Estimated reading time: 7 mins
We have already discussed how you can identify your personal strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in other blog posts (links to respective blog posts). In this blog, we will try to round off the SWOT analysis with the final piece of the puzzle – the threats. In personal development, threats are anything that can jeopardize the attainment of your vision. This can be you thinking that you might lose your job or are unhappy with your organizational structure. It can also be something domestic like your parents’ health or the deterioration of the relationship with your spouse or partner.
While strengths and weaknesses help you describe your current position, opportunities and threats can be more looked as the prediction of the future. You can say that opportunities and threats also overlap in a way that if you fail to capitalize on the opportunities then your threats can hurt you. So how do you identify your personal threats? Let us find out!
To understand your threats, you will need to look at your current situation and any weaknesses that might exist. You will need answers to some basic questions like:
- What kind of hindrances do you face at work right now?
- Do you face strong competition from with your organization for your projects or roles?
- Do you see your job changing or becoming obsolete?
- Is there a threat to you position or your industry by technological changes?
- Is there a possibility of any of your weaknesses leading to threats in the future?
If you are in a responsible, managerial or entrepreneurial position, you will have to face some threats specific to your job or position. While being in a strong and important position is an exciting yet stressful adventure, there are difficulties, twists, turns, achievements, and challenges along the way. Your position dictates you to be more stable and reliable but the modern market is anything but that, with things changing as we speak. It is important for you to never take any threats lightly as they can become a reality sooner than you think, leaving little or no room to recover. Below, we will discuss 5 of the major personal threats that you can face and how you can fight them:
- Financial Risks. If you are running your own startup or are a partner in a bigger organization, you can have high financial stakes. It is possible that you had invested your own, hard-earned personal capital into the business. With too much personal investment, there is always the financial risk from the business failing. Therefore, if you are an entrepreneur, you should look at seeking outside funding from multiple investors. If you are a shareholder in your company, try to tie it with the overall paycheck that you get, keeping it to a level that does not end up being a burden on you. You might also be facing financial burdens like your marriage or treatment of your dependents or parents. You might be worried about losing your paycheck because of a series of downsizing at your workplace. To counter any unforeseeable financial hits, try to be more prepared. Have savings in your bank account, be mindful of how much you spend on your credit cards and have health insurance and life insurance of yourself and all your dependents.
- Overworking Yourself. Modern employment or entrepreneurship dictates multitasking. There is a high chance that you have more responsibilities than you have ever had in the past. Because of your senior managerial role, you will have full control and responsibility of the project, which can lead to you biting more than you can chew. Overworking yourself is a real threat that can do you much more harm than good. It can affect your performance at work as well as your personal health. Doing late sittings on a daily basis will have its toll on your body, resulting in exhaustion, higher blood pressure and even physical ailments like chronic back pains and dry eyes. It is important that you delegate the work to others wherever possible. Take vacations whenever you can. It does not have to be a luxurious journey round the world – any change of environment away from work and home is good for your personal growth and helps you recharge yourself. Travel is the best remedy to work related exhaustion.
- The Inevitable Burnout. Pushing yourself too hard and overworking for too long can lead to occupational burnout. It is quite possible that after just a few months of initiating a project, you will feel yourself distancing from the original ideas. Worse, it is possible that too much work at the beginning has drained you of any alternate ideas and plans and you are facing a block in your project’s progress. You may start losing interest in the project and tend to shift your attention to other ideas. One major problem with burnout is that it can haunt you even if you leave a project or a workplace – in fact, it can chase you until you eventually leave the entire industry. This will result in you failing to impress hiring manager at interviews or failing to give valuable contribution to your future teams. To counter this career threat, you should always take breaks from fully involving yourself in any project. Make it more of a team effort than only your responsibility. Keep your work as interesting as possible so that you do not end up hating it because of all the excessive efforts.
- Unbelievably, work related depression is actually a thing, and very common in the modern employees as well as entrepreneurs. For an employee, this can be because a fellow team member is getting a pay raise and improvement in designation while s/he is not. It can also be that a person views his/her job to be worthless or a commodity, with a genuine threat of it being overtaken by technological changes or submerged with a bigger role for which the individual is not suitable. For an entrepreneur, the feeling of being solely responsible for the success or failure of project can be a bit overwhelming. The physical and emotional isolation can sometimes get the better of these entrepreneurs, breaking them down and throwing them in a vicious cycle of depression. The worst thing is that as the sole responsible individual, there is very little time for these entrepreneurs to recover from the depression. To counter work related depression, it is important to talk to friends and family. Seek professional help if needed. If you think your job or industry is facing a serious threat, look at alternate opportunities where you might be suitable. You might even want to think about doing specialist courses and/or professional certifications that can add a valuable credential to your resume, helping you secure your future. You might need a fresh start, so do keep “looking for a new job” as an option. Here is a blog post to help you with that. For entrepreneurs and senior managers, they should again try to delegate tasks to other team members and make it more of a collaborative work to avoid isolations leading to depression.
- The Domestic Decay. Spending too much time at work means that you are spending lesser time with the people who matter the most – your friends and family. It is a human nature to socialize. We love to be around people we love and not getting enough of that can lead to relationship decay, which can affect as personally as well as professionally. If your spouse or partner is unhappy with you, it will damage your work life, as you will lose concentration and interest in achieving greater things in life. Likewise, if you are not giving time to your friends, you might be losing the opportunity to let out your work related frustrations or ask for help. While I understand that there are times when you want to achieve more in life, you have to subside your relations for a while; making it a habit will hurt you immensely. So try to keep your relationships your priority. Look for jobs and projects that give you a good work-life balance. Giving more time to your friends and family will also refresh you, improving your performance in your office. Here is a great blog on how you can deal with personal issues when you are at the office.
No matter how much you love your work, it is important to give priority to your personal well-being and the well-being of your loved ones. Allowing yourself to deteriorate will have its toll on your work, your business as well as those around you. These are the basic threats that we face as humans living in this competitive world. These threats affect us on a personal as well as professional level. What you need to keep in mind is that you should always prioritize yourself, and the rest will follow. Let me know in the comments section if you have faced any other personal threats. I also think you will like our blog post on The Most Common Stresses in the Workplace and How to Deal with Them.