The early career phase is a fragile, precarious time in the life of an academic. I am talking specifically about the second half of the PhD period through a postdoc period, up to and including the start of an assistant professorship. It has been said many times that those who consider to opt out of the academic system are more often than not the most talented researchers rather than ‘misfits’ or those who after all appear to lack the ability (e.g. 3 myths about leaving the academy). What, then, causes these talented researchers, who appear to be doing great, to consider quitting academia?