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To be successful in today's competitive world it's absolutely essential for one to be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of oneself, as well as the opportunities and threats that are presented. By having awareness of these four aspects, it's possible to use them for one's advantage. If a person can identify and understand their strengths and opportunities they will know where to tread with confidence and security. However, if one can realize the weaknesses and threats posed to them, it's possible to focus on those areas so to improve upon weaknesses and overcome obstacles posed by threats.
My personal strengths generally involve my ability to be innovative and creative, as well as keeping an open mind. These three parts enable me to be much more efficient and effective in my ways compared to those of my peers as well as others in my general environment. Being open to new ideas is an extremely good way to be adaptive to new situations. Adaptation is an essential ability in a world that is constantly changing and forming. Innovation and creativity are tools that can help me in advancing within my career. My innovation in particular allows me to stand out in my environment because it is a knowledge-intensive quality, which exemplifies my education and abilities (Kinicki & Williams, 2009). Creativity and Innovation both allow me to advance ahead of my competition and have an upper hand in my field.
Having good, quality resources can be a very helpful key to success. My personal resources don't run particularly high in quantity, but I believe high quality resources are more important. My number one most important and main personal resource that I have is my education and experience. Resources are capital in a competitive field. The more, better resources you have, the better the chance you have of being successful and outdriving your competition, but resources often have competition surrounding them as well (Kinicki & Williams, 2009). Education is an example of a competitive resource, knowledge is essential for success. My ability to advance and apply my education and knowledge in the field is a key to my personal success.
I believe that others view my strengths as my social skills and my ability to adapt to situations. I agree that I do have strength in my adaptability skills, however not the social part. I think of my social skills as more of a weakness, but I try to improvise by outgoing and positive, so that it may be seen as a strength of mine. My strengths are the key to my success and achievements.
Weaknesses are inevitable when it dealing in a competitive environment. Weaknesses in an organization can be defined as “the drawbacks that hinder an organization in executing strategies in pursuit of its mission” (Kinicki & Williams, 2009 p.180). This definition stays true when dealing with individuals. Whatever can hold back someone from being competitive with others can be a weakness. Weaknesses are also any positive skills that your competitors may have but you don't which helps them but may not necessarily harm you. My weaknesses are mainly my social skills and my over-commitment to my ways. I am quite open-minded, however when I follow something I believe to be best and gain momentum, I am unable to change direction and I become fixated on my goal.
Over-commitment may not seem like an obvious weakness; however it can create hindrances if a mistake is made. This harms me because, instead of being able to stop myself when I realize I might be going down the wrong path, I continue on that path until I run into a dead end. The escalation of commitment bias is when commitment continues to gain momentum and strength for the task at hand despite the negative consequences (Kinicki & Williams, 2009). This wastes time and effort. While some commitment is good, too much can be a problem. I believe I can improve upon this weakness by prioritizing my tasks.
Improving upon my weaknesses is only one way to deal with them. Sometimes overcoming or improving upon weaknesses is impossible and the only choice is to avoid them overall. Although avoidance is not usually the best tactic, it can help to stay away from negative effects. “The benefit of [avoidance] is that it buys time in unfolding and ambiguous situations. The weakness is that it provides only a temporary fix and sidesteps the underlying problem” (Kinicki & Williams, 2009 p.425). One such example for me would be leadership situations. I'm not much good at being a leader, and I don't think it's something that I can improve upon very easily; therefore avoidance of these situations would be best for me. I think that my peers and others around me in my life view my main weakness as my leadership skills as well. However, I believe that I still compete at an equal level with my peers.
Weakness is something that I must deal with in one way or another, if I can't work to strengthen them, I can try to avoid them. I think that it's best to be aware of personal weaknesses so that you can face the truth of what is not going to happen and what is possible, this way you can avoid unrealistic thoughts and save time in the process. Although it may not be the best for confidence and motivation, realizing weaknesses can sometime be even more useful than realizing one's strengths.
Threats can be viewed as anything that may stand in the way of accomplishing one's goals, including factors that negatively affect your ability to compete with others (Kinicki & Williams, 2009). Threats come in many different forms and various levels of severity. Some of the most common threats that many people share include: opposing competition, internal struggles, and external obstacles in their field.
I face many obstacles in on my path to success in my future career. The largest two threats for me are probably competition with others seeking the same success in the same field, as well as the obstacle of finishing up my education and doing well in the process. I don't feel that advancing and changing technology is much of a threat to my success. The textbook defines technology as “all the tools and ideas for transforming materials, data, or labor (inputs) into goods or services (outputs)” (Kinicki & Williams, 2009 p.265). My career field is actually in the health profession and is not something that technology can threaten anytime in the near future because technology can't replace the human element.
The demand for people in my field is changing. Careers in medicine and health are in expansion and higher demand, and are expected to be even more so in the future. While the demand for people may be high; the competition is still as strong. Employers and organizations will be looking for well educated and bright individuals to fill the open positions, which means I must stay unwavering and persistent in my drive to obtain a good education. The people in my future profession seem to be currently at the same position that I am in now, with the same amount and type of education and capabilities.
Opportunities are “situations that present possibilities for exceeding existing goals” (Kinicki & Williams, 2009 p.206). Opportunities can present themselves in many different ways. Sometimes it can be by losing one resource you gain an opportunity to replace that resource with an even better resource. The other main most common type of opportunity is one that you yourself create. Trends in opportunities may be noticeable in some situations on a macro level, including education and social interaction with which anyone can relate. Some opportunities can also be created through the elimination of weaknesses. My leadership weakness for example, If I were to eliminate that somehow, it would open a whole brand new area of my career that I could explore.
On my search for success in my career path there are many opportunities that I have available to me. Most of the opportunities are ones that I must create myself. My education for one is an opportunity that I am currently facing. It gives me the choice to either take advantage and do well, or not take advantage of the situation and miss out on the opportunity. For example I may not take an additional extra class that I could have just because I wasn't required to, and it comes down to me and one other person to get an open spot at a job and we both have the same education background; that one class could have made the difference to get the job.
Other opportunities can be found in social opportunities to make connections, or generally any chance to gain benefit from a situation.
My personal strengths include my ability to be innovative and open-minded. Also the resources that I have available to me help to maintain those strengths. My main weaknesses are generally that I do not have very well developed leadership skills and I have over-commitment which can mess with my perception of goals and my pursuit for them. However I can overcome these weaknesses by avoidance, or confrontation and work. Threats that I face include competition from others in the same field, and finishing my education. The opportunities I'm faced with also include my education as well as any other opportunities that I can create for myself during my pursuit for my goals.
Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. K. (2009). Management: A Practical Introduction (4th ed.).
New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.