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Do some soul searching

Once we get into the grind, few of us take time out for introspection. Get to specifics. What is it that's making you underachieve?

Is it your obsessive boyfriend/girlfriend, your own weak resolve, lack of consistency or plain old lethargy? Believe it or not, lethargy is most often the culprit. Write down why you put things off, procrastinate or limit yourself. Only then can you focus on strategies to chip away at it. Most of us spend more time planning vacations than we do planning our career.

"Ask yourself some tough questions," advises Mamta Ayoor, head-hunter for senior management positions. "Have you found your calling in life? What is it you love doing?" You never know how time flies when you are absorbed in doing work you love. What are your personality traits? Do you have a flair for connecting with people, are you good at motivating people, do you crave an adrenaline rush or do you go by the book? Do your personality traits match the job profile you are looking at?

Most importantly, ask yourself what your encashable skill sets are. What is your trump card? How are you equipped to add to the bottom line of your company in a way no one else is?

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