Get Ahead Using Personal SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a common strategic planning tool in which you proactively identity strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your current situation. This type of examination isn’t limited to business analysis, though. The SWOT framework is an excellent way to evaluate your current career trajectory and identify areas for potential growth. Here’s how to put the SWOT tool to personal use.
When and why to use the SWOT framework in your career
The SWOT framework gives you a comprehensive view of a particular situation because it causes you to focus on both the positives and negatives. You could use the SWOT tool to define your job search, help you decide whether to go to graduate school, or consider whether to pursue a side hustle. Before you put pen to paper, clearly define which situation you’re analyzing so you can frame your questions accordingly.
Evaluating your strengths
“S,” or “Strengths,” resides in the top left corner of the SWOT framework, and it’s a great place to start. (Might as well begin on a positive note.) The strengths in question are your personal attributes as related to the situation at hand. If you have trouble filling this quadrant, consider asking a mentor or close friend to help you brainstorm.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Assessing your weaknesses
In the next quadrant, you’ll examine “W,” or “Weaknesses.” Don’t get down on yourself. In many ways, you just need to reframe the questions you asked yourself in the first quadrant to determine how you would need to grow to be successful. Consider the following:
Looking for opportunities
The bottom left corner is home to “O,” or “Opportunities.” Your analysis now turns outward. Instead of looking at what you bring to the table, now you’re examining what opportunities are available. Use these questions as a jumping-off point:
Identifying potential threats
The final quadrant is “T,” or “Threats.” This is where you look for the holes in your plan:
By the time you finish your SWOT analysis, you should have a firm grasp on the situation at hand and also know yourself a little better. Your analysis can be something you share with someone close or a tool for your eyes only. Either way, examining a potential career move from every angle can only prove beneficial. You need all the data you can get to make the right choice for you.