Week 3 – The importance of Personal Reflection
For week 3, we focused on personal reflection. Which is a concept that holds immense importance in both personal and professional growth. The topic helped to understand and shape our identities, careers, and life paths.
I constructed a personal SWOT framework. This stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is a powerful tool for self-assessment and strategic planning. It encourages a balanced view of ourselves and considers both internal and external factors that impact personal and professional growth (Hill & Westbrook, 1997). By identifying strengths, I acknowledged the areas where I excel, while recognising weaknesses allowed me to pinpoint areas for development.
The SWOT Analysis
Evaluation using Gibbs Reflective Framework
Description: The SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that helps in setting achievable goals and developing strategies to achieve them. By identifying strengths, it highlights what can be leveraged or built upon. Recognising weaknesses allows for the development of plans to address or change them. Understanding opportunities and threats helps in adapting or preparing for external changes. This strategic approach is critical for long-term success and adaptability.
Feelings – Reflecting on my strengths provides me with a sense of pride and confidence. It’s reassuring to recognise the areas where I excel. However, acknowledging my weaknesses is a humbling experience; it brings a certain level of discomfort but also a realisation of the areas I need to work on. The opportunities in my field are sources of excitement and motivation, presenting pathways for growth and learning. In contrast, the threats I face, while daunting, also offer a realistic perspective on the challenges in my industry.
Evaluation- This stage involves critically assessing the impact of these strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats on my professional life. As Boud, Keogh, and Walker (1985) suggest, reflection turns experience into learning. My strengths have undoubtedly paved the way for my current achievements, while my weaknesses highlight the areas where I need improvement. The opportunities present a roadmap for my career advancement, but the threats remind me of the inevitable challenges and the need for continuous learning and adaptation.
Analysis – In analysing these aspects, I realise the interconnectedness of my strengths and weaknesses with the opportunities and threats in my career field. As Schön (1983) explains, the reflective practitioner learns from their experiences. My fear of public speaking, for instance, is an area where professional training could be beneficial. Similarly, my strength in networking could be leveraged to limit the threat of competition and keep note of technological advancements.
Conclusion – Reflecting on this SWOT analysis leads me to the conclusion that while I have a strong foundation of skills and attributes, there is a clear need for continuous personal and professional development. This reflection aligns with Moon’s (1999) assertion that reflection is a crucial part of learning and development.
Action Plan – Going forward, I plan to focus on improving my public speaking skills, by becoming frequent in group discussions in my fashion lectures. I also aim to manage my tendency to overcommit by setting more realistic goals and deadlines. To counteract the threats, I will actively seek opportunities for professional development, particularly in emerging technologies and market trends.
Hill, T., & Westbrook, R. (1997). SWOT analysis: It’s time for a product recall. Long Range Planning, 30(1), 46-52.
Moon, J.A. (1999). Reflection in Learning and Professional Development. Kogan Page.
Schön, D. A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How professionals think in action. Basic Books.
Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (1985). Reflection: Turning experience into learning. Kogan Page.