← Return to People with hearing loss who have been successful in their careers

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@tonyinmi

@jaema, do you wear hearing aids at work? Successful is a relative word. Being happy at your job is most important. If you're not happy with what you do, then it makes it hard to go to work everyday. Hearing loss runs in my family and I was diagnosed in 2nd grade with progressive, sensorineural loss. My hearing loss has guided me throughout my career. I'm a retired electrical engineer. My career started as an electronic technician but I switched to engineering when I wanted a more challenging position. I went back to school and had to start over since none of the credits I earned in technical school transferred. It took me 15 years to get an engineering degree because I needed to work and support family. I left one job because it was too noisy and I felt it risked the residual hearing that I had. Perhaps if the hearing aid technology back then did a better job of filtering noise, I may not have switched careers or went back to school. One thing you don't want to do is hide your hearing loss. If people do not know, you are viewed as being aloof or slow and you may be given remedial tasks. People with normal hearing do not understand. We have to advocate for ourselves by letting others know how hearing loss affects us. Hearing loss is very prevalent. Chances are, you'll get a boss that has a family member that has hearing loss. They may understand what it's like. You will need to find ways of making sure you are doing what is needed for your job. For instance, I was part of a team and had to participate in conference calls. I missed a lot of what was said in the room and basically all of what was said on the speaker phone. I would follow up with the project manager to make sure I knew deadline dates for when my tasks needed to be completed. Every job has its own challenges and they will be different. As I mentioned previously, it's most important to be happy with what you do.
Tony in Michigan

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Replies to "@jaema, do you wear hearing aids at work? Successful is a relative word. Being happy at..."

Before my husband, James became disabled due to his broken down body, he was a successful electrician for years (12 yrs) and then went back to school and received an Associate degree in Secondary Education. He was a successful high school football coach and middle school wrestling coach, elementary school teacher assistant and USA Wrestling official including for Olympic Qualifiers, and detention coordinator.
Being successful as a partially deaf person is possible. It takes work and determination… energy.

Do you find that your brain is working overtime just to navigate the very basics of a complex social situation, such as those at a workplace setting? You wrote that you missed a lot of what was said at work and I resonated with your experiences. I took care of myself physically, mentally, and socially on my own time to help mitigate the after-effects of the stress I accumulated throughout the day but this in and of itself was exhausting. Missing so much of the information that was said around me, and having to play make-up/catch-up all day every day, left me being exhausted at the end of the day. I just couldn't see my way through to advancement in any career. I was also wrestling with cognitive distortions and errors about my situation at the time, resulted in feelings of hopelessness and a significant lack of support, and I see that now. Vocational Rehabilitative Services is nice, and I'm grateful to have qualified for these services, but I'm finding myself having to teach them about some common experiences of a person with hearing loss and it has been up to me to find resources for myself. I am grateful for the support while I do this, however.

Anyway, thanks so much for sharing and I appreciate the dialogue.

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