- Swetha Y
- Jul 1, 2019
- 0 comment(s)
Personal SWOT Analysis
Many people are not aware of SWOT analysis. So let us understand what is SWOT analysis? SWOT analysis is a strategic planning/technique used to help a person or organization identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition or project planning.
A personal SWOT analysis, however, may be more useful if you focus on a specific goal or problem that you want to address. This is because we all have a number of very diverse goals. The skills and attributes that may help us towards one goal may be irrelevant, or even a weakness, in another context. A threat in one context could be unimportant in another.
Why SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis is a way of looking at your situation by identifying:
Strengths, are those areas where you have an advantage over others or some unique resources to exploit;
Weaknesses, are areas where you or your organization may be weaker than others and may find that others can do better than you;
Opportunities, or possibilities that you can take advantage of to help you achieve your goals and ambitions; and
Threats, or things that may prevent you or your organization from making a profit or achieving your goals.
Strengths and weakness are frequently internally-related, while opportunities and threats commonly focus on the external environment.
This article explains how to do a SWOT analysis on yourself. You will also find some personal SWOT analysis examples to help you get started with your own self-reflection.
The SWOT Process
To conduct the analysis, ask yourself questions about each of the four areas being examined. Honesty is crucial, or the analysis will not generate meaningful results. With that in mind, try to see yourself from the standpoint of a colleague or a bystander, and view criticism with objectivity.
To make a SWOT worth the time, you need to set aside the time to really think about, answer, then sleep on it and revisit it. You won't think of everything all in one sitting, and that question or answer that percolated in your brain overnight might be the most relevant and revealing insight into the entire exercise.
Begin by identifying your strengths. These are the traits or skills that set you apart from others. Questions to ask include:
What are you good at naturally?
What skills have you worked to develop?
What are your talents, or natural-born gifts?
The next step is weaknesses. This part examines the areas in which you need to improve and the things that will set you back in your career. Questions to consider include:
What are your negative work habits and traits?
Does any part of your education or training need improving?
What would other people see as your weaknesses?
For the opportunities section, look at the external factors you can take advantage of to pursue a promotion, find a new job or determine a career direction. Questions to examine include:
What is the state of the economy?
Is your industry growing?
Is there new technology in your industry?
Finally, look at any threats to your career growth. This part accounts for the external factors that could hurt your chances to attain your goals. Questions to consider include:
Is your industry contracting or changing directions?
Is there strong competition for the types of jobs for which you are best suited?
What is the biggest external danger to your goals?
Using a Personal SWOT Analysis
Our page learning from Mentoring suggests that a personal SWOT analysis is a useful tool in working out what you want to get from mentoring. It is, however, much more widely applicable, and you can use it to help you to analyse any personal development or learning situation.
Going through this process for a particular goal and/or problem that you face enables you to identify which areas are really bothering you, and where you most need to focus your attention.
A personal SWOT analysis can be done on your own.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that a business SWOT analysis is stronger if it draws on evidence from outside the organisation, such as independent market research, or views from customers.
In the same way, a personal SWOT analysis is likely to be more powerful if you draw on the views of others.
If, for example, you are part of a learning group at work, or at college or university, you can agree to go through the process for each other in turn. You can even gather evidence from each other’s colleagues to support the analysis.
If you are doing this by yourself, you may want to ask friends and colleagues their views on your strengths and weaknesses or ask them to comment on your first draft analysis and suggest additions.
A Final Thought...
Like any personal development process, a SWOT analysis is not something that you want to do every day. But if you are finding a particular problem is very intractable, or that you are really struggling to know where to start with a goal, it may be a useful way of ordering your thinking and giving you a different perspective on the problem.