How to SWOT a Pesky Career
How to SWOT a Pesky Career
As an old standby in the strategic planning process, SWOT can also be applied to your career planning process. During the strategic planning stages, companies use SWOT analysis to convey their current strengths or positives in the marketplace, current weakness or things they can improve on, opportunities that can be taken advantage of, and possible threats that may be avoided or lessened.
The same planning process can be tailored from a company viewpoint to your own personal viewpoint while you start or continue your job search.
Start by analyzing your strengths. Do you have:
- Strong work experience
- Solid education (i.e. Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and/or certifications in the field)\
- Technical expertise (i.e. hardware and software knowledge, installation and programming skills, language fluency, etc.)
- Tangible and transferable skills (i.e. written and verbal communication skills, teamwork experience, leadership tenacity)
- Personality and attributable traits (i.e. creativity, organization, conceptual skills, etc.)
Then, move on to analyzing your weaknesses. Are you lacking:
- Valid work experience
- Decent grades (i.e. low GPA, incorrect major)
- Technical and language skills
- Networking skills and contacts
- Intangible work-related skills (i.e. discipline, motivation, indecisiveness, shyness or conversely abrasiveness, etc.).
Now, move on to any opportunities that are within your future career pursuits and what you need to achieve them, such as opportunities for:
- Career advancement (i.e. Are you in line for a promotion? Have you asked for one?)
- Career fields that are growing that you could take advantage of
- Location change (i.e. being closer to your desired career)
- Technological advancement (i.e. computerized training courses you could take)
- Networking opportunities (career fairs, everyday encounters, friends and friends of friends, etc.)
- Higher education to start a new career or advance a current one
Lastly, you must identify and analyze all your possible threats that may lessen your opportunities, threats such as:
- Layoffs and imminent downsizing at your current career
- A career field with high competition
- Limited career advancement in your particular chosen field
- Competitors from your graduating college class (i.e. What have you done to position yourself among the top?)
- Small niche market for your chosen career
- Unfamiliarity with technological advancements in your field
The SWOT analysis won’t only help you discover the things that are working for you and against you, but it will also help you enhance your overall personal brand – a vital key to helping you better market yourself in today’s workforce.