The SWOT analysis is commonly used as a strategic planning tool in business. However, it is also well suited for personal use in addressing a specific goal or problem. A personal SWOT analysis helps individuals identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Understanding a personal SWOT analysis
- Conducting a personal SWOT analysis
- Determining personal SWOT analysis outcomes
- Personal SWOT analysis examples
- Key takeaways
- Connected Business Frameworks
Understanding a personal SWOT analysis
- Assist in personal development and career progression.
- Prepare for job interviews.
- Successfully transition from one industry to another.
Conducting a personal SWOT analysis
Wherever possible, consult friends or colleagues for their opinions. While their opinions can also be biased, this can be counteracted by interviewing as many people as possible and identifying common themes. Independent market research can also be incorporated to further strengthen the integrity of the analysis.
Then, create a SWOT diagram with four boxes. Each box represents:
- Strengths – what skill set do you bring to the table? Consider your qualifications, experience, achievements, personal skills, and any industry contacts or leads.
- Weaknesses – what are your professional bad habits or shortcomings? Do you struggle with public speaking or do you tend to call in sick often? What skills or qualifications are lacking or have expired? In identifying weaknesses, be honest and thorough. Each weakness represents an avenue for potential growth.
- Opportunities – who are the movers and shakers in your industry and how can you position yourself in front of them? What trends can you foresee? Will these trends create job vacancies?
- Threats – what are the obstacles you are currently facing? How is your role or broader industry changing? Could automation or increased competition affect your job security? Threats also take the form of ambitious or vocal colleagues who have the potential to outcompete you for promotions.
Determining personal SWOT analysis outcomes
In evaluating the results, there are two popular methods.
The first is matching, where two categories are matched to outline a course of action. Strengths matched with opportunities show you where to seize the moment and be aggressive. Conversely, weaknesses matched with threats identifies vulnerabilities that you should avoid or work on proactively.
The second method involves turning negatives into positives. How can weaknesses be turned into strengths, or threats into opportunities? For example, an extroverted individual who accepts an entry-level position with little human interaction may initially see extroversion as a weakness. However, they identify a sales position within the same company and work aggressively toward being hired for a role where extroversion is a strength.
Personal SWOT analysis examples
Business management student
- My major strength is the ability to think strategically.
- I also possess exemplary design skills and am fluent in technical vocabulary.
- I am less well-versed in business matters outside of the United States market.
- My sales and marketing skills could do with some work.
- I tend to overload myself with work by not delegating it to others.
- As a woman in business, I have an opportunity to establish myself in the industry by taking advantage of various financial incentives and support.
- My ability to think creatively and a relatively established professional network may allow me to grow the startup into a profitable enterprise.
- The impact of COVID-19 on businesses cannot be ignored and may cause potential employers to rethink their hiring strategies.
- Like almost any business in the tech industry, the 3D printing business must constantly stay abreast of innovation and other new developments to remain competitive.
Digital marketing specialist
In the second example, we have a digital marketing specialist who is already established in the industry and looking to increase their clientele list.
- I’m open to trying new things, exploring new possibilities, and developing new skills.
- I managed to start (and maintain) a side hustle during the pandemic.
- With a proud history of volunteering at community events, I possess excellent event planning skills that I could use to develop holistic social media marketing campaigns.
- I also have the ability to create client websites and develop social media strategy.
- As a serial procrastinator, one of my weaknesses is poor time management.
- I tend to be a perfectionist that is never 100% satisfied with my work, which can also lead to missed deadlines and working for a rate that is below what I’m worth.
- Perhaps the weakness that needs to be addressed first is my inability to delegate work to others.
- Since I can speak French, Italian, Portuguese, and English, this may open up opportunities in foreign-speaking markets or for clients who need multilingual digital marketing specialists.
- With an international network of contacts, there is potential that I could expand my services and work with world universities, charitable organizations, travel companies, and export companies.
- I could also take advantage of affordable courses on Coursera, for example, to upskill and learn aspects of website coding and design.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has benefitted the digital marketing industry as a whole since more people and businesses are interacting online. However, many individuals have been made redundant and are now offering similar services. This has increased the competition for digital marketing specialists.
- Google’s constant search algorithm updates also pose a threat to my ability to deliver beneficial outcomes for clients.
- A personal SWOT analysis identifies areas of growth through the personal reflection of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- A personal SWOT analysis relies on unbiased information to be effective. Independent market research and the opinions of friends and colleagues can help offset personal biases.
- Personal SWOT analysis results can be evaluated by matching two categories to determine where efforts should be directed. Negative attributes can also be turned into positive attributes by considering context and future planning.
Connected Business Frameworks
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