Be strategic in your career by creating a SWOT analysis

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Be strategic in your career by creating a SWOT analysis

swotPersonal development is an essential step for making yourself more appealing to employers. People apply many different tactics to stand a part in this competitive Boston market. In order to truly excel is important to be self aware of not only your strengths and weaknesses in the work space, but also the opportunities and threats that could arise depending on certain career choices you make.

So now the question is, how should you go about identifying these strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? Creating a SWOT Analysis is a very useful tool to help you do this.

What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward.

The following video and tips on how to make a SWOT analysis, curated from Mind Tools, will help you to brainstorm and determine the next steps to take in your career.

First list our your strengths (internal):

  • What are you good at naturally?
  • What skills have you worked to develop?
  • What are your talents, or natural-born gifts?
  • How strong is your network of connections?
  • What do other people see as your strengths?
  • What values and ethics set you apart from your peers?

Then your weaknesses (internal):

  • What are your negative work habits and traits?
  • Does any part of your education or training need improving?
  • What would other people see as your weaknesses?
  • Where can you improve?
  • What are you afraid to do or most likely to avoid?
  • What negative feedback about your personality or work habits have you received?

Then examine these points to determine career opportunities (external):

  • Is your industry growing? If so, how can you take advantage of the current market?
  • Do you have a network of contacts to help you, or offer good advice?
  • What trends (management or otherwise) do you see in your company, and how can you take advantage of them?
  • Is there a need in your company or industry that no one is filling?

You might find useful opportunities in the following:

  • Networking events, educational classes, or conferences.
  • A new role or project that forces you to learn new skills, like public speaking or international relations.
  • A company expansion or acquisition. Do you have specific skills (like a second language) that could help with the process?

And threats (external):

  • What obstacles do you currently face at work?
  • Are any of your colleagues competing with you for projects or roles?
  • Is your job (or the demand for the things you do) changing?
  • Could any of your weaknesses lead to threats?

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