Job stability and a career in research are rarely put together. Science is a windy, grueling, uphill climb that might end abruptly at the edge of a cliff. Halloween is a particularly scary time for Australian scientists, as it signals the release of #NHMRC project grant results. Right now, many laboratories are facing difficult decisions due to rejected funding for next year. It’s not a surprise — we see it everywhere — yet it’s a shock that affects the entire scientific community. For early career researchers across the globe, it’s a timely reminder to carefully consider and plan for the future.