Third Half Advisors: Bridging the Gap for Post-Career Professionals
A post-retirement consulting venture helps retiring boomers navigate through their “third half” in life.
At last, retirement has finally arrived! So well deserved, it is the crowning achievement of a hard-working career, the off-ramp of a demanding, challenging profession. You’ve looked forward to this for so long, and now you can finally bask on that sunny Florida beach, sleep in, play golf, spend more time with the grandkids. No more fighting rush hour traffic, working late night hours, meeting deadlines, or crafting that perfect presentation, just lots and lots of R&R … maybe too much R&R.
Living in the fast lane juggling responsibilities, goals, number crunching, project management, family, and then suddenly switching to a slower-paced lifestyle can be jarring to one’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Some may view this as being led out to pasture and envision themselves sitting among old folks nodding off in front of a television. It’s a scary thought for those who feel they still have so much to contribute and crave a sense of fulfillment like their successful careers once gave them.
Retiring with Purpose
Campbell Gerrish and Caroline Brecker shared these same sentiments. They thought about their futures and found thousands of people who did as well. The two had crossed paths over 20 years ago in New York City as financial service executives advising affluent clients. They both saw that the next phase in life was open-ended without any clear direction. Could their clients, or they for that matter, happily flourish transitioning into retirement? There was no program to be found addressing this life change.
According to Gerrish, “Boomers entering retirement tend to be secure financially, but they haven’t thought deeply about what to do with their time. They’ve been focused on family and career and not on what happens when they enter this new phase in their life.”
Gerrish and Brecker decided to do something about it and together founded Third Half Advisors. Their goal was to change the future of aging in America. Programs would be developed enabling successful people to discover and nurture new or even old skills and interests. Their business expertise, combined with shared values and desire to help people, launched the new venture on a solid foundation poised for success.The name, Third Half, may sound unusual, but not if you’re a rugby enthusiast like Gerrish, who played rugby in his college days. After competitions, players joined in camaraderie with one another marking the “third half” of the game. Players formed relationships, built community, and enriched their lives. Their time spent together was always looked forward to after each match.
We can view our own lives with this rugby metaphor. We grow up, pursue careers, and then retire into the “third half” of our lives. For many entering this phase, feelings of aimlessness and isolation are common. Post-career boomers have a strong desire to regain that which they’ve lost: engagement, purpose, and connection.
Building a Post-Career Community
Gerrish and Brecker formed Third Half in a well-planned methodical way. They applied their combined years of skill and expertise from their former professions and created transformational coaching programs. The duo built a team of program designers and advisors, professionals from various fields who collaborate in charting a successful transitional course. Members are coached through stages of their aging journey and guided within Third Half’s support framework and curriculum that’s designed to create balance and explore new directions.
Gerrish says, “What we heard from our year of research with multiple focus groups was that our future members of the Third Half want to figure out how to manage their most important resource – time, creativity, and imagination.” The team creates that opportunity through their learning groups with continuous improvement and connectivity.
Third Half is uplifting communities with their programs for retiring boomers. They continue to form ties with business leaders and entrepreneurs who give insight to this group’s unique needs and the challenges they face. These professionals are often guest speakers at Third Half events and become mentors. Gerrish and Brecker are adjusting their business model as they see more opportunities arise and growing demand. They also seek to expand the program’s reach by offering it through other institutions.
Programs Designed to Enrich
Third Half forms the bridge that leads individuals from a career to a third half filled with purpose, meaning, and joy. A majority of baby boomers are entering their third half with energy, passion, and wisdom ready to be applied in this new phase. By joining Third Half, members can explore possibilities by participating in the one-day programs, seminars, and on-demand coaching.
The one-day program, known as Core Day, is an immersive experience of self-exploration. Participants get reacquainted with “self” and given information to help them make informed decisions on what to do next and how to do it. Each Core Day program includes assessment, coaching, and curated interactive content led by a seasoned professional coach.
Four particular areas are covered and are essential for moving forward: personal values, third half strengths, desired activities, and blockers. Participants utilize engaging learning tools, interact with each other, discuss this phase in their life, and leave better informed, inspired, motivated, and part of a unique community.
Participants are finding Core Day to be enlightening. According to one participant, “There is nothing out there that I am aware of, that addresses how to best spend one’s time, energy, efforts (and financial resources in some cases) that suits the individual and one’s personal interests. We have found during our months each winter in South Florida that we are all looking for a common theme or purpose: how to engage in the communities, where to commit time and energy, and how we can find enrichment/continued learning opportunities for ourselves.”
If you’d like to participate, Third Half is offering Core Day two more times this Spring:
Greenwich, Connecticut – April 22 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
Cambridge, Massachusetts – April 24 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
For more information, visit thirdhalfadvisors.com.