Businesses all over the world use an analysis called “SWOT” to evaluate themselves or ideas for potential projects. SWOT stands for:
Although this is a great management tool for decision making, a SWOT analysis is a great resource to complete for yourself in order to identify to your goals and work to achieve them. Let’s be honest, we all have strengths, but we all have weaknesses too. While there are opportunities to be sought out, there are both internal and external threats that can prevent you from reaching your goals. Evaluating yourself through a SWOT analysis will help you figure out where your weak points are, but more importantly, will help you recognize what advantages and skills you have over others. If you want to learn more, here are 5 steps to completing a personal SWOT analysis.
- Identify the goal you want to achieve.
- Evaluate your strengths and identify your weaknesses.
- Identify potential opportunities related to your goal.
- Identify threats.
- Review and analyze.
Step 1: Identify the Goal you Want to Achieve.
Before you do anything, you have to know what you want. Now, that sounds simple, right? But knowing what you want means being able to clearly define exactly what you are looking for. Saying that you want to find your dream job is broad, so being more specific will help you more in the long run. Ask yourself the hard questions such as “What is important to me and what do I like?”, “What am I good at?”, “Where do I see myself next year? In three years? In ten years?” Knowing what you want to achieve requires you to be open and honest with yourself. If you need help understanding the importance of finding yourself, see Job Search Step 1.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the job exploration process. It can be building your resume, nailing an interview, or attending a networking event; as long as you are passionate, it is worth going after. Keep in mind, the S.M.A.R.T. technique (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) is a great way to establish an achievable yet challenging goal.
Step 2: Evaluate your Strengths and Identify your Weaknesses.
It’s okay to praise yourself every once in a while. If you want to achieve a goal you have to consider what your strengths are. We all bring something different to the table, and while it’s great to be modest, you should acknowledge what you are good at. At the same time, you do have to humble yourself and recognize what may be your weak points. And just because something may be your weakness, that does not mean that you cannot improve upon that. Analysis helps you realize what you may need to focus on to achieve your goal.
Step 3: Identify Potential Opportunities Related to your Goal.
As we all know, great opportunities don’t often fall in our laps, we have to go for what we want. Luckily, there is a surplus of resources that can prepare you for any step in the job process. If you need a place to find organized links, check out our Job Resources page.
Step 4: Identify Potential Threats Related to your Goal.
The age-old saying is to never compare yourself to others. In this case however, it can be very useful to objectively evaluate how you measure up to others seeking the same opportunities as you. There is competition all around, both from your peers and other external sources. The key is to not tear yourself down by acknowledging threats, but to make yourself aware of factors that can hinder your process.
Step 5: Review and Analyze.
Now it is time to take a step back and review everything you have done thus far. It helps to keep track of your progress. Keeping a journal of your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities can be a great help. It also never hurts to discuss the process with a friend or family member who can hold you accountable. Remember, achieving your goals is an iterative process. You do not have to get everything right the first time around, and a personal SWOT analysis is exactly that, personal. As you work your way through the analysis, you may discover new things about yourself which may lead to an adjustment of your goal. And that’s okay! As long as you can honestly evaluate yourself, there is no reason why this process would not help you reach the place where you want to be.
With those tips in mind I hope that you use and create your own S.W.O.T analysis to help you navigate through your job search. If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out Ourfirstjobsearch.com for more related posts, and click the button below for weekly updates!