|Scott Kariya , ReServe|
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In the year before he retired, Scott Kariya felt nervous, almost scared.
“I retired because I was tired of what I was doing and because, financially, I was able to, but I was in a quandary about what I would do with myself,” recalls Kariya, who retired at 50 after a 22-year corporate career as an information and technology recruiter.
He spent a year not doing much of anything. He filled his time managing his investments and doing home renovations. He took trips to places he’d always dreamed of, such as the Galapagos Islands.
After six months he was antsy. Within a year, he was climbing the walls. “I was good at every job I’ve had,” he says, “except retirement.”
He began a systematic personal assessment that he hoped would lead to a clear career choice. He analyzed his strengths, what he liked to do and whether his hobbies might lead to a new career direction.
“Nothing took hold,” Kariya says, until he read a newspaper article about an organization called ReServe and was drawn to its mission of matching experienced adults with part-time, paid work at local nonprofits.
After calling ReServe and finding no open positions with partner organizations, he “suggested his way into a position” at ReServe’s main office in New York City.
“Sometimes things are not that obvious,” Kariya says. “So, as a job searcher, you have to anticipate what you think an organization or industry might need and how you might play a role in it.” For him, that meant selling ReServe on the idea that his professional background as a recruiter would help the organization make more matches. ReServe agreed to give him a try.
He started working 15 hours a week, helping people find jobs paying a stipend of $10 an hour. It wasn’t long before he moved into a part-time, salaried position, working with area nonprofits to create new partnerships and increase the pool of open positions.
He finds it satisfying to help shape a new role for experienced adults in the public and nonprofit sectors. “It just galls me to think that there are so many valuable skills that people have that are not being used,” he says. “The nonprofits I work with are so grateful to have highly skilled, experienced people. It’s a wonderful thing.”
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