What's that? Your hearing affects your ability to get a job?
Aracontent May 2009
(ARA) - You walk into the job interview. Your hair is groomed. Your smile gleams. You're wearing your best interview suit. You look fabulous, right?
Not necessarily. What happens when you sit down and the interviewer starts asking you a question and you suddenly realize you can't really hear what she's saying? Now you lean in, furrow your brows, and hunch your shoulders. You scrunch up your eyes and strain with all your might to hear your best.
How do you look now?
Unfortunately, the interviewer may see you in a different light. Now she's wondering why you look so uncomfortable. She's noticing the confidence slip from your face. And she's thinking that maybe she needs to keep interviewing others.
"Treating hearing loss early is no longer an option. It is a career imperative," says Dr. Sergei Kochkin, executive director of the Better Hearing Institute. "Great workplace communication is critical to both job performance and to getting a job. Great communication starts with great listening. And great listening starts with the ability to hear."
In the United States, approximately 31.5 million Americans have hearing loss, and that includes three out of 10 people ages 60 and older, according to BHI.
With today's down economy, many of these seniors either need to postpone retirement or return to work. Sixty percent of workers older than 60 are postponing retirement due to the impact of the financial crisis on their long-term savings, according to a recent CareerBuilder/USA Today national survey of employers.
And those re-entering the workforce are competing against younger workers eager to scoop up the jobs.
Excellent listening skills are ranked high by employers as desirable job attributes. Fully 73 percent of employers surveyed by ACT, a leading college and workforce planning organization, ranked listening among "extremely important" job skills.
So, while people may feel that to look young they can't be seen wearing a hearing aid, they are much more likely to be perceived as old and less capable if they ignore their hearing needs and are unable to be effective listeners.
Before going in for an interview, follow these tips:
- Take the free, easy, online hearing check offered by the Better Hearing Institute at www.hearingcheck.org.
- If you think you may have hearing loss, see a hearing health professional immediately to get your hearing tested.
- If you have a hearing loss that can be treated with hearing aids -- and 95 percent of hearing losses can be improved with hearing aids -- get fitted for them.
- Start wearing your hearing aids immediately, and see what a difference they make.
Then, go into the interview confident in your hearing, and listen-up! The job is yours.
To learn more about hearing loss, visit the Better Hearing Institute's Web site at www.betterhearing.org.
Courtesy of ARAcontent