Guidelines for Conducting a Personal SWOT Analysis
What makes a personal SWOT powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward. If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities you need to advance your career.
How to Use the Tool
To perform a personal SWOT analysis, sketch out a template similar to that illustrated above and populate it with the answers to the questions posed. And here are some additional guidelines …
Strengths -Think about your strengths in relation to the people around you. For example, if you’re a great problem-solver and the people around you are also great problem-solvers, then this is not likely to be a strength in your current role – it may be a necessity!
Weaknesses – What tasks do you usually avoid because you don’t feel confident doing them? What will the people around you see as your weaknesses? What are your negative work habits (for example, are you often late, are you disorganized, do you have a short temper, or are you poor at handling stress?)
Opportunities – What new technology can help you? Or can you get help from others or from people via the Internet? Is your industry growing? If so, how can you take advantage of the current market? Do you have a network of strategic contacts to help you, or offer good advice? What trends (management or otherwise) do you see in your company, and how can you take advantage of them? Are any of your competitors failing to do something important? If so, can you take advantage of their mistakes? Is there a need in your company or industry that no one is filling? Do your customers or vendors complain about something in your company? If so, could you create an opportunity by offering a solution? You might find useful opportunities in the following:
- Networking events, educational classes, or conferences.
- A colleague going on an extended leave. Could you take on some of this person’s projects to gain experience?
- A new role or project that forces you to learn new skills.
Threats – What obstacles do you currently face at work? Are any of your colleagues competing with you for projects or roles? Is your job (or the demand for the things you do) changing? Does changing technology threaten your position? Could any of your weaknesses lead to threats?
Performing this analysis will often provide key information – it can point out what needs to be done and puts problems into perspective.
My website contains further resources that may be of interest …