Welcome to my regular series entitled "My Light-Bulb Moment". This column highlights a "blinding flash of insight" business, cultural and sports leaders have experienced, and how this changed their lives.

The start of the year is a great time to take stock of your professional life, and ask yourself: "What do I want to be doing for my career in 2025?"

As senior vice-president commercial for Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises, Tammy Marshall has had a strong and highly successful career in the international travel industry.

Previously she worked as global managing director with AAT Kings as well as managing director of the iconic youth travel brand Contiki.

Take time out

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Initially Tammy embarked on a career within the tax and accounting industry, but although she was successful in her field, she felt unfulfilled and believed she was not making use of her true gifts and passion.

Taking some time out to go on a giant OE around the world, she found her light-bulb moment while trekking through the stunning landscape of backwoods Canada.

"I was coming to the end of my year-long trip and had been reflecting on meeting so many new and exciting people, cultures and languages, as well as my long-term future.

"Suddenly I had a real moment of clarity and knew that I needed to move from the finance industry into the world of travel and tourism."

This single moment has shaped the past 20 years of her career and she hasn't looked back.

Starting again

She had to rebuild her career from the ground up because she was entering a new industry.

"It's important to understand that sometimes you have to go back to go forward!" says Tammy.

But perseverance and persistence won through at the end of the day.

"Take time out to find what will make you happy and be a great fit for your career. When you find what this is, the time you spent will be well worth the investment!"

Being persistent in finding the role and industry that fits you best will drive your happiness, not just in the office, but in your personal life too.

"Don't stand still and be a passenger in your life," Tammy counsels.

"Find what your dreams are and follow them. Life is too short to stay somewhere you don't love and where you are not developing all of your capabilities."

We all know that operating in your passion makes the tough days easier and the good days even better.

As the year starts, take the time to seek out the "authentic you" and spend the rest of the year pursuing it. The more in tune you are with your career, the happier in life you will be!

If you have had a light-bulb moment, please email me as I would love to hear about it.


Tom is an award-winning business speaker, best-selling international author and MD of both CV.CO.NZ and OnePercentGuy.com. Email Tom for a chat at tom@OnePercentGuy.com.