How do I choose a mentor? How do I decide what field of neuroscience to work in? Should I consider doing research in industry? Most students and postdoctoral researchers aiming for a successful career in neuroscience ask themselves these questions. In this article, Nature Reviews Neuroscience asks four successful neuroscientists for their thoughts on the factors one should consider when making these decisions. We hope that this Viewpoint will serve as a useful resource for junior neuroscientists who have to make important and sometimes difficult decisions that might have long-lasting consequences for their careers.