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Personal SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a tool that many business organisations use in developing strategies and plans. The tool is also a valuable resource for individuals - especially in relation to reviewing career progression and in making career decisions.

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT Analysis involves looking at these four factors and at the interplay that can happen between them. You can use SWOT Analysis on a personal level to identify opportunities and to consider matters that might impact negatively on your career.

You are most likely to succeed in your career if you can utilise your talents fully. Likewise, you will suffer fewer problems if you understand your weaknesses and you manage these so that they do not compromise you in the work you do.

Strengths

To perform a personal SWOT analysis, first think about your strengths. What advantages do you have over other people? What do friends and family say that you do better? What skills and experience do you have that set you apart? Draw up a detailed list of your strengths.

Weaknesses

Next, think about your weaknesses and list them. What tasks do you avoid because you do not enjoy doing them? What are your negative work habits? For instance, are you often late to work, or do you lack attention to detail? What do other people consider your weaknesses to be? Ask them - you might be surprised!

Opportunities

Now it is time to identify and write down opportunities that exist for you. Is there a way that you can create an opportunity for yourself by taking advantage of one of your strengths? Or, can you open up opportunities by eliminating or minimising one of your weaknesses? Look at the organisation you work within. Is something happening currently within that could present an opportunity for you?

Threats

You can go on and identify threats that might be standing in the way of your dreams and goals. What obstacles are you facing at work? What problems could your weaknesses cause if you do not address them? Are you competing with colleagues for a promotion?

Finally, look at each of the four lists you have created and decide what actions you should take to minimise threats and take best advantage of the opportunities open to you. Add these to your action plan or to your to-do list.

Visit the Advice and Tips section of the website for more career management and job seeking advice.