The SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis was devised in 1960. It was further updated in 1982 when Heinz Weihrich, Professor of Management at the University of San Francisco, created a quadrant or two-by-two matrix to plot each of the four aspects in a different quadrant. The strengths and weaknesses are in the top quadrants, whereas opportunities and threats are in the bottom quadrant. It is a tool preferred for evaluating a company’s strategy and business plan.
When should you perform a Personal SWOT Analysis?
You can also leverage the SWOT analysis tool to chart a roadmap for your personal growth and development.
Strengths and weaknesses are the aspects that are within your control, while external factors influence the aspects of opportunities and threats. You can use a personal SWOT analysis before committing to any action, such as taking up a new job, enrolling in a program to develop new skills, getting career advice, or altering a plan midway.
How to perform a personal SWOT analysis?
You can start by identifying your strengths by writing down answers to the following questions:
- What are your capabilities that others don’t (such as skills and certifications)?
- Which activities do you excel in and do better than others?
- What professional connection do you have with influential people that others don’t?
You can add questions relevant to your area of work or professional goals. You should conduct the analysis objectively to list all the strengths needed to excel in your chosen field.
The second step is identifying weaknesses, which will help you spot areas for improvement. You can use the following questions to determine your weakness that may be a stumbling block in your progress.
- What tasks or activities do you avoid because of low self-confidence?
- Do you lack a skill or qualification which is preventing you from taking on additional responsibilities?
- What are your negative work habits or traits (such as arriving late, being disorganised, or poor stress management)?
You can customise the question set to suit your professional requirements to help you with career advancement.
The opportunities will help you identify external factors you can leverage to help with career advancement.
- How can you take advantage of emerging trends in your industry to grow professionally?
- Are there new skills related to your job that you need to learn to be relevant to your organisation?
- Do your customers complain about something you can use as an opportunity to offer a solution?
Besides self-assessment, you can find opportunities by participating in networking events and conferences or seeking career advice from experienced professionals.
The threats are the external factors that can jeopardise your professional goals.
- Does your industry face digital disruption risks?
- Will your job become redundant or obsolete because of technological advancement?
- Are too many people competing for limited opportunities within your company?
The following infographic will provide clarity and direction for your personal SWOT analysis:
How to move forward after your SWOT analysis?
After your personal SWOT analysis, you should plan the future course of action. You can begin by summarising the analysis outcome in the style of affirmations, as mentioned below:
“I am good at interpersonal skills and networking, which helps me to create a strong bond with customers and my coworkers. My industry is transforming due to digital technologies, and I need to build new skills to advance my career. I believe distance education management programs will help me develop new capabilities. I can also leverage function- or industry-specific learning programs to build skills that will help me tap into new opportunities within and outside the organisation. It will also aid my personal growth and development. As a next step, I will check the details of the admission process to these programs.”