A SWOT analysis is a useful tool to identify the things you're already great at, the areas where you need to develop a bit more, any opportunities open to you and an threats or obstacles that might be in your way. Obviously you can use this in a work setting, but it's also a powerful way of looking at things outside work too. It can really help focus your mind on what you need to do and the tools you need to employ to achieve something, whether it's improving your personal relationships, developing your communication skills or buying your first car.
First, think about the strengths you have that will help you achieve this particular goal. What skills do you have? What personal resources do you have? What do other people think you're good at? What connections do you have?
Then think about any weaknesses you might have. Is there anything you don't feel confident doing? Do you have any negative habits that get in your own way?
Next consider any opportunities available to you. Opportunities are usually things that are external to you, such as financial incentives, moving to a new location, making a new friend or contact. Think about how opportunities may open doors for you or provide a chance for you to do something new.
Finally, identify any external threats that might get in your way. What might get in the way of you achieving your goal?
Once you've been through these steps you can decide which one or two things from your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will be the most important to enable to you achieve your goal - this is where you should focus your energy!
Want to have a go? Babington has kindly provided an interactive PDFs with notes so you can complete your own SWOT - download it here.
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