Can’t Hear Very Well While You’re Working? You May be Missing More Than You Know

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a potential client. Multiple reps from their offices have gathered to discuss whether to hire your business for the job. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re getting most of it.

Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.

There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly hard to hear. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”

You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the conversation. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. 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 conspicuous.

Every single day, individuals everywhere go through situations like this while working. They try to read between the lines and cope.

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 surveyed 80,000 individuals 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 effects your overall performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

He missed out on a $1000 commission.

The situation was 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

A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a significant work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.

And it might come as a shock that individuals with mild hearing loss had the highest danger among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

You have so much to offer an employer:

  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Confidence
  • Personality
  • Empathy

These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You may not even know how great an effect on your job it’s having. Take steps to decrease the impact like:

  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • When you’re speaking with people, make sure you face them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
  • Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Asking for a written outline/agenda before a meeting. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
  • Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • If a task is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very loud. So that you can make up for it, offer to take on a different task. That way, it never seems like you aren’t doing your part.
  • Keep a brightly lit work space. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
  • Recognize that during a job interview, you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t ask. Conversely, you may need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that situation, you may decide to reveal this before the interview.

Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But many of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can present will be resolved by getting it treated. 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.