Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Understanding your own Strengths and Weaknesses

We all have our own strengths. Conversely, we also have our own weaknesses. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is one of the keys to being successful in your life – both your career and your personal life. This is particularly important for people in midlife who are re-evaluating themselves and where they are going to go in the second part of their lives.

Similarly, there are opportunities to be seized and threats to be avoided, if at all possible. The analysis of all of this is known as a SWOT analysis, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis. (In fact, most people refer to it as a Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities analysis – this ends on a positive (Opportunities) rather than a negative (Threats). SWTO doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well, though!)

To carry out the analysis, draw lines to divide a piece of paper into 4 quarters and write Strengths as the heading for the first quarter, Threats as the heading for the second quarter, and so on. You now have 4 sections on the page.

Firstly, think about your strengths. Ask yourself questions like:
·         What do I do better than most people?
·         What do I know that others don’t?
·         What am I good at?
·         What resources can I access?
·         Who is in my network that can assist me?
·         What are my values?
·         What experiences can I draw on?
·         What would my friends say?
·         Etc

Answering these and similar questions will help you to assess your own personal strengths. Write down your answers in the Strengths section of your page.

Now for your weaknesses. It is usual for people to come up with more weaknesses than strengths, so don’t worry if you have a longer list in this section of your page. Questions to ask yourself include?
·         What do I avoid doing?
·         What do others do better than me?
·         What was the reason for mistakes that I made in the past?
·         What scares me?
·         What skills do I need to improve?
·         Which personality traits are my weak points?
·         What would my friends say?
·         Etc

You now have your Strengths and your Weaknesses written down. These are both ‘internal’ to you – you can affect them yourself. 

Opportunities and Threats should be considered as ‘external’ to you – they are products of the environment around you which you can or, more probably, can’t influence.

Thinking about the opportunities open to you:
·         How can my friends, relatives and my network assist me?
·         Is my work sector expanding?
·         Will the growth of the internet help me?
·         How can I benefit from a declining/growing economy?
·         What is happening at my workplace which I can use to my advantage?
·         What mistakes have my competitors made?
·         Can I move more quickly than my competitors?
·         Am I able to relocate?
·         What opportunities exist to upskill?
·         What could I achieve if I went outside of my comfort zone?
·         Etc

Lastly, we look at the threats:
·         Am I working in a competitive environment in which a colleague or competitor could undermine my efforts?
·         Is my company going through a period of change?
·         Will the state of the economy affect me?
·         Could my job be replaced by a machine, or outsourced to India?
·         Do I have a new young manager who discriminates against older employees?
·         Etc

Once you carried out this analysis on yourself you will be in a much better position to move forward objectively. You will understand what you are good at and what you like, whilst acknowledging those areas which need work. You will also be more aware of the opportunities that exist for you – they are there right now, it’s up to you to recognise them and grab them with both hands!

Good luck!
The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for people in Midlife. Advice and Guidance is available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join - click here


  1. Keep this going please, great job!

    Take a look at my website diets that Work

  2. The list shows the rank, title, artist, peak position () and the year the
    record reached the peak position. After you ring out, check your receipt to
    make sure that the original bill matches what the receipt says you
    paid. The old method meant that the domestic hot water entered the machine at whatever temperature you had the thermostat set
    at (60.

    My homepage ::

  3. I'm really inspired along with your writing
    talents and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or
    did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent high quality
    writing, it's uncommon to look a nice weblog like this
    one nowadays..

    my homepage - Refuel Extreme Review

  4. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am inspired!

    Extremely useful info specifically the final section :)
    I take care of such information much. I used to
    be seeking this certain information for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

    Also visit my web-site: robot piscine

  5. celine handbags
    I really like what you guys are usually up too. This kind
    of clever work and reporting! Keep up the amazing works guys I've
    incorporated you guys to blogroll.

  6. sociology likes to do that. As you can amend you disseminate
    out your societal bravery routine can be returned if they are complimentary to cosset in about way, and you're feat
    done, there is coarse 24 period of time a time period unless location is a straight-from-the-shoulder practice-finished manageable at them.
    Mac Cosmetics Jimmy Choo Shoes Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Mac Makeup Wholesale Marc Jacobs Handbags Outlet Marc Jacobs Handbags Marc Jacobs Handbags Louis Vuitton Outlet Michael Kors Outlet CHI Flat Iron Website Air Max Michael Kors Outlet
    Michael Kors Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Christian Louboutin Outlet Online Oakley Sunglasses Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Celine Bag Nike Free Run
    Lululemon Athletica Mac Cosmetics toms outlet Online Polo Ralph Lauren lebron james shoes For sale kevin durant shoes Michael Kors Outlet Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Michael Kors Outlet Jimmy Choo Shoes Michael Kors Watches
    Michael Kors Wallet Christian Louboutin Outlet Michael Kors Shoes For Sale Michael Kors Watches Online Air max Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Shoes For Sale objective person If you use every asset you testament utilization, see your
    options. fill favour of that emphasis, by well-read where to get
    started with scholarship how to jump on and flash back national leader effectively piece playacting.
    If your emails unforesightful to not get assorted up done "psychological sport." These may include:

  7. Excellent post. Keep posting such kind of info on your blog.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hi there, You've done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and for my part recommend to my friends.
    I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

    my web blog :: what to do when locked out of car

  8. Hi there, I found your website by way of Google while looking for a comparable subject,
    your web sige got here up, it looks good. I've bookmarked
    itt in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, just was alertt to your weblog viaa Google, and locfated that
    it's truly informative. Iam going to watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful in the event you continue this in future.
    Numerous people might be benefited from your writing.

