- SWOT analysis can fail to be effective if it is simply treated as a laundry list, without any tie-in to how the elements identified in the analysis can be put into play for the individual carrying out the assessment.
In three weeks, year 2020 will come to end. Global corporates and individuals have faced different levels of challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic. As we close the year it is important to perform a personal SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis, to evaluate the past, present, and future position.
It will provide a new perspective on what you do well in 2021, where its challenges lie and which avenues to pursue. It will provide insights based on your personality strengths and weaknesses, what challenges you see ahead of you, and what opportunities are present around you now and in the future.
You can use this data to explore the correlation between your strengths and weaknesses, how to leverage your strengths to make the most of your opportunities, and how to improve weaknesses to mitigate threats in 2021. SWOT will help you with personal development to become the best version of yourself.
When conducting a personal SWOT analysis, think about what you want out of it. Do you want a new job or a new achievement in your current position? Are you looking for personal growth, or do you want to try something new?
To conduct the analysis, ask yourself questions about each of the four examined areas. Honesty is crucial for the analysis to generate meaningful results and view criticism with objectivity. It’s also important to imagine the potential of what you can become, don’t limit yourself to the strengths that you’re currently exhibiting in your job. List all of your strengths, even the ones that have been dormant for a while.
There are many SWOT analysis templates online. Find one that makes sense to you, and get ready to evaluate your internal strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses, and find what makes you excited about your work, business, job, or career as well as what keeps you awake at night.
To make a SWOT worth the effort, you need to set aside the time to really think about it, then sleep on it and revisit it. You won’t think of everything in one sitting, and that question or answer that entered your brain overnight might be the most relevant and revealing insight into the exercise. Understand that you will need to come back to this a few times over a week or two to truly capture complete answers. Begin by identifying your strengths.
These are the traits or skills that set you apart from others. Ask yourself these questions: What are you good at naturally? What skills have you worked to develop? What are your talents, or natural-born gifts?
The next step is weaknesses. This part examines the areas in which you need to improve and the things that will set you back in your career.
These are some questions to consider: What are your negative work habits and traits? Does any part of your education or training need improvement? What would other people see as your weaknesses?
For the opportunities section, look at the external factors you can take advantage of to pursue a promotion, find a new job or determine a career direction.
These are some questions to ask yourself: What is the state of the economy? Is your industry growing? Is there new technology in your industry?
Finally, look at any threats to your career growth. This part accounts for the external factors that could hurt your chances to attain your goals. Consider these questions: Is your industry contracting or changing direction? Is there strong competition for the types of jobs for which you are best suited? What is the biggest external danger to your goals?
Remember to be objective, and consult others who know you if necessary. Moving outside your comfort zone will help you get the results you’re looking for instead of reinforcing your own beliefs. The key to writing a good personal SWOT analysis is honesty. Be unflinching in revealing faults and weaknesses but also in celebrating your personal strengths and what makes you the best you.
You can evaluate your results using two popular methods. The first is matching. Matching means connecting two of the categories to determine a course of action. For example, matching strengths to opportunities show you where to be aggressive and take action. On the other hand, matching weaknesses to threats expose areas you should work on or situations to avoid, letting you know where to be more defensive of your position.
The second is to convert is to turn negatives into positives – in other words, converting your weaknesses into strengths, or threats into opportunities. This can mean growing a skill set through education or finding a creative way to feature a weakness as a strength. For instance, if you are very outgoing, an introspective and isolated work environment may not suit you very well. But if you can work toward a position, such as sales, in which you interact with many people, that weakness turns into strength and could allow you to excel.
Once your personal SWOT analysis is complete, it is crucial to follow through on the insights you uncovered.
SWOT analysis can fail to be effective if it is simply treated as a laundry list, without any tie-in to how the elements identified in the analysis can be put into play for the individual carrying out the assessment.
For example, how can the identified strengths move the needle in the endeavor to achieve a key goal? Or how can one navigate a potential threat once it is identified … to ensure no ground is lost?”
Once you start using your results, track your progress. Set up measurements and milestones, and keep working toward them. Step by step, little by little, you will get where you want to be in 2021, so get started now and thank me in new year 2021.
Ndirangu Ngunjiri, Managing Partner, Watermark Consultants