Analyse your personal talents with SWOT

Obviously, we are more likely to succeed in what we are doing if we use our strongest personal talents to their fullest extent and avoid using our weakest skills. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? The problem is, many people don’t know what their best talents are, or – even worse – they believe they possess a specific talent when the rest of us can clearly see they do not.

Ever had someone claim they can sing, before permanently damaging your eardrums with the caterwaul that they emit? Don’t let this be you! So, how do we figure out how to identify our true talents and our weaknesses, as well as determine what we can do with them? The SWOT technique – that’s how!

What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis evaluates your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in order to create a structured planning method that helps you to discover opportunities that you may not have realized were possible and eliminate circumstances that may be damaging to you. Performing a SWOT analysis can help you in all facets of life, including advancing your career.

Simple Steps in Conducting a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is a tool that can be used for determining your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can be extremely useful for helping you achieve your short-term and long-term goals.

Step1: Identify your Objective

You must first determine a clear goal, objective or identify purpose of the SWOT analysis.

Step2: conduct an Initial Research

Performing an initial research on what works and does not work for others can give you a baseline or starting point.

Step3: Identify your Strengths

In this step your aim is to identify your advantages over the competition.

Step4: Identify your Weaknesses

Gauge your weaknesses by comparing your personal talents with your competitors. Identify where they excel and where you lack certain qualities.

Step5: Look for Areas of Growth

These are opportunities which are outside your control but provide you with an opening for growth.

Step6: Identify Possible Threats

Identify all possible factors that can negatively influence your personal and professional growth.

Step7: Determine your Priorities

Prioritizing helps you focus your energies first on what is important and gives you the biggest improvements.

SWOT analysis – Key questions to answer

Completing a personal SWOT analysis is as simple as asking yourself a few questions and analyzing the results:

When answering these questions, try to make them relative to the people you are most often involved with – whether this is family, work colleagues or friends. Obviously, if you are a great writer, but you work in an industry that requires this skill and everybody else around you is also a great writer, this doesn’t really apply as a strength if you are analyzing your strengths for the purpose of work.

Strengths

  • Are there any advantages you possess that other people generally do not? This can include natural talents / skills, educational achievements, social connections, or anything else you can think of.
  • Which of your achievements are you the most proud of?
  • What do you believe you can do better than anyone else you know?
  • What strengths do others see in you?
  • Do you feel you possess values / morals that other people generally do not possess?
  • Do you have access to any personal resources?
  • Do you have any influential connections or are you involved in a network that other people around you are not?

Weaknesses

  • Which tasks do you feel you are not confident performing? This might include tasks that you deliberately attempt to avoid, as you don’t feel as though you can handle it.
  • Are there any personality traits you feel might be holding you back? For example, a fear of public speaking may be preventing you from participating in group meetings at work.
  • Do you have any negative habits? For example, do you crack under intense pressure; are you tardy, disorganized, or lazy?
  • What do the people you socialize with see as your weaknesses?
  • Do you feel that you have confidence in your educational achievements? If not, which aspects do you feel least confident in?

Opportunities

  • Is your industry in a state of growth? If so, is there any way to take advantage of this?
  • Do you have contacts in your network who are able to offer advice or help you?
  • Are there any new technologies that can help you?
  • Are you able to utilize the Internet to help you?
  • Can you see anywhere where your competitors are failing, and can you take advantage of their oversight?
  • Are there any needs in your company that are not being filled?
  • Do customers of your company complain about something that you may be able to find a solution for?

Also determine if any of your strengths could be used to create opportunity, as well as determine if eliminating weaknesses could open any opportunities/

Threats

  • Are there any obstacles you are currently facing?
  • Is there any fluctuation in the demand for your position?
  • Do your colleagues directly compete with you in projects or roles?
  • Does new technology create a threat to your position?
  • Are any of your weaknesses potential threats?

When answering these questions, try to be as honest as you can – both from your point of view and from those around you. Pointing out your SWOT attributes can be confronting or embarrassing at first, but it’s well worth it!

After completing your questions, you’ll be able to use them to formulate a plan for what you need to do to bolster your strengths, eliminate your weaknesses, and use these to increase opportunity and remove threats. It’s that simple!

The CFS Team
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