SWOT Analysis is one of the most popular strategy-mapping techniques in use today. Though popularly applied to solving business problems, it can also be applied to assessing your position as a professional. SWOT Analysis can help you build your professional profile and identify the relevant steps for channelling your career in the right direction.
Why is a Personal SWOT Analysis Important?
- By gaining a sufficient understanding of your strengths, you will be better placed to increase, leverage and exploit them to your advantage.
- Understanding your weaknesses can help you identify ways of eliminating them or define corrective habits that will help you overcome them.
- Understanding the threats you face will help you develop appropriate responses to address them.
- Understanding the opportunities you face will help you identify which options to pursue in your career and how to go about fulfilling your dreams.
Whether you're fresh out of school looking to start a career, you're a working professional looking to dive into a new field or just trying to assess yourself professionally, SWOT Analysis can come in handy.
Taking the BA space as an example, here are some steps to getting the most out of this technique.
1. Identify your goals – What are you trying to achieve? For example, you may be aspiring to become a business analyst or to get promoted to a Senior BA position.
2. Understand yourself – Assess and highlight your strengths, such as your business analysis experience, background and any competencies you may have gained along the way.
3. Understand the environment – What does it take to become a Business Analyst? What competencies do companies look for in Business Analysts?
An Overview of SWOT Elements
Strengths – What qualities do you have that set you apart from other candidates? It could be that you have a vast knowledge of the logistics domain, great communication skills, a strong passion for the profession and other unique competencies that set you apart.
Weaknesses – What qualities can keep you from getting and sustaining your desired position? Examples of weaknesses include poor listening skills, limited work experience and weak leadership skills.
Your weaknesses and strengths are within your control and SWOT Analysis can help you define a personal development plan to reduce/de-emphasize your weaknesses and increase/emphasize your strengths.
Threats: Threats are factors that can stand in the way of you achieving your goals. For example, they may come in the form of other candidates with whom you are likely to compete for a position. Threats are outside your control but you can devise strategies to address them. Other examples of threats include rapidly evolving technologies, changing market demands, industry restructuring and so on.
Opportunities: An opportunity can be regarded as any chance you have to address your weaknesses or enhance your strengths. Examples include training programs and discussion groups that help build your confidence, upcoming projects, a booming economy, job openings and so on.
The SWOT Analysis technique can be used as a thinking framework for defining a strategy to ensure you get the job of your dreams or become the professional you want to be. The main idea is that if you know what your weaknesses are, you will be better placed to address them, anticipate potential areas of difficulties in your career and overcome them.