If there’s one thing Liz Auster has learned since she retired, it’s that retirement isn’t for her. She spent 45+ years working full time as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in and around the hustle and bustle of New York City, so when she and her husband both gave up their careers and moved to Florida, it didn’t take Liz long to figure out that she would go stir crazy if she didn’t find a part-time job. She found just the right one with WOU, and as she says, “It’s the best job I’ve ever had.”
What did you do for a living before retiring?
Basically, I’ve been in non-profits all of my life. I was a Certified Rehab. Counselor working with substance abusers in a meth clinic for ten years. Then, I worked in the criminal justice system doing workforce development and went on to become an assistant director of a welfare-to-work program.
What attracted you to the position at WOU?
I rose through the ranks in my prior positions and realized I wanted to go back to my roots. I didn’t want any more administrative responsibility and I missed working with the clients, so I was looking for a hands-on position. This is perfect!
How is this position different from your role as a Certified Rehab. Counselor?
I’ve always worked with people with barriers, but the barriers were predominantly socioeconomic-related, not disabilities. It’s refreshing to work with a population of people who genuinely want to work. The only stressful part of my job now is getting good jobs for my clients.
How does the position work with your current lifestyle?
This job is great for me because I make my own hours and I don’t have to sit in an office all day. I typically go to the office once a week and am out in the community three days a week meeting with my clients, which (she chuckles) helps my marriage because my husband is home during the day.
How have you adjusted to life in Florida?
It was getting crazy in New York. I was driving 120 miles a day back and forth to work, the taxes were so expensive, and my husband and I realized we wouldn’t be able to retire if we stayed in New York. It’s definitely a different lifestyle down here, but we’re adjusting. My husband was an umpire in his free time in New York, and now he can umpire 11 months out of the year, so he’s very, very happy.