Where is your next Lily Pad ?

As an observer of Orthopedic careers, I have noticed intriguing patterns. I’ve witnessed careers that soared to great heights and others that seemed to lose their way in the vast pond of opportunities.

With each passing year in the recruiting, I’ve come to realize that every orthopedic company experiences a golden period that spans approximately three to five years. Having been fortunate enough to be a part of some of these golden companies, I can attest to the magic that unfolds during these phases.

The golden years are characterized by synchronized perfection, where all cylinders fire harmoniously. It’s a time when the prevailing attitude is one of endless possibilities, and exceptional leadership is the guiding light. During these moments, people work diligently with unwavering focus, propelling the company forward at an astonishing pace. Rapid expansion becomes the norm, and cutting-edge technology swiftly makes its way to the market, giving birth to new departments and avenues of growth.

For individuals who have the astuteness to time their entry into a company during one of these golden periods, the rewards can be substantial. They find themselves shouldering greater responsibilities, earning new titles, and enjoying rapid career advancement with corresponding increases in compensation.

I’m fortunate to have witnessed numerous friends who have mastered the art of jumping from one lily pad to another at precisely the right time. With each calculated leap, their careers have soared to new heights, propelled by the momentum of the companies they joined.

However, just as every lily pad has its day in the sun, it also experiences periods of struggle. Even the most successful orthopedic companies, such as Sofamor-Danek, MAKO, Kyphon, LDR Spine, and others, encounter their dark years. During these times, frustration may permeate the atmosphere as leadership undergoes changes or remains unsettled. Confusion lingers, and progress becomes an arduous task. The company seems to be perpetually caught in a cycle of fixing things, and downsizings may even become a reality. It’s a stage where employees feel like they’re trapped in mashed potatoes, unable to move forward.

For those unfortunate individuals who misjudge the timing and find themselves on the wrong lily pad during these challenging periods, the opportunities for personal growth become scarce. The floundering company stifles their professional development, leaving their careers stagnant and unfulfilled.

I’ve come across individuals who repeatedly missed the golden wave at every company they joined, resulting in their careers going nowhere. They failed to grasp the importance of timing in this intricate dance of professional progression.

The key takeaway from these observations is that if you choose to explore different companies throughout your career (which I highly recommend), the timing of each leap you make becomes the most critical factor. It surpasses the significance of the technology, funding, or even the management team. By understanding when to make your move, you can ensure that you land on the right lily pad at the opportune moment, propelling your career forward with each calculated jump.