Checklist: Choosing a career

This section provides a list of things to think about before choosing a career, and why you should discuss your options with the cardiologist.

Points to consider before choosing a career

  • Learn as much as you can about your own heart defect. Doing so will improve your quality of life and prognosis, including in your working life.
  • Choose an area that you want to work in and that interests you.
  • Choose a career that you feel you are suited to.
  • The higher your educational level, the better the chance that you will continue to work throughout your life. This is especially true for people with congenital heart defects.
  • Choose a career that is flexible and that you can stay in for many years to come.
  • Avoid heavy physical jobs and work that is highly stressful.
  • Some careers (eg. pilots and other specialised careers in the military) are out of the question, even if you have a simple, corrected heart defect.
  • There are a few diagnoses that can prevent you from getting a license to drive taxis or heavy vehicles.
  • If your heart defect puts you at risk of fainting and falling, choose a career in which you can avoid injuring yourself or others.

Why you should discuss with your cardiologist about education and choosing a career

Proper medical and career counselling is very important if you want to succeed at work. Your cardiologist knows a great deal about which careers you should avoid.