I’ve been invited to be a judge for a very interesting women leadership project named #SheFactor. It is a free initiative designed to facilitate career development opportunities for more than 1000 Italian women.
The initiative aims to enhance their online presence and leadership by leveraging Personal Branding and Networking.
In the #SheFactor private group on Facebook, I asked the participants a question on an issue that’s important to me:
what does empowering yourself mean to you?
Well, 99% of the responses were related to the idea of knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Right or wrong, as a result of the responses, and, after testing it during my Personal Branding Canvas workshops, I thought the time had come for us to distribute a free PDF copy of our Personal SWOT Matrix too. While it will help women steer their careers in better directions, the Personal SWOT Matrix will also help us men do the same.
Why use it
The Personal SWOT Matrix helps you to carry out a SWOT Analysis of yourself. The process involves looking at your career as if it were an actual business.
As you may know, SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The SWOT analysis tool has been used by businesses for decades. But do not snub it because of this. That would be a mistake. This tool is still widely used by organizations today to identify and analyze key assumptions and scenarios.
By carrying out a SWOT analysis on yourself, you can find out just what makes you stand out from everybody else. As a result, you can then identify various career opportunities — including some lying in directions you had maybe never considered before.
A SWOT analysis makes a difference because it forces you to take external factors into consideration.
Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is not something to be taken lightly! Indeed, carrying one out with someone else is more or less essential as it will help ensure the resulting analysis is more objective. Everyone tends to think that the main problem lies in having to list points of weakness, but personally I have noticed that a lot of those who undertake this type of analysis struggle to identify and list their strengths!
Keep in mind that the approach many use to complete SWOT analysis is wrong: You need to complete all 7 operations, including the Convert, Match and Manage parts. Do not stop after you have filled in the 4 blocks.
How to use it
To get the most out of this visual thinking approach, you need to print out The Personal SWOT Matrix PDF (that includes the detailed questions written in the various blocks) on at least an A3 sized piece of paper. You then fill it with Post-it notes and use a marker to write answers to the questions. By doing it this way, you can re-use the Personal SWOT Matrix to analyse many different scenarios by simply removing and reattaching the sticky Post-its. You can, for example, experiment by adding Weaknesses, or by converting a Weakness into a Strength.
Why should you do this?
Sometimes we do not realise that what appears to be a weakness, might, in certain circumstances, be a genuine strength. A SWOT analysis really can help you reveal those circumstances. You may then be able to identify career opportunities lying in completely new directions. See this page on BigName.pro for further guidance and instructions.
How to download it?
You can download The Personal SWOT Matrix on this page of the site of my company, BigName – the professional innovation specialists for enterprise. The Personal SWOT Matrix forms part of our Professional Innovation Toolkit.
Note that while the Personal SWOT Matrix is perfectly usable and creates quick results, it is a prototype that is under continuous development. Indeed, if you have any suggestions for changes or improvements, feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
May the force of the SWOT be with you!