Personal SWOT as you already know stand for the following;
- S = Strengths
- W = Weaknesses
- O = Opportunities
- T = Threats
SWOT analysis is an old tool used to predict the viability of a business enterprise or a new business venture. Or even for yourself as a personal SWOT. It helped businesses to stay productive, effective, relevant, and attentive to the customers’ needs and demands. It burst onto the scene back in the 50s and 60s. Since then, it has gained popularity and is considered an accurate technique about gauging a business’s health and setting the path for future growth.
In this article, we will discuss how to do a personal SWOT on yourself and not on your business.
What is a personal SWOT analysis?
A personal SWOT analysis is going a step further into the regular SWOT analysis.
It is applying the same formula of strengths and weaknesses on a personal level.
In a personal SWOT analysis, an individual takes stock of his strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Why do a personal SWOT analysis?
A personal SWOT analysis can help you put things in perspective.
It will help you a great deal in your professional development.
You can set the course of your life and career with an honestly done SWOT analysis.
You can also identify a new career trajectory for yourself.
So, if you are already riding high in your career, you can consolidate your position and continue climbing the ladder of success by focusing on your strengths and exploiting exciting opportunities.
When you do a SWOT on yourself, do not rush through it.
Answer all the questions after careful deliberation and due consideration.
You can sleep over all your answers and then read them again.
If you think they require some changes, then do it; if not, then be it.
The answers should reflect your current state of mind and your most intimate thinking.
The more truthful the answers are, the more successful will be your SWOT analysis.
How to perform a personal SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis is usually depicted in a table having four sections.
Each section has a name.
That is strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The individual conducting a personal SWOT analysis will fill out each section truthfully and then analyze where he stand professionally.
You can search the internet to look for pre-made SWOT templates.
Or you can make one on your own.
Let us now discuss each section of the SWOT analysis table individually.
The first section is about strengths.
In this section, the individual will think about all the competitive advantages he has over others.
The things he is naturally good at and the things he has excelled in both academically and professionally.
Some of the key questions to be asked to yourself in the strengths section are;
- What are your academic achievements so far? List down all your formal degree qualifications and certifications that you are proud of.
- What is your core area of expertise in your organization? The area where you have excelled and shown impressive results.
- Enumerate all your professional achievements like campaigns, projects, new ventures, etc.
- If you are already employed, what difference have you made in your organization’s productivity?
- If you are looking for a job, how will you add value to the organization?
- What about your values, beliefs, and ethics that you are proud of, but you see them lacking in others?
- What about your contacts? Are you well-connected with the movers and shakers of the industry you are a part of? Do they know you or recognize you?
- Do you have any other skills or passions that you are proud of? List them.
- Any particular talent that others think you are good at, but you haven’t given it any special thought.
- What do other people think of the strengths that you have?
There can be many other questions too.
But the above questions pretty much cover the strengths of most of the individuals.
While attempting the strengths section, it is important, to be honest and truthful to yourself.
You will do a disservice to no one but yourself if you exaggerate your answers and overestimated your talents.
At the same time, do not be modest.
Be proud of who you are and embrace your strengths.
The second part of the SWOT analysis is getting to know your weaknesses.
Here the individual will jot down all his academic, professional, and personal limitations.
This is an analysis of yourself, so it cannot be complete without knowing your personality’s weaknesses.
This will help you in identifying your drawbacks and also help in job interviews where such questions may pop up that highlight your weaknesses.
Some key questions that you can ask in this section from yourself are;
- Do you think you have the requisite qualification and skillset to survive and thrive in today’s demanding professional world?
- Do you acknowledge any bad habits in you both professionally and personally? Like for example, smoking, poor time management, procrastination, lack of planning, etc.
- What do you think are the weak points of your personality that you want to improve upon?
- So, what do other people think are your weaknesses?
- What do you avoid because you think you do not have the confidence to do it?
- Have you kept yourself abreast of all the technological and scientific innovations in your industry since you took your degree?
- Can you cope with excessive workload and handle stress?
While answering the questions on your weaknesses, it is again very important to honestly answer all of them.
No one is judging you for your deficiencies.
So do not be afraid and face your demons.
In the end, you will come out as a victor.
The third part of the SWOT analysis pertains to the opportunities.
These are chances waiting to pounce upon and can make a difference in your professional life.
So, they can happen suddenly through sheer good luck, or you can orchestrate their occurrence through careful planning, patience, and manipulation.
