Tim’s 2016 HLAA National Convention Experience – Perseverance and Career Success

HLAA National Convention 2016(From Tim Browning – HLAA-LA Steering Committee member)

This was my first time at the HLAA National Convention held in Washington D.C. and what an experience it was! This was the first convention I’ve attended that didn’t include worries and concerns about what information am I going to miss, can I communicate with others effectively, and will the effort just to hear wear me down over time! With everyone at the convention sharing the same struggles and experiences I’ve had, it was an empowering experience but took time to realize.

I went to a few sessions and thought I would share what I learned just to give you a feel of the nature of the information covered. Keep in mind that what I attended was just a snippet of the vast and often overwhelming amount of information available through workshops, sessions, and presentations. First session I thought I would share is below.

Perseverance and Career Success by presenter Brian Patrick Jensen

Brian Patrick Jensen is the Director of Emerging Markets for Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD). The presentation reviews the unique and very real challenges faced by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the workplace in the context of personal resilience. Mr. Jensen shares his own life-changing account of being stricken by sudden and profound bilateral hearing loss while working as his employer’s top diversity officer.

Key takeaways I found from the presentation was applying your own personal resilience while on the job (which we already know how to do!) to improve your productivity and career success. The human ability to persevere, especially when faced with hearing loss or deafness, isn’t so much a personality trait but a behavior you can learn! If I only knew that when joining the workforce!

5 Things Resilient People Do

1 – Believe success is a choice. Through self awareness, desire, developing skills, and taking action, you can control and make the choice to succeed. Do not worry about the “External” world that you can’t control – such as other people, co-workers/boss, time, financial pressures, tragedy, and medical diagnoses. Instead, focus on the “Interal” self that you can control – including reactions to the external world, decisions and beliefs, plans, self-awareness, and skills and learning. Focusing on the internal increases your influence around you.

2 – Stare down hard reality. Avoid the optimism trap – be realistic and hopeful, but don’t believe being positive solves all your problems. It’s just denial in disguise. Except the cold hard facts about your hearing loss. Yes, the boss doesn’t understand, isolation, and miss things and don’t know when I do. It’s real so SHARE it with others and don’t hold back. Not only will it help you, but it can position you to help others.

3 – Find a higher meaning. Resilient people know that the pain experienced offers opportunities to find lessons through their plight. There’s a higher purpose with the pain and challenges endured by learning and becoming a better person.

4 – Uses own pain to heal others. The experiences and emotions we have faced gives us a unique quality to offer help to others. You simply learn more through pain and challenges experiences than you do through positive events. Let this be a way to feel the gratification to help others.

5 – Visualize the extraordinary. Visualize a future of happiness and accomplishments going beyond any struggles you may currently experience. Describe what this feels like a then set small steps to make it happen.

The convention provided presentation information to freely share with others so if you would like the presentation regarding this topic, please reach out to us via the Contact Us Form.