The SWOT Analysis is a very effective way of identifying your Strengths and Weaknesses, and of examining the Opportunities and Threats you face. Businesses carry out an analysis using the SWOT framework to focus on the areas they are strong and where the greatest opportunities lie. The same principals apply to an individual who is in career transition.
Conducting a SWOT will allow you to focus your attention and energy on activities that will land you successfully in the right position.
So, how do you use this tool? First, write down answers to the following questions:
What Are My Greatest Strengths?
- What do I do well? What am I really good at?
- What advantages do I have?
- What relevant resources do I have access to?
- What do other people see as my strengths?
Consider this from your own point of view and from the point of view of the people you deal with. Don’t be modest – but DO be realistic. If you are having any difficulty with this, try writing down a list of your characteristics. Some of these will hopefully be strengths! In looking at your strengths, think about them in relation to your competitors – the people who you will be competing with for a particular job.
What Are My Greatest Weaknesses?
- What am I not so good at?
- What could I improve?
Again, consider this from both an internal and external basis: Do other people seem to perceive weaknesses that you do not see? Are your competitors doing any better than you? It is best to be realistic now, and face any unpleasant truths as soon as possible.
What Opportunities Are There for Me?
- Where are the good opportunities facing me?
- What are the interesting business or employment trends you are aware of?
- What opportunities might there be, to transfer my skills & experience into a new line of work?
Opportunities can come from such things as changes in technology, changes in government policy, changes in social patterns, population profiles, lifestyle changes, etc. A useful approach to looking at opportunities is to look at your strengths and ask yourself whether these strengths open up any opportunities. Alternatively, look at your weaknesses and ask yourself whether you could open up opportunities by eliminating them. Get creative!
What Are the Potential Threats to My Success?
- What obstacles do I face?
- What is my competition doing?
- Are the requirements for my job changing?
Carrying out this analysis will often be illuminating – both in terms of pointing out what needs to be done, and in putting problems into perspective.
SWOT analysis is a framework for analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats you face. This will help you to focus on your strengths, minimize weaknesses, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available. Carrying out a personal SWOT Analysis is an important first step in finding life and career direction. Involve others too! Allow them to help you form an accurate picture of where you are at so they can help support you as you transition your career.