Personal SWOT analysis

Personal SWOT analysis

  • Richard Ashley
  • September 15, 2017

SWOT analysis is typically used in business; however, the principles can be applied to individuals. Richard Ashley, considers self- examination to enhance your career.

SWOT analysis is typically used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a company or a project. It is used to identify competitive advantage and identify risk. So if used successfully in the corporate environment, why not apply the technique to highlight an individual’s qualities? In particular, emphasizing strong points and weak areas. This will identify under-performance and remedial action to manage and remove threats.

What are the benefits of self-analysis?

Self-analysis or examination will characterise and improve your image and value to current and potential employers. Additionally, boost you appeal to clients and gain advantage over your colleagues. Invent a personal brand that is established and importantly recognised. If you want to be noticed, work on your positives and negatives, and ensure you manage your personal brand strategy. Your branding reflects experience, skills, work ethic, and character.

How will a SWOT analysis help?

Self examination and assessment through a SWOT will help you discover more about yourself. A SWOT analysis is a simple but powerful tool guaranteed to uncover those constructive and damaging qualities, so evaluate, set goals and create an action plan. Having a deep understanding of what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are puts you in a great position to enhance your career.

The aim is to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses and identify the corresponding opportunities and threats. On one side, it makes the connection between strengths and opportunities and weakness and threats on the other. Pair external threats with the internal weakness can help highlight the most critical problems.

How can I create a personal SWOT analysis?

For each element create a list relating to your work environment. Nobody is perfect, so ensure you answer honestly.


Your strengths will be known to you, however consider these in relation to how others perceive you, including your manager and peers. What is your unique selling point? What do you do best or better than everyone else? What skills do you have that others don’t? What have you achieved in your career and what helped you to accomplish this? What skills or training do you have that others don’t?


Identifying and managing your weakness is more important than knowing your strengths!

Are you held back through lack of belief or confidence? What does your manager and peers consider your weakness to be? Is there anything that you think is hindering your productivity – this could include your own shortcomings or negative thoughts (e.g. timekeeping or self-belief). Other areas include not having the right training to excel or confidence to train colleagues or take that next step into management?

It is crucial that you face your Achilles' heel and recognise and manage your weakness, conquering any impediments.


Opportunities need to be put in the context of your job and responsibility. From a payroll perspective, consider the prospect to develop your skills through internal or external training, or updating your knowledge through payroll specific conferences. Or it could be the opportunity to move into a project focused role, such as process improvement or system implementation. Or maybe covering a colleague during maternity. Undoubtedly your strengths will open up opportunities, however also consider on the flipside whether conquering weakness will open up opportunity?


Threats are defined simply as challenges or obstacles which you face daily. This could be a competitor who has expanded their position in the market, or indeed colleagues who are threatening your standing at work. Technology is a significant threat, especially in the payroll sector, where inferior systems may slow efficiency. Revisit weakness to see if any of these lead to threats? Threats will also expose weakness. Likewise, when a threat is also an opportunity, sometimes there are factors which are both threats and opportunities. Examples include Redundancy when a threat could be an opportunity in disguise!


Only by completing the exercise will you recognize and have the ability to build on your strengths and work on your weakness. Whilst everyone has weakness, distinguishing the threats will lessen their impact. So seek to make positive change and remember that not recognizing or responding to weakness and threats will ultimately lead to failure.