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Schooling and training

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"What do I want to be?" is a question most of us face at some point. And the decision is anything but easy - especially with a congenital heart defect. Like most people, you want an interesting job that you enjoy.

Fortunately, your heart defect is no obstacle to choosing a career. With a few exceptions, young adults with a congenital heart defect can choose any Profession.

A good education is essential, as most professions require a certain level of qualification. There are studies that show that the better educated a person is, the more likely he or she is to pursue a profession.

How do I find my profession?

No matter whether it's an apprenticeship, training or a profession: At some point you are faced with the question "What kind of job do I want to have in the future?". Your talents and interests already manifest themselves at school: are you more technically and scientifically gifted or are you more interested in geography or religion? Are you talented in craftsmanship? Can you express yourself well and do you enjoy subjects like German or English? Do you like dealing with people and would you like to learn a social profession?

Voluntary internships in companies and organisations are helpful already during your school time.

This allows you to find out at an early stage whether your profession is compatible with your ability to work under pressure and whether it meets your expectations. During the final interview, you can also ask for valuable tips for your career choice. Perhaps you have just acquired additional skills by dealing with your heart defect and are, for example, particularly conscientious and well-organized or you are good at putting yourself in other people's shoes? Perhaps your illness brings with it restrictions that do not allow you to perform physically demanding activities.

Planning for the long term is not always easy. Perhaps you don't yet have a vision of your future or you may even find the thought of it overwhelming. Don't worry. You can become a scientist, journalist, doctor, welder, IT technician ... or almost any other profession, if you set your mind to it.

It is important that you carefully weigh up your various options and think about which path can lead to your dream job.

Take advantage of counselling offers.

This can take the form of a discussion with a cardiologist and/or careers advisor (AMS, BFI, WIFI), in which your talents and strengths are explored.

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Training/apprenticeship or higher education

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Perhaps you are not aiming for a training/apprenticeship, but would rather study for a degree?

It is also possible to combine training and apprenticeship with a school leaving examination.

Ask a careers adviser to show you the different possibilities and also try to visit job and student fairs.

What should be considered when choosing a career

Sometimes the heart defect itself or the consequences of treatment result in restrictions in the choice of education and profession. The important thing is not to get discouraged. Stick to your goal, even if you encounter obstacles - for example, if you are advised not to pursue your desired career path because you need an operation or cannot work full-time. Usually a solution can be found in these situations as well.

How much honesty is necessary?

It is worth knowing as much as possible about your heart defect and its possible consequences - not only when choosing a career, but also in many other situations.

It is important that you are able to openly tell others about your heart defect - an employer, for example.

However, it is up to you to decide how much you want to disclose.

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