08 September 2008

SWOT Analysis

I am sure you have heard enough about SWOT. It is essentially an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It can be used for a multitude of purposes including planning military invasions or an ordinary product launch. On an individual basis too it has varied uses. However since my workshops focus on career building skills the SWOT analysis that I will be asking you to do will include taking stock of your workplace skills and situations.

There was this old quote which we used to put down in our slam books and autographs which went,
“Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your character.”

Now you know what you need to do to get the character you desire … think the right thoughts and the rest will follow. Now let’s get back to SWOT. Take a blank paper and make four columns one each for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Now FILL IT IN…

Remember this is a self assessment of your Career goals and skills. Be honest with yourself. You do not have to show this to anyone else, though if you are confused with your answers it might be a good idea to share it with a concerned and caring mentor.

In the Strengths column put down all those skills that you possess. Bear in mind that these are internal aspects which you control and can use to your advantage at any given time. For instance if you are an extrovert it will be a great advantage to you in the service industry.

In the Weaknesses column put down the drawbacks that may hinder you in your career. Keep in mind that these are also under your control and you can work on these aspects and improve them. For instance a bad command over Spoken English which hinders you from joining a call center can be improved by joining Spoken English classes and accent training.

Opportunities related to the career field of your choice can be listed in the next column. Now these are situations that are beyond your control but you feel are positive and will help you along on your career path. For instance the boom in hospitality which will come due to the Asiads being hosted in Delhi can help you chalk out a career in hotels.

Threats are also beyond your control and will be listed in the last column. These are negative situations which will affect your career path. As you can not control these situations you must do what you can to minimize their effect on your chosen career. For instance the rising cost of fuel will affect the running of the cheaper airlines. Some of which might fold, so it would make sense to shift to a company which has a good track record and is unlikely to go under too soon.

There we are through with our SWOT analysis. Hope it has given you an insight into what you really want to do and helps you choose a career that you are truly suited for.

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