The constant demand for competitiveness and the fact that major corporations only wants to hire top talent in the job market is currently making millennials rethink their options and seek better ways for self-improvement. Evaluating yourself and being honest to yourself about what you can and can’t do, isn’t easy but personal development is a crucial step for making yourself stand out to both employers and customers.
Giving yourself a proper assessment in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) help boost your sense of self. People apply different strategies as they refuse to be ignored in a seemingly endless list of job candidates who are as capable as themselves or probably better.
You want to make it to the top but making just making it halfway there is already tough. Maybe, just maybe you need to take a step back and have a proper self-evaluation so that you can come prepared before you consider applying for a new position or a new job. Better yet, try to do it through conducting your own SWOT analysis.
SWOT analysis is an evaluation of your company done through an analytical framework when they’re facing challenges. It highlights and exposes your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Since the 1960s, it has been used by businesses as a tool for strategic planning and implementation since it provides a better and broader view of the organization. But while it is usually used to face a business’ current position and check for areas of improvement, SWOT analysis is also very helpful on a personal level as a means to also identify a person’s areas for development and gain a clear understanding on where he stands compared to his peers when it comes to career opportunities. You can use a simple format and a structure easy enough to apply with minimal to no support.
A personal SWOT has the same concept to the one used for business except that the focus is obviously yourself and your goals, both short term and long term. One of the advantages of applying it for personal development is that it has a very flexible framework which means it can be applied for a wide variety of cases or situations, so whether you just want to have a skills assessment to check whether you qualify for a certain job post or evaluate where you went wrong with a certain decision, the SWOT framework will sill be a useful tool.
However, you may probably appreciate a personal SWOT more if you are focusing on a specific issue or goal that you want to resolve or address as soon as you can. People can have a number of very different goals that the strategies, skills, and attitudes we apply towards one goal may not be helpful and may even become a weakness to that of other goals and issues. For example, a threat in one context, may be irrelevant in another.
Strengths – these are the areas where you have leverage over others or some other aspect or unique attribute you’re always free to use as an advantage.
Weaknesses – these are the areas you should identify where you know you or your organization may be weaker than the rest of your competition or areas where they can do a lot better than you
Opportunities – these are also possibilities or areas for improvement that you can uses to help you reach your goals;
Threats – these are things or situations that may hinder you from achieving your goals or prevent you the fulfillment of your personal development.
1. Identify your goals – Right now, what is it that you want to achieve? Identify that goal, because it is crucial to be as specific as possible and know exactly you want. A person who doesn’t have a clear understanding about what he wants to achieve will find it hard to follow any steps for improvement in the future. It isn’t enough to want to be better. You also need to be specific about what you want otherwise you won’t know how to get it.
2. Determine personal strengths – This will help you get closer to your goal. It is also important to identify the weaknesses or challenges that may be preventing you and keeping you from chasing your goals. Usually, it’s helpful to consider academic achievement or any other major achievement, experience, skills, personality traits that wins people over, knowledge, resources and whatever other type of leverage you currently have. You can compile these in a list so that you can consider them all.
Generally, these areas are internal, which means you can personally relate to them and the skills and resources that are there for the taking because they make up the things that you can control.
3. Identify areas which may offer personal opportunities – This could help you take some steps closer to your goal and may use to your advantage even when you have already succeeded in achieving hat goal. Opportunities are the opposite of your strengths in the sense that they’re external. They relate to the things and situations that currently surrounds you. In identifying good chances and possibilities that may come through the achievement of your goal, it is highly important to consider both short and long term benefits.
4. Identify any threats – Threats are the external things you may find to be worrisome, any challenge or hindrance from either reaching your goals or being able to use the benefits that should be available to you.
5. Review and prioritize – Finally, it’s always wise to follow strategic thinking in your SWOT analysis. You have to review it and ty to ask yourself these questions:
Which among these areas are the most important in all four fronts in the SWOT analysis? Try to put one in focus but you can have two at the most, taking some from each of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you found to have more importance in trying to achieve or stopping you from achieving your goal. The result will make up the priorities for your action plan towards self improvement.
There are different reasons to give yourself a Personal SWOT Analysis and they go beyond just finding out or acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. This is because most people believe strongly that identifying their strengths and weaknesses equates to being done with their process for self evaluation or introspection, and that they’re good to go, in which case, it’s a decent strategy which can be good for you but will never have the same impact and will never be as effective as your SWOT Analysis.
If you’re determined to do better and become better in any endeavor, you would also be willing to work hard on your development as an individual. Knowledge may be power, but self awareness means a proper sense of balance, although both attributes are vital for people whose intention it is to overcome and improve their current situation and be better, stronger versions of themselves.