SWOT Analysis – In challenging times

This month, and for the foreseeable future, I will be sharing some of the tools, techniques, models that I’ve used with my coaching clients, which they have found to be helpful. I’m hoping you will find the same.

Careerresilience SWOT March 2020

The purpose of the SWOT technique is to help you focus on a decision or goal, in a way that allows you to systematically list all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with a specific course of action or situation.

It can, in my opinion, allow you to take a breath, step back and evaluate a course of action or a specific situation in terms of the opportunities and threats it presents. And then look at how your strengths and weaknesses match against them.

Mindfully, describing the situation in some detail, perhaps as though you are talking to someone else might also help. In fact, talking it through with someone is likely to help.


  • Try and be as open-minded as possible as you work through each of the sections.
  • Be as analytical and specific as you can
  • Record all thoughts and ideas
  • Take a wide-ranging view of external influences and trends

SWOT Don’ts

  • Don’t try to disguise weaknesses
  • Don’t just merely list errors and mistakes
  • Don’t ignore the outcomes at later stages of your planning

Strengths – positive internal aspects that are under your control, things you can exercise and things that are particularly useful within the situation you find yourself. Something that you can capitalize on and use to exploit the opportunities that you have identified.

Weaknesses – negative internal aspects that are under your control, and that you can plan to improve or minimize. Something that you can mitigate in pursuit of the opportunities.

What weaknesses are most likely to cause problems?

What opportunities does this situation present, what might you be missing?

What specific threats does this situation hold for you?


 Situation/Course of action

To grow existing coaching business within a Lockdown environment. No face to face, for the foreseeable future, no workshops.


  •  Adaptable and flexible
  • Prepared to take a risk
  • Will persevere in the face of adversity
  • Stubborn optimism
  • Strong networker, with a good list of contacts
  • Comfortable using online platforms
  • Strong Social media/online presence
  • Existing blogs can be repurposed and made relevant



  •  A tendency to jump in without doing all the research
  • Not enough experience in direct marketing
  • Reluctance at times to put head above the parapet
  • Not a strong enough proposition -what am I offering?
  • A tendency to low energy
  • No market research

  •  Freelance writing
  • Online courses, webinars – grit and resilience
  • Contacts, networks from past courses
  • Past clients
  • LinkedIn collaborations?
  • To gain additional skills
  • Hone online presentation skills
  • Speaking/presenting online



  •  Current economic climate
  • Low energy
  • No market research
  • Lack of strategic purpose/focus
  • Lack of planning
  • No financial planning in place
  • Fear mine and others




Questions to consider with your SWOT.

  •  What can I do with what I currently have?
  • What resources do I need?
  • Who can help?
  • Who could I collaborate with?
  • Which of my strengths might play a prominent role in developing, exploiting an opportunity?
  • Have I missed anything? Is there an opportunity hidden, buried in this situation?
  • Are there  any correlations between the opportunities and threats?
  • What patterns am I noticing?
  • Are there any correlations between the threats and weaknesses?
  • Which of my strengths will help move me forward?
  • What else can I bring to the table that will help with this situation?
  • Which weaknesses are likely to have the greatest impact?
  • Are all weaknesses equal?
  • What would happen if I did nothing?
  • How can I mitigate my weaknesses?
  • Where do I need to prioritize?
  • Are there any correlations between my weaknesses and Strengths?
  • Can I quantify, scale the opportunities?
  • Which is the most attractive to me?
  • Which am I drawn to?
  • How can I prioritize them?

The value of a SWOT analysis is in how you interrogate the situation in which you find yourself and the action it inspires in you.

I also think there is value in getting the stuff out of your head and onto paper so you can see more clearly what you are dealing with. It’s also worth reminding yourself that strengths/weaknesses are considered to be internal to you and within your control.

Please feel free to share.

Until next time

Janice Taylor


PS I probably could have been a little more specific with my SWOT analysis, but I think you get the idea

About careerresilience

Career Coach and Writer at Blue Sky Career Consulting. I love to write and am currently juggling three different blogs. On a mission to discover how people can thrive and flourish in life and work.
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