SWOT Analysis

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You can use a SWOT analysis to make deicsions at work or you can also use it for yourself to make deicsions related to your career. 


SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal to your company or you —things that you have control over and can change. Opportunities and threats are external to you are your company. You can take advantage of opportunities and protect against threats, but you can’t change them. 


You can use SWOT to take advantage of the assets you or your company has.  And you can reduce the risk of failure by understanding what you're lacking or what could catch you off guard. Write your attributes in each quadrant. Once you lay out all of the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities you can see which area has the most items, and it will help you make a decision on what direction you should take. It will also help you navigate the path to get there by utilizing the things you do well and overcoming the things you don't. 


Here is some more detail about each quadrant: 


Strengths

Strengths are things that you, your company or your team does well especially over others. What do you do better than anyone else? What values drive you or your business? What resources do you have that others don't? Think about this from others perspective. What would they say you do well? 


Weaknesses

Be honest about your weaknesses. It will help you make a better decision and nagivate your path. What can you do to improve? What do others say? Why are others doing better than you? 


Opportunities

Opportunities are external chances for something positive to happen. They are often future-oriented and come from changes in the world around you. It's okay to think about what's in it for you. In this quadrant, be self-focused. Being able to look for these and identify them will have a huge impact on your ability to succeed. First think about opportunities that are easy to identify. What is happening at your company that you could benefit from? Or what is happening with competitors? Then think about future events or trends that could bring you bigger opportunities. 


Threats

Threats include anything that can negatively affect you or your company from the outside. In this case think defensively. What are the things (events, trends, people, etc.) that could happen that you could be victim to or that would get in the way of your success?  Think about those you are competing with for a position or to attain what you want. 


SWOT can take time to fill in. The information is not always readily at hand. And it's not always something you think of. So keep filling in the SWOT analysis until you feel you have the majority of the information. Then assess your situation based on the weight of the quadrants. You can also reference the SWOT as you execute your decision to make sure you are continuing on your path of highest success.