Back in the day, our parents could make their careers out of trade or white collar jobs. The path was always clear. But for our generation, with the change of millennia came a boom in opportunities and our consciousness as to “there has to be more to life than this”. Honest truth? There is more to life. It’s up to you to find out what works best for you and create value from there. Value always sells.
- Take a pen and a paper and draw up a box divided in 4 places.
- At the top of the page, write out what you want to get at the end of this exercise e.g I want to know what role to apply for in my company, I want to know what type of job I should start my career with, I want to know what business I need to go into, etc. Make sure to be very specific about your objective and allow this to guide you in answering the next set of questions.
- Label from left to right – Strength, Weakness – and in the bottom half – Opportunities, Threats
- Strengths (Internal factor) – write out the things you are good at and you have excelled in previously, skills you have developed, talents or natural born gifts you have noticed or has been noticed by other people. This is not the time to be modest or shy, write it as it is.
- Weaknesses (Internal Factor) – What are those things you avoid doing because you are not confident about the skills you’d need to perform well in those tasks? What are your negative habits? What areas do you need to improve in terms of knowledge? Do you have personal traits that could hold you back? E.g a fear of public speaking would be a problem if you are aiming for a team leader position. What would other people see as your weaknesses?
- Opportunities (External Factor) – What resources can you access that could give you an edge in your personal life or career (e.g. influential relatives), what technology do you think can help you boost your presence or career? E.g. Instagram would be a good choice if you have a bubbly personality. Who are the people in your network that could assist you in your career? Do you have competitors who are ignoring an important aspect of your business? What trends are you noticing in your business and how can you take advantage of them? A new project at work that could give you an edge if you perform well as part of its team? Opportunities are boundless and everyone has access to them, you just need to ask the right questions and look in the right places.
- Threats (External Factor) – Is there any of your weaknesses that could become a threat? E.g. low knowledge on an important aspect of your career choice could be a problem if not worked on. Do you have colleagues at work vying for the same position as you? Do they possess skills that could help them and you don’t? What are the biggest obstacles you would face if you had the right skills and knowledge and decide to go after what you want?