Can’t Hear Well at Work? You Might be Missing More Than You Think

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a moment, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Numerous agents from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your business for the job. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning up the volume. 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. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”

You panic. You have no clue what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. So now what?

Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, people everywhere go through scenarios like this at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.

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

Lower wages

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

They discovered that individuals who have neglected hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.

That doesn’t seem fair!

We could dig deep to attempt to figure out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your general performance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close the deal. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

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

The circumstances were misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?

Workplace Injuries

People who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a serious workplace injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other studies.

And it may come as a surprise that people with minor hearing loss had the highest chance among those with hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is mild enough that they don’t even know about it.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

You have so much to offer an employer:

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Confidence
  • Personality

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

  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
  • Wear your hearing aids while your working every day, at all times. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even require many of the accommodations.
  • When you’re talking to people, make certain you look directly at them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Recognize that during a job interview, you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And it’s not 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. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
  • Requesting a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
  • So that you have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • 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 is beyond your abilities. For example, your boss may ask you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. In this way, it will never seem as if you aren’t doing your part.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s minor. But having it treated will frequently eliminate any barriers you face with neglected hearing impairment. We can help so contact us!

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.