Though SWOT analysis is used primarily for business and marketing purposes, it can also help individuals assess their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Personal development is essential for an individual to look more appealing to employers, plus it also increases self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-image.
People often fail to analyze themselves and as a result, end up making bad decisions, but many apply SWOT analysis effectively with professional tactics to stand out in a sea of candidates. Self-analysis can get complicated but can play a significant role in personal progress. To be successful in today’s competitive world, it’s essential for one to be able to identify his or her strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats that are presented to him/her.
Conducting SWOT Analysis
The analysis involves finding out the qualities of a person. SWOT is an evaluation tool used for identifying the loopholes and strong points and implementing them in an orderly fashion. After the evaluation process, an effort is required to implement changes which are positive and can lead to further opportunities. Carrying out SWOT analysis highlights the pros and cons a person possesses but the result will depend on how an individual responds to the analysis and implements it accordingly.
An individual can react either by improving his/her weaknesses and overcoming the loopholes or take advantage of the strengths but also realize the threats that can overshadow strengths and opportunities. Working on weaknesses is an important step in implementing SWOT analysis. It is wise and productive to accept weaknesses and convert them into strengths, plus eliminating the threats.
Strengths are internal positive attributes or capabilities a person has control over and can make full use of.
- Skills, competencies, knowledge
- Strong personality
- Commitment, enthusiasm, and passion
- Personal resources
- PR and connections
Weaknesses are negative aspects and attributes which have little control over.
- Personal nature or tendencies
- Lack of education
- Lack of work experience or expertise
- Less resources
- Hygiene issues
- Lack of career direction or focus
- Negative work habits
Opportunities are uncontrollable external events a person can potentially leverage.
- Favorable job or work trends
- Developed Improving economy
- Job vacancies and openings
- Training opportunities
- Technology advancements
- Demand for Expertise and skills
Threats are uncontrollable external factors that might overcome or damage the strengths and opportunities.
- Job insecurity
- Downsizing and restructuring
- Changing market trends
- Fewer job opportunities
- Emerging competition
- Changing professional standards
Advantages of Conducting SWOT Analysis
The main idea of SWOT is to enhance strengths which are identified, overcome weaknesses, capitalizing on opportunities, and converting threats into opportunities and weaknesses into strengths. You also have to put contingencies in place. There are many benefits of using SWOT analysis for personal development. It is good for success and betterment.
Some of the most common benefits are it helps you develop strategies to attain goals plus shows where you stand on the path of success, measures the limitations and scope of reaching the desired goals, minimizes problems and issues, boosts your career, life and personality, increases self-confidence and self-esteem and helps to better understand self-image. At the same time, it helps you maximize strengths and diminish weaknesses and focus on attitude, abilities, skills, capabilities and capacity.
Implementing Personal SWOT Analysis
Implementing simply means transforming weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities. It’s easy to think about, but it’s much harder to implement in life. The key is to understand what implementing means. The first approach is to transform weakness into strength. For instance, if a person is not creative and decides to overcome that hurdle and become creative no matter what, the positive adrenaline changes his course of thinking and starts taking effect. Creativity is a skill and based on the growth mindset which can be cultivated.
The second option is that to find a different context for weakness and try to see it as a feature. For example, a manager who has a hard time staying focused and is not good at dictating and getting things done can be a successful entrepreneur or take up some other profession. A good personality will mostly come from limitations, not strengths. It’s the outcome of working around shortcomings and using all the skills you can muster.
There is also a third option. In case a weakness cannot be converted or implemented, then minimizing weaknesses or avoiding them might sort the problem. The purpose is to neutralize weaknesses to a point at which strengths can be unfettered.
Avoiding complexity and overanalyzing the analysis might have the opposite effect. It’s good to keep the SWOT analysis short and simple by building different strategies and options. Testing some assumptions and performing regular updates would be necessary for continued results. A SWOT analysis helps in progress in life and building a superior strategy and executing it.
SWOT analysis can be ineffective if it is treated as a ‘laundry list’. The only difficulty with analysis is its authenticity of results, which can be biased because it’s not easy to evaluate yourself. Professional help or counseling should be taken in case you feel you need assistance. The results can be subjective and vulnerable to perceptional differences of each person. Moreover, lack of accountability is a major factor since an individual might not have enough motivation to change.