A SWOT analysis for individuals includes analysing personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The SWOT analysis for individuals can be used while a person is looking for a job, or to assess certain aspects about her current position or career. In a SWOT analysis for individuals, strengths and weaknesses are considered to be internal variables, while opportunities and threats are external variables. External variables are much harder to control than internal or personal variables.
One of the most important aspects of a SWOT analysis for individuals is studying your strengths. If you are unemployed and looking for a job, one of your strengths may be your level of experience. For example, you may be looking for a marketing research job and have 10 years of experience. Another strength may be that you have an MBA or master's degree.
If you are performing a SWOT analysis on your current job situation, one strength may be that you have been with the company for many years. Therefore, if the company needs to cut jobs, it may cut people with less seniority in the company.
During a SWOT analysis for individuals, you also need to identify certain weaknesses that affect your job search. You may be lacking in computer skills or, despite your experience, your college grade point average may be relatively low. Additionally, you may have weak job-hunting skills, which is another weakness, according to the article "Using a SWOT Analysis in Your Career Planning" at Quintcareers.com, a popular online career reference site.
On a current job, your weakness can be a lack of confidence, inexperience doing presentations or a tendency to be disorganised. Any of these weaknesses can make you potentially vulnerable in your current job, especially if your supervisor or other managers are aware of these weaknesses.
The third part of a SWOT analysis for individuals is analysing certain opportunities. For example, you may live in an area that has a surplus of jobs in marketing research or whatever you do for a living. This may shorten the length of time you spend searching for a job.
On your current job, someone may have been promoted, which can provide you with a sudden opportunity for advancing your career. This would be especially true if you have been doing an excellent job and have more experience than other employees on your level.
Numerous threats could potentially affect you. Fortunately, a thorough SWOT analysis for individuals can uncover many of those threats. For example, through online research, you may read that a recession is having a negative impact on jobs in your field. This may reduce your chances for finding a new job. A recession may also have a potential impact on your current job. You could potentially lose your job if the economy gets substantially worse.
The best way to use a SWOT analysis is to match one internal variable with an external variable, then find a way to exploit that external variable to your advantage. For example, if a new consumer products company moves to your city with new jobs--an opportunity--you can use your extensive experience in the industry--a strength--to land a position. Additionally, if you foresee that your boss expects you to learn how to use certain database experience that you lack--a threat and weakness, respectively--you should consider enrolling in a database course immediately.