SWOT is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Performing a SWOT analysis is a standard tool used in business for measuring where a company is in relation to its business goals, competition, and future direction. The individual can effectively use the same tool in both their personal and career life.
The hospitality student should perform an individual Swot Analysis at the beginning of their career life to establish a baseline measure of their own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This exercise brings into focus areas that may need more work, requiring additional education, certifications or skills, and those areas of strength that may afford you an advantage.
One way to identify your strengths is through the Strengths Finder book by Tom Rath and its accompanying online test, which lists and prioritizes your strengths. Knowing your strengths may reveal more possibilities for positions not previously considered, and the type of work environment most suitable for you. This knowledge may alter the direction you take in choosing who and where to work, doing what.
When you repeat the SWOT analysis annually, a career tracking and timeline begins to appear, which helps define your accomplishments and set (or reset) the future direction of your career path.
Performing a SWOT analysis also lends itself to the goal setting process, which will be talked about in my next blog message.