( Estimated reading time: 4 min )
Using a SWOT analysis to explore poignant issues is always helpful. To do so, you are going to look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the situation at hand. One situation that many people consider is the harmony between professional and personal life. Everyone has to work. Everyone has an idea of what they want their personal life to be like. The two don’t always blend well, though. This is where a SWOT analysis can help make important decisions.
STEP 1: STRENGTHS
When looking for harmony between your professional and personal life, ask yourself the following important questions:
• What do you really want out of life? If you could come up with ten things that you want to contribute to the world before you die, what would they be?
• What makes you happy? Sometimes finding out who you are becomes clearer by asking simple questions like this one. Take time to come up with an answer.
The answers to these questions are going to give you key insights into what you want your personal life to look like. Now, weight it up with your current work, or work you plan on doing in the future. Are there similarities? Are there differences? Is there a synergy between the two?
STEP 2: WEAKNESSES
After your question session, you likely know what disparity there is between your professional and personal life. Let’s say you have a heart for charity, but your job includes cutting charities to make business’ budgets more efficient. There may be no way to find harmony at your current job. The weakness is that the two purposes are completely aligned differently.
Another weakness you may find is time. What if your true desire is to have a strictly 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. professional life that allows you to have a good personal life, but your current job requires you to work 12-hours per day? This is another weakness to add to your SWOT analysis.
STEP 3: OPPORTUNITIES
Just because you find weaknesses doesn’t mean you won’t find opportunities also. Let’s say that your main weakness in professional-versus-personal life harmony is the time. Your current job requires much more than you comfortably want to give. The opportunity is to start looking for jobs that may fit into your desired timeframe better. Another opportunity may be to start your own consultancy where you can set your hours.
STEP 4: THREATS
Of course with opportunities, you also have to look at threats. These are the downsides of your opportunities. Sticking with the above example, let’s say time is the issue at hand. It is what stands in the way of your harmony between professional and personal life. One solution is to find a different job. What is the threat? The threat would be that you may not be able to find a job with the time commitment you like, or you may not find one in your field with a better time commitment schedule than the job you currently have.
If you are considering the opportunity of starting your own consultancy, the threat may be venturing out on your own with a business full time. It also may be a lack of credentials to attract customers looking for your consulting service.
A good SWOT analysis will help you to uncover critical elements of the problems you have and form more informed decisions about them. Therefore, take your time to explore your options. Ask yourself poignant questions and make the well-educated changes.
The above is one of the many examples in which SWOT analysis can be applied to achieve harmony between professional and personal life. Feel free to share your experience below.
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