I have been observing Orthopedic careers for a long time. I see patterns. I have seen “made” careers and “lost” careers.
The more years I work in recruiting, the more that I see that every company has a golden period of around three-to-five years. I have been lucky enough to be in some of these golden orthopedic companies during these periods.
The golden years are defined by all cylinders firing in perfect sync. This is magic time. There is an attitude that anything is possible. There is great leadership. People work hard. There is laser focus. Things move fast. The company expands quickly. New technology reaches the market quickly. New departments are born.
For the individual who times a company during one of these waves, he or she can take on more responsibility, new titles and more compensation follow quickly.
I have many friends who manage to ride wave after wave of the right company at the right time. Their careers skyrocketed with each move.
On the flip side, every company also has years of struggling. Yes, even the ultra successful ones like Sofamor-Danek, MAKO, Kyphon, LDR Spine, etc. During the dark years, there can be an attitude of frustration. Leadership is changing or unsettled. People are confused. Things take forever. The company wanders. The company seems to always fixing things. There may ever be downsizings. Employees feel like they are stuck in mashed potatoes.
For the individual who mis-times these waves, there is no room for individual growth at this stage because the company is floundering.
I know individuals who have missed-timed the golden wave at each company that he or she joined. Their careers went nowhere.
Take Home Message
If you change companies often (and you should), the timing of when you join each company may be the most important variable, not technology, funding, management team, etc.