Using SWOT Analysis for Personal Growth

Image courtesy of Rennett Stowe's photostream

Image courtesy of Rennett Stowe’s photostream

Are you looking for a simple model to analyze a plan related to personal growth?  Do you need a simple way to objectively create a strategy for decision making? Try a SWOT Analysis.   It is a great way to analyze your current situation in order to define where you want to go.  All you need is a piece of paper and a pen to get started.

Divide the page into 4 quadrants.  Label the quadrants: Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat.

Strengths: This is your opportunity to objectively look internally at your personal strengths.
•    What makes you unique?
•    What do you do better than anyone else?
•    What skills or certifications make you stand out?
•    What are your biggest achievements?
•    Are there compliments that you hear often from coworkers or management?

Weaknesses:  This is your opportunity to objectively look at potential weaknesses.
•    What situations do you avoid because you are not confident in your skills?
•    Do you lack education, certification, or job experience?
•    Are there any traits that need improving such as tardiness, avoiding conflict, lack of technical skills?
•    What weaknesses have others identified?

Opportunities: Opportunities include external items that could help you.
•    Are their trainings or classes you can participate in?
•    Is there a mentor program you could be involved in?
•    Is there a need in your company that you could fill?
•    Is the industry changing in a way that will better utilize your strengths?

Threats: Threats include any obstacles you will face with your growth
•    What obstacles are standing in your way?
•    Is the company culture in line with your best work environment?
•    Is there a lot of competition for your position or desired growth?
•    Is the industry changing in a way that will expose your weaknesses?

By objectively focusing on each of the four quadrants it makes the analysis less emotional and more factual.  A SWOT Analysis will allow you to objectively look at your role to see what you can change to seek your desired results.  It will also allow you to take action of your opportunities and minimize your weaknesses.

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