I talk to alot of orthopedic industry people every week.

I’m surprised by some of the career motives I hear. Many ortho professionals strive to reach a comfort level in their career when they have made it!  They envision a big title with a large team in a company where everything is organized and well-run. They believe if they have the right degrees, the right training and they work hard, they will reach that comfortable well-paid job. This is what draws many ortho professionals into the giants like Stryker, ZB and J&J Depuy-Synthes.  Career comfort will lead to career happiness.

This is misguided. I don’t believe in career comfort. I think that we should seek out discomfort in our careers.

Humans are designed for struggle with thousands of years of seeking food and fighting off enemies. Fast forward to today, people need to have a steady flow of challenges in their careers to be happy.

Seek out things that are hard to do. Seek out difficult tasks and challenging projects. Seek out a boss with high expectations. Seek out a new company ecosystem or business model that pushes you hard.

Here is a test. Looking back on your life, “Who was your favorite teacher?” He or she probably pushed you out of your comfort zone. You have to embrace discomfort in order to grow.

Don’t fall into the comfort trap.  Seek out your discomfort. If you are not experiencing new struggles in your orthopedics career today, then change it. Even if things are going well, you should change companies, change roles or change responsibilities at least every 3 years… or you are standing still. 


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