Topic 2 SWOT analysis

Watch this video where the SWOT-analysis is explained. This video describes a SWOT analysis, gives some examples and instructions on how to create your own.

After you have watched the video, it is time to create your own. Download Activity Sheet ‘SWOT Analysis Template’ or divide a blank sheet into 4 compartments and name each of them: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

Next, you will do your own SWOT-analysis based on the following guidelines:

The first step to beginning your SWOT Analysis is to identify your strengths. Your strengths are your main selling-points to your (potential) employer. These are the collection of knowledge, experiences and attributes which set you apart from others.

To identify your strengths, you should consider each of the following:

  • Your natural talents and abilities; What are you naturally good at?
  • The skills and attributes you have cultivated; Are there aspects of your work which require effort for you to perform?
  • Your education and training; What specific education or training programmes have you undertaken that give you specialised knowledge in your field?
  • Your networks and experiences; What networks and contacts do you have?

The next step in the personal SWOT is to examine your weaknesses

This will help you to identify potential gaps in your skills set; areas in which you will need to improve so that your career does not suffer a set back and so you can continue to progress throughout your career.

To identify your Weaknesses, you should reflect on the following:

  • Your performance in work and your working habits; What are your bad work habits?
  • Gaps in your skills and education; Are there gaps in your CV which you have failed to address?
  • Guidance you have received from past employers; What have others said were your weaknesses?
  • Certain personality traits; Are there personality traits or attitudes which limit your progression or impede your progress in your field?

The next step is to examine the Opportunities available to you.

At this point, we will begin to examine external factors which may impact your career.  First, we will look at potential opportunities.  Opportunities relate to the external factors in your current career or in your economic sector which you can take advantage of to pursue a new career pathway, secure a promotion in your current field or to enhance your job security in your current role.

When assessing the Opportunities which are available to you, examine the following aspects of your career and the sector which you work in or would like to work in:

  • Opportunities in your field or sector for growth; Is there a skills deficit in your sector which you can take advantage of?
  • Opportunities for promotion within your company; Is there a need in your company that no one is filling?
  • Opportunities through my own resources; Do you have access to networks or contacts that can help you to progress in your career?

At this final stage, we will assess the Threats which may negatively impact on your career progression.

Like Opportunities, Threats are also external factors which could impact you, but which you likely will not have any influence over.  However, due to their potential negative effects, it is important to be aware of Threats so that you can plan and develop strategies to warn off the impact these potential Threats.

When identifying Threats to your career, assess each of the following factors:

  • Threats to your job sector or field?; Is your industry or sector retracting?
  • Threats to your job from within your own company?; Do your colleagues have skill-sets which you need but have not yet acquired?
  • Threats to your job in the future? Is your job threatened by automation, digitisation or maybe by the process towards sustainability?

Now that you have identified your career-specific Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats; you have now created your personal SWOT-analysis.

Now you have completed your SWOT-matrix, think about the personal challenges sustainable initiatives in your (future) company might bring. Do you think you are up for it? Whether you think you are or not, in the next unit we will help you develop an action plan to overcome the potential challenges a sustainable future might bring along.