The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) is one of the leading societies of oncology professionals in the world. Approximately 30% of the 13 000 ESMO members are below the age of 40 and thus meet the society's definition of young oncologists (YOs). ESMO has identified the training and development of YOs as a priority and has therefore established a comprehensive career development programme. This includes a leadership development programme to help identify and develop the future leaders in oncology. Well-trained and highly motivated future generations of multidisciplinary oncologists are essential to ensure the optimal evolution of the field of oncology with the ultimate goal of providing the best possible care to patients with cancer. ESMO's career development portfolio is managed and continuously optimised by several dedicated committees composed of ESMO officers and is directly supervised by the ESMO Executive Board and the ESMO President. It offers unique resources for YOs at all stages of training and includes a broad variety of fellowship opportunities, educational courses, scientific meetings, publications and resources. In this article, we provide an overview of the activities and career development opportunities provided by ESMO to the next generation of oncologists.