Some important questions you can ask yourself in this section are;
- Can you identify any new skills that will help raise your profile professionally? If yes, have you tried acquiring that skill?
- Do you think you can get a new job in another organization or a different position in your current organization by acquiring a new set of skills?
- In which direction is your industry heading? Do you foresee any major technological change taking place? If yes, are you up to the challenge?
- Do you think taking up a new or different project/duty or position in your company can help you grow professionally?
- Can the internet help you professionally?
- And can you confidently take up a position nobody else is filling?
- Can you count on your industry connections to help you?
Opportunities are often around us, yet we are blinded by our realities and fail to identify them.
To find opportunities, you first have to be in a positive state of mind.
A negative person will see a threat even in an opportunity.
It’s your positivity, ambition, and personal drive that will help you hunt opportunities successfully.
In the last quadrant of the SWOT, template lies threats.
These are the barriers, hindrances, and impediments of your way.
They can compromise your road to success, and you need to be aware of them and guard yourself against them.
To identify threats, think yourself as a corporate entity or a commercial product, in that way, you can identify your threats.
You can ask yourself the following questions in the section of threats.
- How are you doing compared to your colleagues? Are you doing a better job than them? Do you think your colleague has a better chance of promotion?
- Are you tech-savvy? Or are you scared that a new technically sound person can do better at your job? Or worse, do you think technology will make your job redundant?
- Do your bad habits hurting you professionally and precluding you from growing?
- What do you think is holding you back from achieving your goals? Look for both personal and professional weaknesses.
- Who is your direct competition at work?
- Do you think you are too old to do your current job?
- And do your peers think you do not have the technical know-how or contemporary knowledge to do your job adequately?
- Do you think you are out of sync with current trends?
As an adage goes, a positive person sees opportunities in threats, and a negative person sees threats in opportunities.
It all depends on your perspective.
Having answered most of the questions in the threats section as yes does not mean the game is over, far from it.
Take it as a wakeup call to change yourself, to upgrade yourself, and to better yourself.
Interpreting the results
After you are done with your SWOT analysis, it is time to analyze and interpret your results.
There are two popular ways to interpret your results.
So, in this method, you convert your negatives into positives, thereby converting your threats into opportunities and your weaknesses into strengths.
You achieve this by working on yourself.
In addition, ou enhance your qualification, learn new skills, cultivate good habits, or explore new opportunities.
You try to overcome all your shortcomings and upgrade yourself to meet the modern world’s challenges in a better way.
In this method, you match the results of the two sections of the SWOT analysis to determine a future action course.
You can match your strengths with your opportunities.
This will make you more focused, determined, and goal-oriented.
In addition, you will achieve your targets easily as you will have a clear understanding of what path you should follow to achieve your dreams.
Acting on the results
Your SWOT analysis is nothing if you do not act upon it.
The whole idea behind this exercise was to make you realize your true potential.
Now that you know about your core talents, strengths, and how to use them, you should do just that.
Otherwise, it is just a fun activity at best, and a futile one at worst.
Once you do that, monitor your progress.
Set yourself small milestones, and once you hit one, pat yourself on the back and move on to the next one.
Reviewing your results
It is a good idea to repeat the exercise of SWOT analysis with periodic intervals.
You will be in the know of things regarding your set of strengths, weaknesses, etc.
It will also help you to review the plans that you have set up to achieve your goals.
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Your plans should be actionable and viable.
So, keep reviewing your personal SWOT, your goals, and your plans to achieve success.
Personal SWOT: Individual or group activity?
The SWOT analysis of an organization is understandably more complex and intricate.
It requires a team effort and input from various departments and individuals.
A personal SWOT is a lot easier to manage and perform.
So, should you do it alone or take help from a friend?
The answer is, it is entirely your personal preference.
However, if you involve other persons, you are likely to get more insight and information.
Sometimes others see things that you do not.
It also can bring some hidden talents in you that you thought did not exist or weaknesses or threats that are staring you in the face, yet you are oblivious to them.
So, perhaps it is a good idea to do it in a sort of group activity.
You can make a personal SWOT example and let others review it and then the same with others.
You guys can also do a SWOT career planning based on the results.
So, this was all about personal SWOT analysis.
We have given you a detailed insight into the topic.
Now you know how a personal SWOT analysis is and how to perform a SWOT analysis of a person.
Therefore it is a simple test with multiple benefits that will help you advance in your career, set your goals, and how to achieve them.
You will also be mindful of your weaknesses and strengths and, hopefully, take adequate measures to keep them at bay.