By Saba Farooq
Companies and brands conduct SWOT analysis to assess their strategic position. SWOT stands for: Strengths (internal), Weaknesses (internal), Opportunities (external) and Threats (external). You are a competitive brand and to successfully be purchased (hired) by the customers (employers), you must (position/place) present yourself in the most captivating manner. Your unique selling propositions must make you stand out unflinchingly and unwaveringly among the competitors.
To land a job and advance your career, you have got to be stringent and honest in self-assessment. World No. 1 professional tennis player Billie Jean King had said: “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion”.
Here arises a question! How can you evaluate yourself? How can you be aware of yourself? How can you identify the competitive edge you are having over contenders? How can you discern your shortcoming? A simple answer for all of these questions is: Personal SWOT Analysis.
To conduct personal SWOT analysis, draw a 2-by-2 matrix, to address each area to be evaluated. Mention strengths and weaknesses in the top row and opportunities and threats (arising from strengths and weaknesses) in the bottom row.
Be honest in addressing the inner factors i.e., your strengths and weaknesses. In the quadrant of strengths, mention your skills, abilities, values, talents, and all the traits that set you apart from the pack. When it comes to weaknesses, brainstorm and think of all the traits that hold you back and cripple your ability to excel in the field you aspire to pursue; mention your bad working habits, shortcomings and areas requiring improvement.
Now come to the lower row addressing the external factors that may either help or hinder your growth i.e., opportunities and threats. In the opportunities quadrant, do mention if industry has demand for the skills and qualifications you possess, whether you are having traits to devise plans that can bring innovation in the industry, do the changing trends align with your interests and skillset and can your strengths help you gain a competitive edge? After completing this quadrant, move to the threats. Threats might be the changing industrial trends that inhibit your growth and that are not in line with your capabilities, influx of competitors in industry or professional requirements that you lack.
Individuals are often oblivious of their strengths and weaknesses. In this regard your peers and colleagues can assist you much. Discuss your personality traits with them and ask them to name your strengths and weaknesses. After completing analysis, strive to convert your weaknesses into strengths.
Want to read more on Personal SWOT Analysis? Please read chapter #2 of The Craft of Selling “YOURSELF”.
Ms. Saba Farooq, a dreamer from Lahore, is a business graduate and is passionate colleague of Ashraf Chaudhry. She loves to help people unconditionally and spreads positivity 24×7.
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