Why is choosing the right lab such a big deal? It’s actually something you CAN choose and it will make a huge difference for your future career and life. You might see a lab head as choosing you, but in reality, you are giving your hard work and talent for many years (at a very low salary I might add). You have a right and responsibility to choose a lab where you can thrive and do your best work. This post is focused on choosing a lab, but almost all of these guidelines can apply to any workplace or job. It amazes me when the most analytic scientists seem to toss data-driven reasoning out the window when making decisions. We think scientists make choices based on logic and reason, but often our decisions are based on emotions and assumptions. I’m not just talking about simple things like “Which route should I take to get to work?”; we often make important life decisions without much logic - even choosing a training lab where we will spend the next 6 years.