Cut & paste this article to your ortho friends –

Early in my Engineering career, I wanted stability and loyalty on resume. I wanted to finish projects. I thought I would look for opportunities later. I passed an opportunity to joint Danek early, a startup that went from zero to 60% of the world spine market.

I was an idiot.

Most young people in orthopedics are idiots also. They are drawn to the comfort of the big organized orthopedic company.

Now that I am older and wiser, I realize that I should have had my bags packed for those startup opportunities on short notice.

When you are young there is zero opportunity costs to taking a chance to learn and to accelerate your career. You do not have obligations of a spouse, a mortgage, kids, cars, etc.

When you are older there are significant opportunity costs, so you must be much more careful with career moves.

Young = You have more career time. Focus on leveraging risk.

Old = You have less career time. Focus on leveraging experience.

Specific Advice:

Interview at least once a year, even if you are happy. You have to regularly “taste” the other opportunities and company cultures that are available.

Stay on top of the industry news.

At trade shows, talk to people at other companies. Don’t just hang out with your tribe.

Keep track of colleagues that move to other companies.

Network like crazy on linkedin.

Respond to all opportunities, no matter how crazy they seem. “I don’t want to live there.” “I’m not interested in that title.” etc.

Learn who the best recruiters are.

Most of all…

Be ready to GO.

Read – 7 Benefits of Working in a Startup

Read also – 16 career suggestions for young engineers in orthopedic companies