Personal SWOT analysis is an important tool as we seek to continuously adjust to our changing environment and develop and implement strategic plans for our lives. I am advocating personal strategic planning as a means of staying relevant and achieving your goals in this ever changing global environment. In my blog, Strategies to achieve business growth in this global environment, I made reference to many jobs being lost not because of retrenchment, downsizing, closures but because those job functions no longer exist. In How technology is destroying jobs and millions of middle-class jobs lost to technology Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s stated that they believe that rapid technological change has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them, contributing to the stagnation of median income and the growth of inequality in the United States of America.
In this fast changing environment,
we need to continually reposition ourselves and in this exercise we use strategic planning which has been used by companies for decades to ensure business success. Evelyn Gaskin did a wonderful presentation on the need to reposition yourself for strategic success http://shelbycearley.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/repositioning-yourself-for-strategic-success.pdf.
Personal Swot Analysis – Vital for future planning
The first step in the process of preparing a personal strategic plan is to do a personal SWOT Analysis.SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses (internal analysis) opportunities, threats (external analysis)
• S stands for Strengths – think of your qualifications, skills, hobbies, achievements, values, networks, personal resources – money in the bank, ability to access resources. This should be done from your perspective and the perspective of those around you. They may be able to identify strengths you have that you are not aware of.
• W stands for weaknesses– in what areas are you deficient. List activities you are unable to perform, skills, qualifications, experiences you lack, negative personality traits, behaviours that are not in line with values. Your fears e.g. of meeting people or of making presentations are also weaknesses. Depending on your future path, you may be able to more clinically identify weaknesses e.g if your career dream is to be a doctor , then an absence of qualifications in the sciences is a weakness. In this area, you should ask those around you about any weaknesses in you that they have identified. The johari window illustrates the fact that there are things about us that we do not know but others know. Feel free therefore to find out about these hidden areas/’blind self’ or ‘blind area’ or ‘blindspot’
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