Personal SWOT Analysis. Knowing Where You Are, and Where to Go.

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We might have the time feeling upset, anxious, doubting ourselves suddenly, not knowing why when completing the plans/tasks.

Imagine yourself as a product designer. When tackling an issue in the product design process, we start with brainstorming, research, discovery, hypothesizing, analysis, and things you've known. What if we place this process on ourselves? Since we are the best product designer of our own. We know where the problem is, but what we lack is to understand the problem, uncover it, and define it till we drill for a solution.

Being self-aware is crucial to know yourself better, assess and address problems better. That’s when the Self S.W.O.T. analysis takes the stage.


What is SWOT

Paul Boag wrote a popular article which defines a SWOT analysis perfectly:

“SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. That mirrors the gut reaction you have in a discovery phase. Opportunities and strengths are the things that get you excited. Weaknesses and threats are the ones that cause concern.”

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Credit: Buffaloboy / Adobe Stock / Edited by Lorissa Shepstone

How it Does Work

The SWOT analysis can reveal important facts about yourself that you can change or leverage as you design the way people experience you.

To perform a SWOT analysis correctly, you need to understand how it works. It’s simple. Grab a piece of paper, and draw two intersecting lines to create four equal quadrants. Then, label each quadrant as Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat. Lastly, fill in each quadrant with keywords or answers.

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To perform a SWOT analysis effectively, you should think about how each category complements or negates other categories in the diagram. Consider each of these four areas as you write down your thoughts.

The Four Dimensions

Strengths and weakness are both about internal characteristics, while opportunities and threats are the external characteristics and all of them vary in different perspectives.

Strengths

The internal and positive characteristics that you possess. These are the attributes you embody and make you stand out, leading you to achieve your goals, learn something you are potentially good at, etc.

Ask yourself:

What am I good at? Why am I competitive than others? What do others think I am good at?

Notes

Be objective as you can be and don’t be shy or modest here. Knowing the strengths helps you to make best out of them, can achieve your goal easily. If you find it hard to write them down, write down your personal characteristics and identify some of the strengths behind them.

Weakness

Some internal characteristics that you need but lack. It helps you to pinpoint the harmful attributes about ourselves that hinder our progress.

Ask yourself:

What are my weaknesses? What are the skills do I lack? Why others are competitive than me? What is preventing me from my goals?

Notes

Ask yourself questions and answer them objectively here is a bit brutal, and we tend to turn the true answers away. Maybe those people around you see the weaknesses that you don’t see. Ask one of your friends who know you well, and invite them to be a part of your personal SWOT analysis. Their answers are important, though a bit unpleasant to read, but helps for knowing where you are and where to go.

Opportunities

Positive and external chances which are available to help and prove yourself for reaching the goals.

Ask yourself:

What doors are open to you? What’s something you could start doing right now that nobody else is doing? What niche characteristics do you possess that others don’t?

Notes

Go back to your strengths, and look closely at them to seek possible opportunities. Then face the weaknesses, and figure out if you could open up opportunities by eliminating those weaknesses.

Threats

External and harmful things of concern that could potentially have a negative impact on ourselves.

Ask yourself:

What are the obstacles? What are me competitors doing better than me? What things are out of control but could still hinder your progress?

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A Personal SWOT Analysis Example

Before you begin a self-SWOT, understand what it is you’re hoping to gain out of it. Establish what key objectives you’re going after and what outcomes you want.

This is how Peter does his Personal SWOT Analysis. As a sales representative, he’s seeking for improvements for a career development. Peter chose a balanced map, fill in the subtopic with Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The balanced map is also quadrant structure, so it is also clear for listing the key words for different sections.

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XMind has prepared the SWOT structures already, and you can focus on reflecting yourself and find out the answers/solutions of the questions. The intersection parts allow you to make the best of both positive internal and external factors, while minimize the negative internal and external elements.

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Peter continued to read the map, and figure out solutions, and there it goes:

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Actions speak louder than words. Later on, Peter talked to John about presentation skills. Surprisingly, John was glad to share and would love to help him on it. John was also impressed by Peter’s creativity and multi-task management skill, so he asked if Peter would love to share as well. Besides, Peter talked to team about the workload, and the team re-assigned the work, giving Peter enough time to stay concentrated and prepare for the report for the coming project. As for the covering job’s duty, Peter listed his strength and talked to his leader, and he became one of the candidates.

To sum up, a SWOT is a framework for analyzing your strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats that you face. This helps you focus on your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and make the most of your talents and opportunities.

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If you are not satisfied with your SWOT Analysis, asking one of your peers or someone you respect to perform a SWOT analysis about you from their perspectives. Reading a SWOT analysis done on you but not by you can be "bitter and sweet". But, it is extremely helpful and enlightened.

Personal SWOT analysis is not just about yourself, you can also do a SWOT analysis on successful people, and use it to display the key characteristics that make up their personality, grit, and determination to succeed in life.

References:

https://medium.com/s/how-to-build-a-brand/lets-talk-about-swot-analysis-a49f825406fa

https://medium.com/the-you-experience/the-you-experience-5-self-swot-analysis-610226f1dd45

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05_1.htm

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