Businesses use the SWOT analysis method regularly to grow and develop new strategies. This method is so useful that many individuals have turned to a personal SWOT analysis to help their own growth. A personal SWOT analysis can be used for both personal and professional growth. The same tools that are used to chart out future paths for businesses are applicable to an individual’s career. So how does a SWOT analysis of a person work, exactly? Keep reading to learn more.
First, let’s briefly review the format of a SWOT analysis. The letters stand for, respectively, “Strengths”, “Weaknesses”, “Opportunities”, and “Threats.” When creating a personal SWOT analysis, the goal is to start by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. These are internal qualities that are personal to you and within your control. Here are some single-person SWOT analysis examples to help better explain how this process works.
Strengths and weaknesses can be any qualities you’ve identified about yourself. These might be relevant to your current career or unrelated to your current situation. For instance, you might list “strong math skills” as a strength despite using no math in your current role.
Also bear in mind that some qualities can be considered either a strength or a weakness. The line between “being a good leader” and “being overly authoritative” can be subjective, for instance. Consider qualities from all perspectives, and don’t be afraid to include certain skills in both categories.
After listing strengths and weaknesses, turn your focus to opportunities and threats. These are external factors that are often out of your control. What you put in this category depends on the goals of your SWOT analysis.
For instance, suppose you are doing a SWOT analysis focused on professional growth. You might see the sudden influx of work-from-home positions as an opportunity. On the other hand, economic instability could be a threat. Opportunities could be anything that opens new doors, while threats are any factor that could be a roadblock.
Like strengths and weaknesses, some things can be listed as both an opportunity and a threat. Everything in your SWOT analysis is part of a spectrum. The purpose of the exercise is to explore available options. Now let’s explore some of the professional benefits this exercise can offer.
When you create a personal SWOT analysis, it gives you an opportunity to look beyond your current situation. Your SWOT analysis does not need to focus only on the skills being utilized in your current role. You can focus on under-utilized skills, dormant passions, and new developments in your life or environment. A SWOT analysis can open your eyes to career prospects that you did not previously know were available.
The chance to self-reflect can shed a lot of light on your current job performance and career goals. Are you working hard to pursue your goals? If not, what is standing in your way? If you are, what are your next steps? Even if you are not uncovering new career goals, a SWOT analysis is a great way to gain perspective.
No SWOT analysis is complete until you have taken action to pursue your new opportunities. If you have felt stuck in a professional rut, a SWOT analysis can be a great way to break free. When you begin your personal SWOT analysis, always make sure you map out a course of action for yourself.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out more of ASAP’s professional training resources.