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What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a common tool in the professional world to evaluate the past, present and future position of a company.
SWOT Analysis

A SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analysis is a common tool in the professional world to evaluate the past, present and future position of a company.

It provides organisational leaders with a new perspective on what the organisation does well, where its challenges lie and which avenues to pursue.

A personal SWOT analysis can do the same for an individual in pursuit of their career goals. It provides 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.

SWOT can help people with their personal development to become the best versions of themselves. To conduct the analysis, ask yourself questions about each of the four examined areas. Honesty is crucial for the analysis to generate meaningful results. With that in mind, try to see yourself from the standpoint of a colleague or a bystander, and view criticism with objectivity.

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 of attaining 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?

Try this activity yourself and share your experience with your fellow learners.

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