Exploit your strengths
Work on your weaknesses
Identify opportunities that you should be taking advantage of
What potential threats are out there limiting your career advancements?
From time to time it is a good idea to do your own talent SWOT Analysis. What a better time than now. With the month of January behind you and your review something of the past, it seems appropriate to do your own talent SWOT Analysis now. As a habit I do this twice a year due to industry and personal changes. Let me also add that I do 2 separate ones, one for me and the other for my company. I like to review the company's personnel so we too, as a team can achieve more. But today the focus will be on you and how you can do your own talent SWOT analysis.
What is SWOT analysis? By definition, S = Strengths, W = Weaknesses, O = Opportunities and T = Threats. As for the Strengths (S) and Weaknesses (W), these are considered to be internal factors which you do have some measure of control, As for the other two, opportunities (O) and Threats (T), they are considered to be external factors which you have little control of. Got it! If not read this great article to learn more.
Let us get right to it. To assist you with your personal talent SWOT analysis, feel free to use the following as a guide.
As for strengths. Try to think about why you would be chosen to do a task or get a job over others. Ask yourself what have I accomplished throughout my career? Remember it is great to compare yourself to your peers for this and also ask yourself a few questions to include the following; What are my strongest skill sets? How do they compare to others in the company and the industry. Throughout my career, what skills have helped propel my journey? Am I more results driven then others? Are my many accomplishments above average with regards to others in the company? Am I always the first to complete the task, naturally on time while accomplishing the objective being requested? With regards to education, do I possess a better educational background then those around me? Please take note, depending upon where you are in your career you must not forget about specific certifications, grade point averages and class rankings, all of which can benefit you versus others. Also, ask yourself, how am I perceived by others to include my boss, clients, customers, and peers? What would they consider as my strengths? Remember you do need to be objective during this exercise therefore I just want to caution you to this.
As for your weaknesses. How do my skill sets match up to my peers? Am I okay with my level of education or do I need more? Take a look at what you may tend to avoid because of your perceived lack of confidence or interest. Do you have negative work habits? Are you disorganized? How do you handle stress on the job? How do you deal with negative people? What would others say your weaknesses may be? This is a time to look at your personality traits to reveal anything that may be limiting you in your field. A few other things to consider are; How am I with presentations, taking a stand with my opinions and beliefs? Do co-workers consistently outperform me in specific, important areas? Be realistic with yourself, for it is best to face any unpleasant truths as soon as possible. Remember this exercise is more personal so look at it internally and externally as well.
Now let's look at opportunities. How can you get ahead inside your company? How about the industry, is it growing? If yes how can you take advantage of it? How is your network? Does it include those who can help you get ahead career wise. Thinking about making a move? Look at the competition and companies that you believe your background can help them in any way. Don't forget your customers too. Can you help them in any way?
Part of this can result in creating opportunities for yourself. If you feel you need more to create opportunities get more involved. Attend conferences, networking events, ask to work on something new within your company. Seek out a mentor if you don't have one. There are no limits to what you can do. I always say don't limit yourself by staying idle and being happy with status quo.
Now lets look at the threats. Take a look inside of your company, how are you perceived? Are there potential obstacles that exist at your workplace. I am sure there is internal competition and specific demands that may be changing in your company, so take a look at what they are. Again, ask yourself, are you learning how to do more things or just avoiding them? How are your technology skills? Things are changing so be sure you are staying up on new technology advancements that are required for you to do your job. Look back at your weaknesses and see if any may be a threat for you?
One last thing to do. See below.
Start with the drawing the letter T taking up the entire page of your paper. In each box put Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. After you do this, refer to this great link for help filling in the T. For ease I have a link to an example that will definitely help with this part of the analysis.
Good luck. Any suggestions, please comment.