Most of us have done a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) for our organization at one time or another. It is a part of most strategy development efforts. Try doing a personal SWOT as a part of your career development plan. It is an excellent, and pretty quick, way to look at where you are and what is in your way of getting to where you want to be.
- What makes you unique in the world of work and your personal life.
- What have you been trained to do?
- What unique skills have you developed throughout your career?
- What are your significant accomplishments?
- What are you most proud of in your career?
- What difficult challenges have you overcome?
- What would your bosses say about your successes throughout your career?
- What makes you different?
- What have you heard (and maybe ignored) on performance reviews.
- What skills do you need to develop?
- Do you have the requisite education for where you want to be?
- Who do you not know in the organization power structure?
- Are your skills out of date?
- Do you have a robust network?
- Are you seen as an up-and-comer?
- Are you motivated?
- Remember, your strengths are frequently your weakness
- What have you always wanted to do?
- Look at career goals since childhood, extracurricular activities,hobbies, beyond-work-activities, areas of interest, learning.
- What trends/patterns do you see in these that offer ideas for your future?
- If you could re-invent yourself, who/what would you be?
- What are your interests that could be made into a career path?
- Can you do some damage control where you are?
- What would it take to motivate you?
- Can you turn what you do into a career that crosses into other industries ?
- Are there other industries that interest you?
- Have you overstayed your welcome?
- What is the financial stability of your organization?
- Are there downsizings, leader changes, mergers on the horizon?
- Are you getting along with your boss? Your boss’ boss?
- Are you getting along with your peers?
- Are you getting the “plum” assignments?
- Have you felt a “shift” in relationships lately?
- Do you FIT in the organization?
So, What Do You Do?
Pick anything. Work on leveraging your strengths. Work on eliminating or reducing or “plan b-ing” your threats. Take advantage of your opportunities. Work on improving your weaknesses. Just start.