So, what are your weaknesses? That is a dreaded question that is frequently asked during a job interview. Of course, to create a ‘halo effect’ an interviewee will respond with a clever answer. Maybe, “I am a workaholic to always assure company success.” But really, what are your weaknesses?
The second component of a S.W.O.T. analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) provides you with the chance to examine your weaknesses and/or potential limitations.
The examples used in the SWOT analysis are based on a compilation of recommendations from the book “Life after Layoff,” by Van Ness and Donohue. A non-exhaustive checklist format of examples (in random order) for your Weaknesses analysis follows.
As objectively as possible identify your weaknesses based on your current lifestyle. Be brutally honest with yourself and always avoid upward bias.
Weaknesses (Some examples)
- You lack appropriate education/training for promotion.
- Your level of experience is insufficient for a promotion.
- Your college degree is obsolete.
- You are not able/willing to geographically relocate.
- You are not perceived by your colleagues as a team player.
Dealing with Weaknesses
Earning the most appropriate educational credentials is critical for success in the world of work. Although a college degree with a Social Science major may be sufficient to secure an entry–level job, it may not be best aligned to advance within certain work environments.
Whatever your career choice, commitment to lifelong learning is a requirement for survival within your selected industry. Education is a wide-ranging word. Learning is derived from many places and sources—not only from earning college degrees, but also from technical training programs, apprentice training, certifications, and yes, the books we choose to read. Be relevant.
Keep your resume up to date. Include all relevant work experience on your current job as well as any experience from other jobs within the company. Additionally, include job–related experience from former jobs and, if appropriate, include military service. In some cases, entrepreneurial experience is of significant value. Demonstrate in writing how you have the appropriate experience for a promotion.
Ideally, the college experience teaches you to become a learner. Traditionally, a Bachelor’s Degree is earned in a 4–year–period. Graduation is labeled commencement and rightfully so. It is the beginning of your journey of lifelong learning. Your degree has a shelf-life, some longer than others. With all of the constant technological change, legal revisions, downsizing, right-sizing, and mergers, updated credentials are invariably needed.
We live in a very mobile era. Some employers require employees to be willing and able to relocate as businesses evolve to serve larger and perhaps different markets. If this is part of the organizational culture, does it work for you? Stay current with organizational and industrial trends.
Enthusiastically participate, volunteer for committee work, support a positive work environment, and avoid constant criticism of organizational practices.
List any other self-identified weaknesses. Remember, this is a private document, so be completely honest with your S.W.O.T. evaluation.
Sure, it is difficult to focus on our weaknesses, but this is a proactive approach to a clear perception of potential deficiency issues and how these may be addressed. Indeed, this is a meaningful endeavor and may well lead to converting obstacles into opportunities. The next article in the S.W.O.T. series addresses opportunities and heightens awareness of such prospects.
Be sure to follow the Millionaire Choices advice columns for your personalized lifestyle enhancements.
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New York Times bestselling author William D. Danko and Richard J. Van Ness, wrote the research-based book, “Richer Than A Millionaire ~ A Pathway to True Prosperity,” which shows the way to wealth and happiness through embracing traditional values. Washington Post’s Michelle Singletary selected this book as, The Color of Money Book of the Month. The $9 billion Vanguard Charitable fund website features our book.
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