A great exercise for any new manager is to do a personal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis.  This framework is useful for analyzing many different types of scenarios including new product proposals, individual contributors and vendors, but in this case we will use is as a self evaluation tool.  You can use it to takes an inventory of what you bring to your new job, and where you need to focus your personal development time and efforts to ensure your success.

Here is the SWOT framework with questions for each section.  Take a blank sheet of paper and brainstorm as many answers for each section as you can.  Feel free to contact your friends, co-workers and mentors and ask them what items they might add.

SWOT Analysis Template

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • What do you do better than anyone else?
  • What would you consider your greatest talent?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • Name something at work you can do very easily that others struggle with.
  • What tasks do you avoid at work?
  • What do you find most frustrating?
  • Name something you have tried to do several times without success.
  • List times where you have had to ask for help with a task.
OpportunitiesThreats
  • What parts of your industry are growing?
  • What does your organization do better than your competitors?
  • What technology could make you more effective/efficient?
  • What training would you love to attend?

  • What obstacles are preventing you from achieving your goals?
  • Do you feel you are at a competitive disadvantage?
  • What limitations do you have that put your career at risk?
  • What personal issues could impact your job performance?

Completing this analysis can help you get a more complete picture of what you bring to the table as an employee and a manager.  Consider developing a plan for each weakness/threat, and use this analysis as a jumping off point for conversations with your manager about training and personal development.

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