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Your Career Search

As you begin your career search, you may want to ask yourself:

  • What type of job will make me feel happy and fulfilled?
  • What type of physical demands will I face in the workplace?
  • Will my bleeding disorder affect my career choice?

Think About Your Body

Will the type of work you do place stress on your joints or body? Is the potential for injury great? What is the likelihood of creating a target joint or making one you have worse? Think about how you will move your body to complete your daily tasks. Will you be sitting at a desk or standing all day?

You may also want to consider how the amount of physical activity you do at work will affect your time outside of work. If you have a very active job, you may feel tired or feel strained when you're not at work. Think about the activities you enjoy in your free time. Will your job interfere with your being physically able to participate in these activities?

Consider Job Benefits

When evaluating a particular job, consider the benefits. And not just monetary benefits, such as health or life insurance, salary reviews, saving plans, and vacations, but also opportunities for career growth.

Find out if the company you want to work for offers insurance plans to its employees and what the coverage is like. Be aware that not all employers offer insurance, and that benefits can differ greatly from one health plan to the next. If you do end up working in a job that offers insurance, you cannot be denied coverage based on the high treatment costs of your bleeding disorder. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) states that an individual cannot be excluded from employer group health insurance because of a medical condition.

For more information on what to look for in an insurance plan, go to Health Insurance.

What Is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a law that helps people with pre-existing conditions get insurance coverage. Currently under HIPAA, you cannot be denied insurance coverage based on a pre-existing condition as long as your prior insurance coverage has not lapsed for more than 63 days. If you have had a break in your insurance coverage, insurance companies can exclude you from coverage because of your pre-existing condition. (Note: this will end on January 1, 2014, under the Affordable Care Act.)

For more information on HIPPA, click here.

No matter what type of job you start out with, it’s likely that as you gain more knowledge and skill, you will want to advance in your career, both to take on more responsibility and to earn a higher salary. You may want to look into what professional development opportunities are offered by the companies you are interested in joining. Some workplaces offer mentoring programs that pair up new employees with the more established and experienced company employees. Some make conferences, seminars, and training available; some may even offer educational benefits that cover the cost of classes at a college or other institution. Also, look at who is in management positions? Are these people who worked their way up through the company? If so, that could be you after some hard work.

In addition to career development opportunities, you may be interested in whether the company offers any financial benefits. For example, after you work somewhere for a certain length of time, your employer might make contributions to investment or retirement accounts.

These may not be deciding factors in your job selection process, but the more information you gather and weigh, the better your decision will be.

Work Settings Options: The Pros and Cons

For people with bleeding disorders, the physical work environment can be a help or hindrance and can greatly impact overall quality of life.

Here are some of the working options that may be available to you:


Some companies allow telecommuting or working from a location outside of the traditional workplace. If this option is available to you, you may find that it’s convenient to work from home, where you can store your supplies and self-infuse easily. However, you may miss out on the teamwork and social interaction you get from being onsite in the workplace.

Office Work

Working in an office allows for easy interaction with coworkers and access to office supplies, printers, copy machines, and other tools you may need to complete your job. If you need to self-infuse or treat a bleed while in the workplace, you will need to think about things such as how you will store your supplies and where you will be able to infuse.


You may have a job in which you travel to a location away from the office to work. Consider how often you will be traveling and where you will be going. Some areas may have good medical resources and living and working conditions for you to be able to manage your bleeding disorder. If your fieldwork takes you to the middle of the desert, however, you may find that’s not the case.

Industrial/Factory Settings

What type of machinery will you be handling? Think about the risk of injury and the amount of physical activity that will be required. There may be ways for you to make a job in this setting work well for you. If you work in a warehouse, for example, you might be able to drive a forklift instead of bending and lifting items on your own.

Small Company vs Large Company

Working for small or large companies may provide you with very different experiences. Consider what type of insurance and benefits are offered, as well as potential for career advancement. The work environment may also be an important aspect of your decision.

Do Your Research

There are a lot of things for you to consider as you think about your career path. Take advantage of all of the resources available to you. A school guidance or career counselor is a good resource for information, as are Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) social workers. And don’t forget about the Internet!

Military Service and Bleeding Disorders

The military has strict medical requirements that must be met in order to enlist. All branches of the military follow the Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services. These standards ensure that everyone serving in the military is both free of disease and medically capable of performing all duties.

Bleeding disorders do not meet the health standard, and the military will not accept an applicant with a bleeding disorder.