Individual Opportunity Plan (IOP):
Step 2 — Self Assessment: A Personal SWOT Analysis
To plan your career realistically it is essential that you assess your own abilities and evaluate the academic world around you. In this step of the IOP, you will use a common business tool, the SWOT analysis, to assess your personal (internal) Strengths and Weaknesses; and the Opportunities and
Threats in your environment (external). This analysis will enable you to build on your strengths, address your weaknesses, exploit potential opportunities, and avoid any threats. Remember: the SWOT analysis will require honest self assessment.
Strengths are activities or areas where you excel.
What skills do you do well? What are the strengths in your knowledge base? What positive behaviors or attributes do you exhibit?
List up to 5 strengths on your IOP worksheet: highlight strengths that are relevant to your career mission.
|Examples of Strengths:|
Highly competent general pediatrician
Bilingual written and spoken language skills
Graduate training on the biochemistry of the nervous system
Developed mouse model for Alzheimer’s disease
Weaknesses are areas you want to develop or acquire.
What skills, behaviors or attributes do you wish to acquire or improve? What are the gaps in your knowledge? What resources or connections are you missing?
List up to 5 weaknesses on your IOP worksheet: highlight weaknesses that are relevant to your career mission.
|Examples of Weaknesses:|
Unsure how to engage underserved populations
Need to understand population health issues
Modest experience in grant-writing
Unsure how to manage a lab efficiently
Opportunities open new avenues for you to advance your career and mission.
Where is the growth opportunity for you? What is changing in your field? What funding opportunities are available? What are the gaps in knowledge?
Look for opportunities, openings, changes in your department, lab, school, community, nationally…
List up to 5 opportunities on your IOP worksheet that are relevant to your career mission.
|Examples of Opportunities:|
PCORI grants recently awarded to UMMS
Faculty Preceptor needed for medical students in Free Clinic
Call for applications on animal models from the Alzheimer Foundation
Two graduate students are interested in the lab
Threats may hinder you accomplishing your mission.
What threats (barriers, obstacles) are present or predicted in your department, the school or the external world that might hinder you accomplishing your mission? What are the political minefields? Changes in funding?
Have others in your department faced barriers or challenges to their progress?
Do your passions align with the expectations of your department or institution?
List up to 5 threats on your IOP worksheet that are relevant to your career mission.
|Examples of Threats:|
Overwhelming patient volume in clinical practice
Limited staff resources
Limited lab resources, particularly support for graduate students
New Chair’s focus on neuromuscular disease
Continue to Step 3 — Planning Your Career
IOP Navigation: IOP Worksheet | Overview | Step 1 | Step 3