduce the impact like:

  • Never neglect using your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
  • Keep a well lit work area. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you make out what’s being said.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • Before attending a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. Conversations will be easier to follow.
  • Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Understand that during a job interview, you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other consideration 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 case.
  • Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss may ask you to cover for someone who works in a really loud area. Offer to do something else to make up for it. This way, it will never seem as if you’re not doing your part.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But many of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can create will be solved 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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