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Job Choice

For people with a bleeding disorder, all jobs are not created equal. Finding a fulfilling career that can also support your health is an important goal. Start by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • How physically strenuous is the job I'm considering? The more strenuous work a job entails, the more likely it will be to cause bleeds. Jobs where you are on your feet all day, lifting heavy objects, or constantly traveling may make it harder for you to minimize bleeding-related complications and maintain your health.
  • Should I work for myself or for a company? If you are someone who uses a lot of factor or has other medical expenses, you’ll need to find a job that offers good health insurance. This doesn’t mean you can’t do what you love. The key will be to find a balance between what you love to do and a job that provides good benefits and lifestyle support.
  • Should I work for a large or a small company? Large companies are more likely to offer comprehensive health coverage and benefits. The best benefits are often in jobs with the government and school districts.

Self-Assessment & Career Choice: A Step-By-Step Process

A professional identity can be very important to how you view yourself. Choosing a career can feel both overwhelming and exciting at the same time. There are a variety of considerations that you may want to keep in mind as you begin this process. If you are in college, it might be helpful to visit your career center early and often to make the most of their resources, which can include support in selecting your academic major, job & internship search assistance, and advice for developing resumes & cover letters. If you are not in school, or you would just like additional information, there are a number of resources on this page that may be helpful for you as you think about a new career.

One valuable thing to keep in mind is that there is a range of careers that could be a good fit for you. Also, what might be a great fit for you today might not be a good fit for you later in your life.

It’s very important in the beginning stages of career choice to gather as much information as you can about yourself and the potential careers in which you are interested.  Naturally, as you learn more about yourself and your career options, you will begin to narrow down your choices until you find the career that you plan to pursue.

The following are some key factors that may assist in your process of making an informed career choice. However, this is just a starting point. You should make the most of all of the resources available to you.

Interests and Skills

One of the most common beginning points in exploring career choice is to consider what you are good at (skills) and what you like (interests).  Holland’s Codes provides an easy-to-use model of career interests and skills. This model developed by John Holland, PhD–a  psychologist that researched career choice and satisfaction–allows you to use common general occupational themes to help categorize the types of activities in which you are interested and skilled.

Holland's Codes

The six primary personalities or interest profiles are:

  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional

Typically, a person will have a three-letter code based on the three categories that best describe them.

What are your codes?

Read the descriptions of each code below, and identify the three codes that best describe you!


  • Active and enjoy hands-on or manual activities, such as building, mechanics, machinery operation, and athletics
  • Prefer to work with things rather than ideas and people
  • Enjoy engaging in physical activity and often like being outdoors and working with plants and animals
  • Prefer to “learn by doing” in a practical, task-oriented setting, as opposed to spending extended periods of time in a classroom
  • Communicate in a direct manner
  • Like jobs that allow them to produce results


  • Analytical, intellectual, observant and enjoy research, mathematical or scientific activities
  • Drawn to challenges and focused on creative problem solving
  • May not like being in highly structured environments
  • Enjoy using logic and solving highly complex, abstract problems
  • Often work independently and do not seek leadership roles
  • Place a high value on science and learning
  • Like jobs that allow independent work and focus on solving complex problems in original ways


  • Original and imaginative and enjoy creative activities, such as composing or playing music, writing, drawing or painting and acting
  • Seek opportunities for self-expression through art
  • Generally impulsive and emotional and tend to communicate in a very expressive and open manner
  • View themselves as creative and as having musical, dramatic, artistic or writing abilities
  • May not have strong organizational skills
  • Like jobs that encourage originality and use of the imagination in an unstructured setting


  • Idealistic, responsible and concerned with the well-being of others
  • Enjoy participating in group activities and helping, training, healing, counseling or developing others
  • Generally focused on human relationships and enjoy social activities and solving interpersonal problems
  • Seek opportunities to work as part of a team and solve problems through discussions
  • May avoid activities that involve use of equipment or machines
  • Genuinely enjoy working with people and communicate in a warm and careful manner and can be persuasive
  • View themselves as understanding, helpful, cheerful and skilled in teaching
  • Like jobs that encourage teamwork and allow for significant interaction with others


  • Energetic, ambitious, adventurous, sociable and self-confident
  • Enjoy activities that require them to persuade others, such as sales, and seek out leadership roles
  • Often effective public speakers and generally sociable but may be viewed as dominant or intimidating
  • View themselves as assertive, self-confident and skilled in leadership and speaking, but lacking in scientific abilities
  • Like jobs that encourage them to engage in activities, such as leadership, management and selling, and reward them through money, power and status


  • Efficient, careful and organized
  • Prefer carrying out well-defined instructions over being in leadership roles
  • Prefer organized, systematic activities and have an aversion to unclear situations
  • Skilled in maintaining data, organizing schedules and operating office equipment
  • Rarely seek leadership or roles in the spotlight
  • Thorough, persistent and reliable in carrying out tasks
  • May see themselves as unimaginative or lacking in creativity
  • Like jobs that include record keeping and data management, in a structured environment that places high value on dependability
Adapted from:

You can review the codes and take a quiz here and/or watch this video to determine your three Holland Codes.

