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SWOT analysis

Conducting a personal SWOT analysis

Another way of reviewing your future goals is to drawn up a personal SWOT analysis.

Draw up your own personal SWOT analysis.

Many readers will know the SWOT technique – frequently used in strategy and planning exercises it can also be harnessed to assess an individual. A SWOT analysis asks us to list all our perceived strengths and weak­nesses in terms of skills, attributes, interests, attitudes, likes and dislikes. At the same time we are asked to highlight any potential opportunities and threats that we may have to face. A SWOT analysis is very powerful for capturing on one sheet of paper our current capability and circumstances. Once we have exhausted our analysis we can then stand
back and reflect on some critical issues, i.e. the things we really want to do or exploit, as well as highlighting the things we want to avoid.

Once we have reviewed our life/career line, developed a personal SWOT analysis and are clear on what we want to achieve, we can then start to set some objectives and key goals. When we set any personal objec­tives we always need to assess them against the acronym SMART: for any goal to be effective it must be:

Specific:           Any goals should specify clear behaviour or actions.

Measurable: Our goals should specify a basis for measurement so that we know when they have been achieved.

Achievable:       Goals should be within our capability to achieve.

Realistic:          Any goal needs to be stretching but at the same time


Timely:            Goals need to have a time element attached – when they will be achieved.

If any of our goals cannot be assessed against these five dimensions we should consider redrafting them. Whilst we can easily set goals without any real sense of commitment we need to remember that a personal brand plan requires us to be very disciplined. So we need to spend quality time to really focus on our key goals. We must be specific in terms of what we want to achieve and the timescales involved. We also need to ask ourselves if we are being realistic or unrealistic in our ambitions. We should also consider who might help us in providing resources or encouragement to keep us on track when we inevitably lose interest. Indeed, having a close confident or colleague at work whom we implic­itly trust can be a very valuable asset in helping us keep on track.

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