Ensuring Effectiveness in the Workplace with the Personal SWOT Analysis
Experts agree that the future of work will shift more to soft skills as organizations lean towards ensuring emotionally intelligent and balanced individuals for leadership roles. But balance can only be achieved through a deep understanding of oneself. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis is one tool that can help individuals and organizations dive deeply into themselves.
A personal SWOT is a framework that can help you focus on your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you. Its purpose is to identify actions you can take to best meet the requirements of the job and or promotion you are seeking. Comparing your strengths and weaknesses to the job requirements will identify gaps and help you prepare to be the best candidate for the position to which you aspire.
For your SWOT analysis to be effective, you must consider all areas from your point of view and those of others around you. Be as objective as you can and be willing to face some unpleasant facts.
Strengths are traits that make you stand out, the advantages you have that others do not have. To identify your strengths, ask yourself questions such as, what do I do better than everyone else? What resources and or relationships do I have access to? Which of my achievements am I most proud of? What values do I exhibit in that others fail to do so?
Your strengths could be – creative thinking, problem solving, the ability to learn from mistakes, task prioritization, determination, analytical thinking, communication and presentation skills, or interpersonal skills.
Your weaknesses are the characteristics you can improve upon to increase effectiveness and efficiency for future job opportunities. To identify your weaknesses, ask yourself questions such as, what tasks do I always avoid because I don’t feel confident doing them? What inherent traits hold me back? What are my negative work habits? What personality traits hold me back from being the best at my job or workplace?
Your weaknesses could be –disorganization, leaving projects unfinished, procrastination, taking credit for other people’s work, uncomfortable speaking in front of groups, lack of time management skills, short tempered, or impatience.
Opportunities are external situations, events, occasions, or situations you can take advantage of and use as leverage for advancement in the workplace. To identify opportunities, ask yourself questions such as, what trends do I see in my company or industry and how can I take advantage of them? Can I learn a new skill to be better suited for the promotion I want? Is there a need in my company no one is filling? Do I need to learn a new technology to be more valuable and to be considered for that new position? Should I join a networking group to increase new businesses in my pipeline?
Your opportunities could be – a change in company management/ownership of your company, learning a new skill or technology, or a change in geography.
These are external happenings or changes that if not handled properly can be detrimental to you. Possible threats could be changes in rules, regulations, management, geography, industry trends, or an acquisition or merger. A threat analysis will provide you with information and give you suggestions for possible actions because threats can and should be converted to opportunities.
To identify your threats, you can ask yourself questions such as, what obstacles do I currently face at work? Does changing technology, leadership, or geography threaten my position? Could any of my weaknesses lead to threats?
Knowing and understanding your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can make you a more effective and fulfilled individual—ready to face the future in your office. So, take a leap and be the best you can be in your workplace.
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