I believe that I have discovered 5 stages of a career in the Orthopedics industry. They are: Wow, More, Scratch, Stagnation, Flight.

Everybody’s orthopedic career is different. Some rocket to leadership, some have strong productive careers, and others toil away in the trenches. I talk to ALOT of people. I hear orthopedic professionals who often describe one these 5 stages in their career.

Let me know what you think.


Stage 1 – Wow

I can’t believe I am working into this great industry”This in your first job in orthopedics. You get to actually design market or make implants that help patients. Or I get to sell to surgeons and solve problems in real time in the OR. 


Stage 2 – More

Ok, your are competent now. You have learned your job. You have tangible evidence of success. You can point to victories that you made happen. So you ask, “How do I get more responsibility, bigger projects, move up?”


Stage 3 – Scratch 

In this phase you fight for your career. Often others seem to get the big promotions, the better territory, the big new titles.  You don’t seem to have enough leverage to get to where you want to go, but you fight anyway.  


Stage 4 – Stagnation 

Ok, you have been grinding for a long time and you are feed up. You come to grips with the reality that you cannot change the world as you had once thought. You feel like you have to get out of this machine when the timing is right.


Stage 5 – Flight

You are done now. You are willing to walk away. Flight to a more sane position. You may want more agency, more ownership, more autonomy, more equity, or just less travel. You may jump to a startup, you may start your own company, or you may focus on volunteering and giving back.


What phase are you in? tiger@tigerbuford.com