Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Granted you may have heard of the phrase ‘SWOT Analysis’ being thrown around the office where you work or in school. However, have you thought of the importance of doing it for yourself? In order to build self awareness, to maximize your potential, to figure out why you wake up every day to grind, or how you can start afresh in your career journey, a personal SWOT analysis is the best way to go.
While it can be difficult to assess yourself; as you may realize some negative things that you tend to gravitate towards, this self-analysis will definitely help you turn them to positives. All those questions you have been asking, that are bothering you, and stressing you out, are all answered in the personal SWOT analysis.
Basics of SWOT analysis
The acronym SWOT stands for Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats. Before we delve into the deep, it is important to note that SWOT can be categorized as inward and outward focused;
These are your strengths and your weaknesses which you have direct influence on. They are your driving force, what makes you unique, what makes you stand out from a crowd, they are basically your fingerprints.
Strengths – to determine what you are an absolute beast at, you need to find out what you do really well. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or world changing. It could be as simple as speaking really good English, Swahili or any other language.
Your qualifications also play a major role in determining your niche in the market. Coupled with your achievements, these two determine the impact you have made so far, are planning to make, and how you are going to do it.
Weaknesses – have you been asking yourself why you can’t concentrate for a long time without getting distracted by your phone or social media? That is your weakness. The things that are standing in the way of you being a class act in your life or at work. By assessing these obstacles, you will be able to be a better person for yourself and those around you.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or not, you need a business plan. It could be of the business you want to start or for your life, vision, or future. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, or so they say.
A business plan should have all the important requirements; financials, markets, customers and market segments. CVs are another factor that could be stopping you from getting into your dream job. Long gone are the days when employers were looking for papers, now they are after skill and potential as well.
These are your opportunities and threats which lie outside of your direct influence. While they are not in your control, the opportunities and threats that are around you directly affect how you see things; what you do when certain things happen, as well as your successes and failures.
Opportunities – careers and life are constantly changing and being able to easily identify the trends in the economic landscape could be a life-changing opportunity for you. Identifying your opportunities means, finding where there is s deficiency and swiftly solving the issue for your customers or those around you.
Networking is a great door opener. If you have been feeling stuck, unfulfilled, or just tired of wherever you are at this time, talk to your friends, connections in other organizations or the people you have met randomly as you run errands. You never know. There people may just recommend you for new openings or point you towards opportunities you never thought of.
The internet has opened new frontiers including working remotely wherever you are. An opportunity here would be learning a new language; so that you can work with anyone from anywhere. With apps like Duolingo, you can get a head start at learning the basics of new languages.
Threats – always being able to minimize threats should be at the top of your career checklist. Granted there are some threats like a pandemic where you can’t really plan for, but being able to manage your affairs during one is a skill you need to cultivate.
Those things that are stopping you from maximizing your potential, starting your business and getting ahead career-wise are your threats. Politics always make or break careers. Realizing the political atmosphere, what is happening or why it is happening, may help you adapt and manage the political atmosphere wherever you are.
As you are thinking of starting your business, it is always important to know and realize the red tape and bureaucracies that stand in your way and what you need to do to get around them.
It is not all about identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you also need to put these additional elements into practice to create the best version of yourself.
a. Mentors/Role models
These are those who have walked before you, those who have the same strengths and weaknesses, have maximized on opportunities, and overcome threats. Connecting with them will give you a workable blueprint on how to navigate your career or life.
b. Actionable planning
This is not just jotting down your SWOT analysis and forgetting about it. It is instead planning appropriately and following through. Accountability partners are always a go to when you feel you will have a problem following through. While you may have a long-term vision, it is always great to ask yourself what you will be doing in a year, two years, five years or ten years. With this, you can charter your path and where you want to go. As you plan, remember adaptability and risk management are your baseline.
How to do a personal SWOT Analysis
Over the last few weeks, we have shared a three part series on YouTube on how to do a personal SWOT analysis. Click here to watch.
We have further created the template below to help you create your very own SWOT analysis.
Keep us updated on your journey through our Instagram and Facebook pages.
M & L