It is time to look at the bigger picture – PEST Analysis

Personal SWOT Analysis looks at the factors within you and close around you that influence your success.  PEST analysis, on the other hand, digs deeper into the “big picture”.  External factors that can either help or hinder your career success.  Using it makes the difference between choosing an exciting career that’s aligned with the forces of change in the world, and struggling for survival in a dying industry.

PEST Analysis

PEST stands for the Political, Economic, Sociocultural and Technological environments in which you function.  To complete a Personal PEST analysis, identify the external factors that can influence what goals you set.  Then analyse each for the opportunities and threats they present.  PEST analysis is set up in a grid much like the SWOT analysis.  Use the following lists of questions to fill in your personal PEST analysis grid.


Consider the influence that government and its policies may have on the opportunities you are looking at:

  • What new laws or regulations are likely to affect these opportunities?
  • Will any of these affect your ability to work in a certain area, make a certain amount of money, or be reasonably secure?
  • Is there a change in government or government policy expected?
  • What opportunities and threats do these changes or events represent?


The elements you are looking at here include monetary factors that may influence your decision to pursue a particular goal:

  • What are the average compensation levels in the careers or industries you’re interested in?
  • Are wages expected to go up, go down or stay the same?
  • What is the current and forecast rate of unemployment in these sectors?
  • What is the long term demand for people in these careers?
  • Can you meet your economic needs based on expected remuneration?
  • What opportunities and threats do these changes or circumstances represent?


These are the societal trends that influence how attractive a particular opportunity may or may not be.  Things to consider here include:

  • What demographic trends will impact these professions?
  • Are educational requirements for them expected to change?
  • Are there lifestyle trends and changes that will impact the desirability of these careers?
  • Are there familial expectations you have to consider when making a career decision? How will these affect your ability to be successful?
  • What opportunities and threats do these situations represent?


Look at the technological impacts affecting your career decisions.  Technology changes can be lightning fast and you don’t want to get left behind because you failed to consider the potential impacts of these changes.

  • What are the technological trends affecting the careers you’re considering?
  • Are there aspects of the careers that will be replaced by technology in the next few years?
  • What technologies are emerging to take their place, and how do you get experience with these technologies?
  • How is technology influencing the type of work you do and/or the way you complete your work?
  • What opportunities and threats do these situations present?

Are you all set? Once you have your SWOT and Personal PEST analysis completed you are officially ready to move onto the next step – OPPORTUNITY ANALYSIS, which we will be discussing next week in the Terrific Tuesday.

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