Now that you have determined your top 3 Holland Codes, you can begin to build awareness of potential careers that are a fit for your interests and skills. Visit O*Net and select your 3 Holland Codes to begin to search for careers that match your codes. You can click on careers that peak your interest and gain further information about the activities, work context, education, values, wages & employment trends, similar careers, and even job openings to get a greater sense of the careers that might be a good fit for you. 

Work Personality

Another important component of understanding yourself with regard to career choice is your work personality. Understanding your work personality can assist you in assessing whether you prefer a profession that requires group activity or individual contributions; offers the ability to think about the big picture and strategy versus details that relate to the current situation; appreciates logical decision-making or values-based decisions; or allows you to be spontaneous or requires significant amounts of planning. When determining your work personality, it’s typical to assess who you are at the core and what your instinctual preferences are.

A common theory often used to assess people’s work personalities is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It was developed by a mother and daughter team, Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, based on the theories of psychologist, Carl Jung.

The MBTI examines your preferences on four different ways of being. You will obtain a four-letter type after completing the MBTI. You can begin to consider your work personality type by reviewing this site. Scroll to the “type table” in the middle of the page, and read the descriptions of each of the 16 personality types to choose yours.

The middle two letters of the four-letter type are often referred to as the “heart of type” and tend to indicate what drives you in career. The options for the “heart of type” are SF, ST, NT, or NF. Read the descriptions for SF, ST, NT, and NF here to get a sense of your primary personality drivers for career.

Thinking about how your personality plays a role in your career choice can help you gain additional knowledge of potential careers that fit who you are. Here you can read more about your individual MBTI type and how it relates to career choice.

Now, at this point, you should feel more prepared to develop a list of careers that match your interests and skills and you should also now have a career list that fits your work personality. You may want to keep these considerations in mind as you move on to the next parts of the self-assessment.

Lifestyle and Values

Your values play a key part in your career choice. Think about your job-related beliefs and ideas that affect how satisfied you are with your job. When considering values related to your job, it’s important to distinguish between core values (i.e. the value set that you cannot live without in a job) and other important values, which would be nice to have but are not necessary to still enjoy your job.

Here is a comprehensive list of work values that you can begin to sort through to get a good sense of what your core driver values are.

Where do you want to live? How much money do you want to earn? What type of hours do you want to work? Does additional education fit in with your plans? What is your definition of work-life balance? It may be helpful to list all the considerations around your lifestyle that really matter to you to help you to narrow down your career choices.

Considerations Related To Your Bleeding Disorder

Finding a fulfilling career that can also support you maintaining your health is important. You may also need to consider the following:

  • How physically strenuous are the jobs you’re considering? How will your bleeding disorder be impacted by the physical demands of this job? Will doing this work create more bleeds for you or potential for accidents?
  • Will this career likely have the health insurance and related benefits that you need? Certain types of careers may not offer the benefits that you need for your health and well-being. What types of benefits can you expect in this type of career? Can you find positions for this type of career in organizations that may provide a benefit structure that is necessary to maintain your health? For example, a graphic designer could work freelance, but could also work in-house for a large organization that provides employees with health-insurance and other benefits.
  • What needs do you have that are particular to how your bleeding disorder affects your life? You should consider your past health history and what issues you may have, currently and in the near future, that relate to your bleeding disorder and your career choice.

With the information that you gathered from Lifestyle and Values and Considerations Related To Your Bleeding Disorder, you should now be able to narrow down your career options.

With your remaining list, you can now begin to gather even more in depth information about what these career options are like. You can begin by using research sources such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Informational Interviews

Once you have a final list, you may now begin a search to set up Informational Interviews with individuals who hold these jobs you are considering for your own career. Here is a guide to help you get started with your informational interviews.

As you meet with people for informational interviews, you will likely want to meet with several people in each field that you are interested in since they each may have unique experiences in their jobs to share with you. It is important to make sure you meet with people who enjoy their job! If they also have a bleeding disorder, you might also be able to find out how their bleeding disorder fits with the lifestyle of this career.

You should be listening to them with an evaluative ear. Think about what you know about yourself. Is this career a fit? Do you have concerns? Are those concerns deal breakers or can you get over those hurdles? What will you need to be successful in this career?

The relationships that you develop through these informational interviews will be invaluable to you, as these people may one day become your mentors or colleagues. Remember to stay in touch, be gracious, and always think of the relationship as a two-way street. It can be difficult to consider networking relationships as mutual, as people often feel as if they are in need of information, support, or other contacts, while the person you are networking with is in need of nothing. Find ways to give back to them: consider their interests, such as their family or hobbies (if they share these details with you), mentor people whom they send your way in the future, and keep a solid relationship going with them at all times, not just when you need something.

Final Step

After gathering all of this information, evaluating it and discussing it with trusted people in your inner circle, you will be closer to making a decision about choosing a career that makes sense for you.

Below are some resources for applying and interviewing for jobs that may be helpful as you move forward with your job hunt. You are well on your way to your new career! 


The content on this page has been provided by Dr. Lisa Orbé-Austin, a licensed psychologist and executive coach.