Can’t Hear Well at Work? You May be Missing More Than You Know

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a moment, imagine that you’re working 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 gathered on a conference call. As the call goes on, voices rise and fall…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re quite certain you got the gist of it.

Turning 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 get particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””

You freeze. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re attempting to solve. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. So now what?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin 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 get by.

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

Unequal pay

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

They discovered that individuals who have neglected hearing loss earn around $12,000 less per year than people who are able to hear.

That doesn’t seem fair!

Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. 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.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

The situation was misconstrued. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things could have been.

Injuries on the job

Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a significant on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other research.

And people with only slight hearing loss were at the highest risk, surprisingly! Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Empathy
  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Skills
  • Experience

These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It could be having an effect on your job more than you know. Take measures to lessen the impact like:

  • Asking for a written overview/agenda before a meeting. Discussions will be easier to follow.
  • Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to 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 may decide to reveal this before the interview.
  • 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.
  • When you’re talking with people, make sure you face them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Wear your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. When you do, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really loud. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different job. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.

Working with hearing loss

Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But getting it treated will frequently minimize any obstacles you face with untreated hearing impairment. We can help so give us a call!

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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