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Money & Career

When Loving What You Do Leads to a Lifetime of Learning

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For some people reaching an age-related milestone can be a signal that it must be time to step down from a career, clock out one last time or find a new career path.

But for a growing number of older adults, the idea of retiring – just because you’ve celebrated a specific birthday – is no longer the inevitable next chapter in life.

This is certainly the case for Carol “Amazing” Mazin, a long-tenured colleague at Pfizer, Inc, who – when asked about when she might retire – emphatically responds, “Why would I ever want to do that?”

Nearly 40 years ago, Carol decided to make a career change. Shortly after an interview with Pfizer, she received a telegram (“yes a telegram,” she chuckles) confirming that she had been accepted for a position in the Boston area.  Armed with her endless enthusiasm and get-up-and-go attitude, as a sales representative, Carol would travel up to 100 miles a day, driving from town to town with various stacks of papers, binders and books, making a lasting impression on everyone she met.

“For me, being a part of Pfizer in those early years was like getting another college degree,” Mazin says. She felt like she was part of a team – a team dedicated to helping others and to constantly learning from one another. “I was surrounded by health professionals across the board – from doctors to colleagues and patients. This was an opportunity to learn on the job and an experience, I genuinely felt, I could never have gained with any degree.” 

Mazin admits that she approaches each day as if she just started yesterday – only now she’s equipped with more wisdom, knowledge and understanding of four decades of experience. She says people always ask her: Why do you want to continue doing the same thing – aren’t you ready for something new?  “I have the opportunity to meet with some of the top medical thought-leaders in our industry, who are making an impact on the health and well-being of our community,” she says. Working also keeps Mazin’s mind constantly stimulated. She notes, “There isn’t a day that passes by where I don’t learn something new.” What’s more, she’s made meaningful relationships in the process. She says, “I have this extended family in a way, which has been an incredible support system for me.”

Well-known around the company, she has received manyprestigious awards within Pfizer – some more than once – including an induction into the Pfizer Hall of Fame for her commitment and excellence in the field. And that hasn’t stopped Mazin from getting up every day and continuing on in the career that has helped shape who she is today.  “Once I reach a goal, I rarely stop there,” she says. “I’m always aiming for the next one.”

While retirement doesn’t seem to be something Mazin will be considering any time soon, she’s not afraid to get real about her thoughts on getting older. “There’s one thing we can’t change in life and that’s the aging process,” she says. You can’t stop the birthdays from coming every year, but that number is only a suggestion. I don’t know what number really fits me.” 

To Mazin, getting older is like being on a highway. There might be a speed limit and you’re expected to slow down, but she’s the one riding in the left-hand lane. “I might get a speeding ticket once in a while and hit a few detours too, but I welcome the challenges,” she jokes.   

Mazin is proof that retirement isn’t the only thing that might be just around the bend.

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