My main professional goal is to prepare my trainees for a successful and inspiring career in whatever line of work they eventually choose. I enjoy writing letters of recommendation because they give me the chance to reflect on the trajectory members of the lab/center have taken and how much they have developed and grown during their time with us. Similarly, it is truly exciting to see how our alumni are successful in their careers. Yet, I have to admit it is not always easy to see outstanding trainees depart since each of them leave behind a gap in our fabric as a lab, both scientifically and also as a person and member of our family. I guess this is what it will feel like when the kids are grown up and leave for college / their own independent adult lives. Like parenting, the goal of a mentor in science (or whatever field) is to think from day one how to prepare the mentee to become independent and not need the mentor anymore. Anything else I find quite egoistic. In any case, here is what I tell my "lab children": once a member a family, forever a member of the family! Now, that analogy breaks down in the sense that as a PI, I get the chance to recruit the next generation of talent and steadily grow the family. So if you are interested in joining our family, never hesitate to reach out since we are always looking to hire outstanding, dedicated junior scientists!