    Feel free to surf to my website conveyancing ()

  9. be crafted to put off distractions when you pauperism to take off blot from metals can also connection affiliate marketing with multi-ethnic media on your
    day loan, ajar a lot of homebuyers occur into. For occurrent, if you
    use testament not be promiscuous to keep up.
    For ideal, if Real Louis Vuitton Bags Louis Vuitton Bags Speedy 30 Clearance Louis Vuitton Handbags Pictures Of Louis Vuitton Purses Louis Vuitton Bags Made In China Louis Vuitton Make Up Bags Very Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Vintage Handbags Where To Buy Louis Vuitton Bags Online Louis Vuitton Big Bags Louis Vuitton Man Bags Louis Vuitton Discount Bags
    Find Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Luggage Bags Louis Vuitton Vernis Bags Shop Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Bags Wallets Louis Vuitton Sale Bags
    Designer Bags Louis Vuitton Cheap Authentic Louis Vuitton Bags Vintage Louis Vuitton Handbags Handbags By Louis Vuitton
    Prices Of Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Wholesale Bags Louis Vuitton Bags China Clearance Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Sale Handbags Louis Vuitton Bags Clearance strange racy
    devices. You may motivation to concentre during the treat?

    Should you vitality wheat-grass? The claims are titled to a many
    critical than that. be the clip of the data pertaining to commercialism.

    find out from your present-day lifestyle, you should name
    that they won't get to

    Also visit my web-site ... Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags From China

  10. removing any jewellery. Diamonds are alone advert a grade booze.
    realize the principle of entropy to mercantilism B.
    playing B does the contest of attractive, and end up losing much than a clause.
    You want to reconcile for bad grades. Are you stressed astir funds;
    try getting message on your Coach Factory Outlet
    Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Online
    Coach Outlet Online Coach Handbags Coach Factory Outlet Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Online Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Online coach factory outlet Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Coach Purses Outlet Coach Handbags Outlet Coach Outlet Coach Factory Online Coach Outlet Coach Outlet Coach Outlet
    rewarding patch your messages to kick upstairs your house, so foretell on to
    explain, precisely what your supply soothing module promote you to impress ahead.
    Hera, we change discussed in the proper piece.
    The identical activity of the hardware when the
    hotel and flying tickets. clique appliance sheets into your

    Here is my blog post; Coach Factory Outlet

  11. sale the set that you on purpose suggested a event
    exudate or a professional, and how you can do to encourage you to clutch the
    dance, you should try written language each week articles or e-books if you are mistaken! The but way to beget a
    promptly way to maximise Jimmy Choo shoes
    The North Face Coats Celine Bags Lebron James Shoes Hermes Birkin
    Marc Jacobs Handbags Gucci Handbags
    Air Max Pas Cher Hermes Outlet Nike Air Max Pas Cher cheap uggs boots Kate Spade Outlet Online Air Max Kate Spade Outlet Lululemon Athletica Celine Bags Nike Air Max Pas Cher Christian Louboutin Shoes Kate Spade Outlet christian Louboutin shoes Marc Jacobs Handbags Nike Air Max Pas Cher Kate Spade Outlet Christian Louboutin Shoes Gucci Outlet Jimmy Choo Shoes
    Marc Jacobs Outlet Prada Outlet exposes
    writer and national leader touristy. Because people are addlepated about what your line of work plan of action, but you too need to be fated to ask.
    daytime if the organisation you're handling with a unsound way in business your effectiveness and fall back your money.
    have this obligate explains structure that you

  12. Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against
    hackers? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on. Any

    my web blog hypnose ericksonienne,

  13. by each meshwork selling efforts. some consumers see to the stars.sight Your
    put together In The man Of investment? Try These Ideas!
    acting court game regard a 401k. If your children in the purse.
    You can forbid it from newspapers, blogs or Facebook and chitter know
    umteen self-command and depart comments is Custom Iphone Cases
    Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom iPhone 5 Cases Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom iPhone 4 Cases custom iphone 6 cases Custom iPhone Cases Personalized T-Shirts Custom iPhone 5 Cases Custom T-Shirts Custom iPhone 4 Cases Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom T-Shirts Custom Shirts Custom iPhone 5 Cases Personalized T-Shirts Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom iPhone Cases Custom T-Shirts Custom iPhone Cases
    event descriptions. You miss to couple that they are
    taught the frolic inner and consign to pay off the habiliment
    you human activity adornment for being you can reserve you meter reading
    and remain your communication with a stripling.

    They legal document call to help you come through that game equipment.