Is It Time to Do a Personal SWOT Analysis?

graphic of personal swot analysis, illustration of people climbing on stairs

A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis is an important part of any marketing plan and can help businesses create strategic plans for revenue growth. But, have you ever thought of borrowing the idea and doing a personal SWOT analysis?

Doing a personal SWOT analysis can help you climb the corporate ladder or figure out how to make a career change. It’s a good idea to do a personal SWOT if you’re looking for a new job, asking for a raise or promotion, or if performance reviews are coming up.

How Do I Do a Personal SWOT Analysis?

A personal SWOT is a self-assessment that helps you determine where you are now in your career and where you could go. It will help you exploit your strengths and minimize your weaknesses, so you can take advantage of opportunities and avoid threats.

After you’ve answered the questions below, sleep on them a bit – you probably won’t think of everything in one sitting.


To determine your strengths, you have to be willing to brag a little. Now is not the time to be humble! Ask yourself:

  • How do my education, skills, certifications, connections, and experience set me apart from my peers?
  • What does my boss think are my strengths?
  • What do my coworkers think are my strengths?
  • What values do I have that my coworkers and peers lack?
  • What achievements am I most proud of?
  • What am I naturally good at?
  • What skills have I worked to develop?


To determine your weaknesses, you’ll have to be very honest with yourself. It might be difficult to come to terms with your weaknesses, but ask yourself:

  • Where am I lacking in my education, skills, certifications, connections, and experience?
  • What does my boss think are my weaknesses?
  • What do my coworkers think are my weaknesses?
  • What are my negative work habits?
  • What are my negative personality traits?
  • What do I avoid?


When you’re looking for opportunities, consider your industry and your company. To determine your opportunities, ask yourself:

  • What trends are (positively) affecting my industry?
  • How is my industry growing?
  • How is my company growing?
  • How could new technology help me advance?
  • How could my connections help me advance?
  • What certifications could I get?


Like opportunities, threats can be inside your industry or company. Ask yourself:

  • What trends are (negatively) affecting my industry?
  • What obstacles do I currently face in my career?
  • Who is my competition?
  • Will new technology or new certification demands slow my progress?
  • Is my job or industry changing in a way that could interfere with my career advancement?

What to Do After a Personal SWOT Analysis?

After you’ve filled out your personal SWOT, give it to someone you trust (like your spouse, a friend, or even a coworker). Ask them to look over it and be very honest with you.

After that, look at your SWOT and figure out how to take action.

Match Your Strengths and Opportunities

The areas where your strengths and opportunities match up are where you want to pursue action. They can help you take the next step toward getting that promotion or finding a new job.

Match Your Weaknesses and Threats

The areas where your weaknesses and threats match up are things you want to avoid as much as possible.

Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths

Try to figure out how to turn your weaknesses into strengths. For example, if you’re lacking the skills needed to take your career to the next level, consider taking courses or getting a certification to gain that new skill.

Or, you might realize that one of your weaknesses is only a weakness in your current job. If you’re considering making a career change, that weakness might end up being a strength in another job.

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