Reclaiming Agency in Your Orthopedic Career

“Tiger, help me find a new job.”

“Why do you want a job?”

Orthopedics is changing fast…. but I talk to people every week who are not keeping up with the change.

Professionals at every level—be it sales, engineering, marketing, operations, finance, or regulatory—are finding themselves at critical junctures in their careers.

These crossroads, often marked by layoffs, dissatisfaction, or a lack of challenge, prompt a search for something more fulfilling. However, this quest for fulfillment has revealed a concerning trend: many have become passive participants in their career journey, following a path laid out by convention rather than carving their own. This phenomenon points to a loss of personal agency and sovereignty in career decision-making.

The Problem: The Default Job Mentality in Career Paths

The orthopedic industry, with its rapid change and shifting market dynamics, requires people who are not only skilled but also adaptable and innovative. Yet, the safety of the familiar often trumps the uncertainty of the new, leading many to seek the next predictable step in their career ladder (Job) rather than assessing what truly brings them satisfaction and purpose (Agency). This herd mentality limits personal growth and industry innovation, as individuals settle into roles that may not fully utilize their potential or passion.

The Solution: Reclaiming Your Personal Agency

  1. Self-Assessment: Begin with a thorough self-assessment to identify what you truly value in your work and what you seek in your career. What does your ideal work-life look like? Consider factors beyond the immediate job description, such as the company culture, the impact of your work, and the opportunities for growth and learning.
  2. Continuous Learning: The orthopedic sector thrives on innovation, making continuous learning essential. By staying abreast of industry trends, technological advancements, and market shifts, you position yourself as a valuable asset and open doors to unexplored career paths. Subscribe to OrthoStreams (free) to stay on top.
  3. Networking: Build a robust professional network within the orthopedic community. Networking is not merely a tool for job hunting; it’s a way to exchange ideas, find mentors, and uncover opportunities that might not be visible through traditional job search methods. Join the growing BoneChat community to put your network on steroids.
  4. Entrepreneurial Mindset: Even if you’re not starting your own business, adopting an entrepreneurial mindset can be transformative. This means taking initiative, being solution-oriented, and willing to take calculated risks. Look for gaps in the market or within your organization where you can contribute uniquely. What problem has no one solved yet?
  5. Personal Branding: In a field as competitive as orthopedic devices, differentiating yourself is crucial. Develop a personal brand that highlights your unique skills, experiences, and vision for your career. Tell the universe what you are uniquely positioned for. This can help attract opportunities that align with your goals and values.
  6. Wellness and Resilience: Lastly, maintaining physical and mental wellness is foundational to personal sovereignty. The demands of the orthopedic field can be intense, and resilience is key to navigating setbacks and uncertainties.


The path to reclaiming agency in your orthopedic career is both challenging and rewarding. It requires introspection, initiative, and a willingness to venture beyond the comfort zone. By taking charge of your career trajectory, you not only enhance your own satisfaction and success but also contribute to the innovation and growth of the orthopedic industry. Let’s move beyond being followers in our professional journeys and start being leaders in shaping our career destinies.