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Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a second, picture that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Your company is being looked at for a job and a number of people from your company have come together on a conference call. All of the various voices get a little muddled and hard to understand. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.

Cranking the speaker up 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 become particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client says “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””

You panic. You have no idea what their company’s problem is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the conversation. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. What can you do?

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

Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this while working. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.

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

Unequal pay

A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same method that the Census Bureau uses.

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

Hey, that isn’t fair!

Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t difficult to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he couldn’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.

His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.

The situation was misconstrued. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?

Workplace Injuries

People who have neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a significant on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. Studies also show a 300% increased danger of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And it might come as a shock that people with mild hearing loss had the highest danger among those who have hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they don’t even know about it.

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

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Skills

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. But it is often a factor. It may be affecting your job more than you recognize. Take actions to decrease the impact like:

  • Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to follow.
  • Know that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. However, you may need to think about if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you might decide to divulge this before the interview.
  • Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
  • Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. 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 compatible.
  • Wear your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. If you have your hearing aids in you might not even require many of the accommodations.
  • Keep a well lit work area. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
  • Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. For example, your boss might ask you to cover for somebody who works in a really loud area. Offer to do something else to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.

Working with hearing loss

Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But lots of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can present will be resolved by having it treated. Contact us right away – we can help!

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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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