Last year, CareerCast.com published a list of “The Best Jobs of 2015.” Being an audiologist was rated second. According to the site, audiologists “provide an invaluable service that benefits young and old alike.”
As an audiologist, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve always known that helping people hear better is the best job in the world. And whenever I talk to colleagues, they agree. Here’s what several of them had to say when I asked them why they love being a hearing professional.
Paying it forward
“I became an audiologist because, since early childhood, I have had a severe hearing loss myself. I greatly admired both my audiologist and speech pathologist for giving me the practical tools I needed to succeed. It inspired me to share my own experiences with hearing loss with both future audiologists and hearing aid wearers alike. The saying ‘do what you love and you will never work a day in your life’ has never been truer for me.”
- Dan Tibbs, Au.D., Vice President, Business Development at Amplified Resource Group
Reconnecting people to their world
“I was working with a little girl who had speech issues due to a hearing loss. I started to see how much the hearing loss was affecting her and her family. She wasn't wearing hearing aids and was still trying to go through speech therapy, not properly hearing sound. I decided that very week that I would become an audiologist — so I could help people reconnect with their world. I truly believe hearing well improves quality of life. I have been working at a private practice audiology office in my home town for 13 years. I find tremendous joy working with people long term, connecting with them, hearing their stories, and sharing their lives all through sound. A hearing aid is much more than parts and plastic. It connects us together. I am a part of that puzzle. I am their audiologist.”
- Brooke Buxton M.A., CCC-A, Owner of Hearing By Design
Leaving a positive mark
“I fell into audiology completely by accident. And I'm so glad it did! I joke that I didn't find it, it found me. My mission in life is to use better hearing as a vehicle to leave a positive mark on the world we share. Helping people hear has allowed me to leave that mark on so many people. That it is the legacy I will leave on this earth far after I'm gone.”
- Amy Holland, Au.D., Owner of Ascent Audiology & Hearing
It never gets old
“At Starkey, we are really lucky to work with the best hearing professionals in the industry! It is inspirational to work with the best of the best. I had the opportunity to work on a Starkey Hearing Foundation mission in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ve done charity work and fit hearing aids every day, and I love both. But, having the opportunity to join both together and find a community of others working together to bring people the gift of better hearing was my favorite day at work! Helping people hear better never gets old. It is so rewarding to share the gift of hearing!
One of my favorite patients was a gentleman with a severe-to-profound hearing loss. He was legally blind, as well. When I fit him with his first super power BTE opposite his cochlear implant, he was so delighted. He said that he couldn’t imagine ever being able to hear better than the way I helped him hear. He said he could hear and understand so well that he almost felt like he could see! His outlook on life and attitude and his ability to “see” the important things in life inspired me then — and still today — to remember how blessed we all are, and how lucky we are to have the ability to hear those that we love and to do what we love!”
- Kate Marr, Au.D., Starkey Hearing Technologies.
Changing people’s lives
As for me, at the risk of sounding sappy, being an audiologist has given me the opportunity to see firsthand the positive effects of better hearing. I will never forget a hearing aid fitting I did for an elderly woman from Kentucky. She was in her early 90s and had never worn hearing aids. She was an absolute delight to meet. She was gregarious and full of life. After raising eight children on her own by working two, sometimes three jobs, she worried that spending money on herself to purchase hearing aids would be selfish. Little did she know that her children had decided beforehand to chip in to help her buy the hearing aids. She was so overjoyed with how well she could hear and by the kindness of her children’s surprise that there wasn’t a dry eye in the office. A few weeks after her hearing aid fitting, she mailed me a handwritten note. She was delighted by how well she could hear her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and said that her new hearing aids were worth every penny. I have kept her note for more than a decade. It reminds me why I love being an audiologist.
We know our “why”
New York Times best-selling author and speaker, Simon Sinek, argues that people don’t care what you do, they care WHY you do it. Your WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do professionally. Sinek believes that knowing your WHY will help you feel inspired in your career, while also inspiring those around you. The audiologists I spoke with seem to understand their WHY. A sincere desire to help others inspires and encourages these audiologists both personally and professionally.
Ancient philosopher Confucius is credited with saying that if you, “Choose a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.” I think these audiologists would agree.