Previous: Make Adulthood Awesome: Become a How to Adult Patron!
Next: 3 Tips to Overcome Stress & Anxiety!



View count:39,683
Last sync:2024-07-08 06:45
Dreams don't always come true in adulthood, but what if that's actually a GOOD thing? SciShow's brilliant host Caitlin Hofmeister is here with advice on surviving a quarter-life crisis (or midlife crisis), choosing your career, finding your purpose, and her surprising experience of actually TURNING DOWN her dream job...three times.

Be sure to check out Caitlin's amazing work at and!

Emily Graslie's How to Adult video, "How to Get Your Dream Job":

Support How to Adult on Patreon at

HOW TO ADULT Posters Now Available from DFTBA Records!

Merchandise from Mike (including "Reading Changes Us" and "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost" posters!):

"How to Adult" is a "life skills" edutainment channel brought to you by Executive Producers Hank Green and John Green. Subscribe for new videos every week!


Created by:
Emma Mills & T. Michael (Mike) Martin
Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including
Indiebound ( ) and Amazon: (

Hosted and Written by:
Caitlin Hofmeister

Edited by:
Caitlin Hofmeister and T. Michael Martin

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green
Hi How To Adult adults! I'm Caitlin Hofmeister. I produce SciShow and SciShow Space, of which I am also a host, and I produce and direct SciShow Kids and Animal Wonders. 
So, I have a pretty great job. But it's kind of a weird job,  because it's not one that existed before I started doing it. This video is about recognizing what you have, valuing what you're worth, and what to do when maybe you've outgrown your dream job. It's a thing that can happen. This video is partly inspired by Emily Graskey's awesome video about how to land your dream job, and my recent, heart-wrenching experience of having to turn down my dream job. Three times. So here is how to turn down your dream job, or, how to survive one kind of an intense quarter-life crisis in five scary, gut-wrenching, and ultimately comforting steps.
(I'm gonna live to be 116.)
Step One: someone offers you your dream job, and you feel weird about it. You feel weird! That's a thing. Pay attention to it. If you don't feel weird, awesome, just skip ahead to the end of the video and I'll tell you the weirdest job I ever had. In my case, I did feel weird about it. A produce I'd worked with before I went to graduate school called me up and offered me a job I had actually kinda fantasized about having. When I moved to Montana I actually never changed my phone number, because I secretly, very secretly, hoped this producer-friend-of-mine would keep my phone number and someday call me and ask me to work with him and a director who he works with a lot, who is just my all-time-favorite film maker. And that's what happened. My old producer friend called me up because he and this director are making a film in Montana and needed a script supervisor. Then I felt, weird. We had just started working on SciShow Kids and I was loving it, and I couldn't ignore that. So...
Step Two: I was honest. Be honest. Oh, be honest. Because inevitably when you get super weird and awkward and try to avoid making a decision, like a child, and maybe openly weep to someone you don't know very well, they will forgive you, because you were honest. So I told my producer friend what I was up to and what my job entailed and we both sort of graciously agreed that it didn't sound like it was going to work out. I recommended some other people I know, who could fill the roll of script supervisor, and some other people for other jobs, and wished him well, and that shoud've been that. But...
Step Three: be clear with everyone you're talking to, and be clear to yourself.  Because my producer friend and I had both come to the same realization that working on the film probably wouldn't work with my schedule, I never actually said no.  So after they filled the script supervisor position and they needed to fill another role, which would have been even cooler and was working directly under one of my heroes, they called me again, or actually e-mailed me.  Which I'm not gonna lie, was a huge honor, I had been working for probably eight years to be the person that you call when you want to crew a film, and it had paid off.  Just not quite at the right time.  But this is where I messed up: I wasn't prompt.  Because the part of me that had worked for so long and so hard to get that exact opportunity, the part of me that had actually envisioned myself being the person that my hero relied on--those parts of me were just--yes, yes, I'll start right now, of course!  But the part of me that loves my job and has worked so hard for SciShow and cares deeply about the people I work with and the content we put out, the current me knew I had to say no.  But past me is a big part of me, too, and she's not as mature as current me, and she won out for a couple days, and I didn't email back.  But eventually, I was able to put past Caitlin in her place, because current Caitlin likes making decisions and just plain making things.  I e-mailed back my producer friend, gave them a few more recommendations for this new position, and accepted it as a missed opportunity.  I still think it's an awesome job, but I've kind of leapfrogged over it.  Missing it, but in a way, I'm happy about. 

Which brings me to step four: mourn.  I love my job, and I am so, so happy to have it, but that part of me that had worked so hard for so long to go after that dream job?  She's still a big part of me, and that part of me is allowed to mourn my growing up.  This part was really, really hard for me, I was really restless about my decision while trying to pretend that I was happy about it.  So finally, I had to turn the job down for the third and final time.  Because I've been working so hard in the indie film industry before SciShow was even a thing, more people besides my producer friend knew about my dream job, and knew what I was capable of on a film set.  So when I couldn't fill the position, and when my recommendation couldn't fill the position because of scheduling conflict, they called me again.  This time, it was my newer friend who had just joined the production crew.  I had been pretending that I was fine and that the part of me who had dreamed about this wasn't freaking out, so when she called and offered it to me again, I burst into tears.  I'd been trying to be chipper and strong, but the reason I was struggling with this decision was because I was sad about it.  I was making the right decision, but I still needed to mourn that had once been my dream job was never going to be a part of my life. 

I am so happy with my life and my job, but the longer you adult, the more things are not like you imagined they would be when you were younger.  They're usually better because just no one's imagination is that good, but it's still sad to let go of things.  So if you're moving past some of your former dreams and going to the very purposeful steps of growing up, don't forget this last step.

Step five, celebrate!  Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.  I need like a--ohhhh.  Celebrate.  No decision really feels real until you share it.  I've been keeping this mostly to myself, I hadn't told my coworkers or my bosses that I was being offered another job, and that was a super lonely feeling.  I'm not sure I ever actually told Hank.  Hank, I didn't leave.  But I told everybody else.  I was never actually considering leaving them, I just needed to figure out how to let go of my former dream job.  So I told them how I'd struggled with that, and that I was now feeling a lot better and bonus, now I wasn't seeming weird and they knew for sure that I love working with them, and I knew for sure that I loved working with them and that I love making videos about science.  Not a job I ever imagined having, because it really didn't exist until pretty recently, but it makes me really, really happy. 

So go ahead, feel weird, be honest and clear, mourn and feel all the feels, and then celebrate once you've made or come to terms with a big decision.  Thank you so much for letting me join you on How to Adult today.  Now go grow up and be awesome catchphrasey catchphrase.  Oh, and if you just skipped ahead to the end of this video to hear about my weird job, I think the weirdest job I've ever had was being a babysitter for these kids whose dad owned a caboose of a train.  He didn't own a train, just a caboose, and it just like, hooked up to this train and my job mostly entailed of just like, keeping the kids on the caboose, 'cause they were crazy.