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What I did
I organised a New Year Party at my home for my friends-they were twenty in number. My invitations were sent one month before the actual New Year because I was well aware that my potential guests would start making New Year plans at around that time.
I gave them a taste of what the party would involve by using the colours and shapes of my theme which was love- so the invitations were red in colour and they were heart shaped.
I then decorated my place just so that it would give off the right message and for this, I used different types of party lights for the outside and the inside. I had banners and also bought flowers and streamers just so that I could get that right party atmosphere.
This was a tough one for me because my first attempt with the lights failed miserably but I fixed it with help from my next door neighbour. Thereafter, I then focused on the dance and music aspect. I talked to my close cousin who had a great sound system and borrowed it for the night. I wanted to have a DJ around so I asked a couple of my friends if they knew someone who could do it at an affordable price and was able to get about seven options.
After intense sieving, I settled on one who was based near home and who understood my taste and my guests’ taste in music. During the party, we put music and dancing at a later time when people had relaxed and it turned out to be a good idea. I organised for food as well. Here, I focused on meaty delicacies but saw my mistake at the party.
Some guests were vegetarians and they lacked options to choose from which was quite embarrassing for me. Drinks were in plenty although I had to send out for more at some point in the night. This was particularly tricky because a number of stores were closed but we managed to get one that was still open.
I was doing so many things in the party including being the party host. At certain time in the party, I soon realised that people were getting a little bored so I suggested that we play a game of spin the bottle. Everyone got to show their real personality and his eventually added to the spice and excitement of the event. Overly, people had a great time but they had no clue how the organiser had to run up and down in order to ensure that everything was in place.
What I learned
From this event, I can say with certainty that my job related skills dramatically improved because there were plenty of things that I had to work on in order to get to the results that I desired. I learned that it is imperative to listen and to speak well. In other words, communication skills are crucial when working with people.
For example, I listened to the complaints made by some of my vegetarian guests in order to learn that next time, my party needs to have meat and non meat based foods for them. Furthermore, communication through effective conveyance of information was also a valuable lesson in this party.
I had to articulate and tell the DJ exactly what I expected him to do during the party in a clear manner. In fact, many guests complimented me on the music so this illustrates that I did do a good job with it. If it was not for proper communication between myself and the DJ then nothing much would have been achieved at that party.
Additionally, I realised that one’s analytical skills are imperative in party planning. Analysis essentially deals with the ability to look at a situation and then look for several alternatives through obtaining information from a series of sources. As the party went on, I often had to look at things in retrospect.
I had to identify or foresee certain problems and then quickly streamline them. For example, the issue of boredom was one that sharpened these analytical skills. I was able to assess the situation at hand by looking at how people were behaving in the party.
I then asked a number of them what the issue could be and their suggestions on how we can improve. In other words, I gathered information and was able to streamline it so as to make the party atmosphere livelier. These are all essential components of analytical skills.
One of the most important things I learned from organising this end of year party was multitasking. I was in charge of so many things that night.
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I had to ensure that the drinks were enough. I had to keep the party going by rotating and talking to the guests, I had to ensure that the DJ was playing what we had agreed before and then check on the food. When supplies ran out, I had to delegate people who would be responsible for getting those things for us.
By the end of it all, I had to play a tough juggling act but this was possible because I had prepared for those eventualities and I could easily adapt to those situations.
My management skills were sharpened tremendously in this event. I had to work with a lot of people in the party. There was the DJ, the caterers, the invitation card makers, volunteer friends who drove out to get new supplies and my relatives to help me with all the preparations and the running of the event.
I soon found out that sometimes some people need more direction than others. My ability to mobilise all these individuals contributed towards a great outcome in the party. If I had not taken charge then some things would have spiralled out of control. There would be no drinks for people to take in the party and the entertainment would have been such a drag.
I learned that problem solving skills are absolutely indispensable when planning for an event such as the one I was involved in. There were several issues that came up in the party that I was able to deal with owing to these skills. For example, when the supply of drinks appeared to be running out, I had to come up with a creative solution out of it. I knew that I was the party host and so I could not leave the party scene.
However, if I delegated the task of getting drinks to another group then I would still continue entertaining my guests but I will have solved the issue of drinks. In other words, I worked with the resources and information available to me at that point in order to creatively and reasonably solve a problem.
My negotiating skills were also inevitable because I needed to get a couple of things prior to commencement of the party yet my budget was limited. I could not hire an expert to help me with the lights or one to hire out his sound system. I therefore had to use negotiating skills with my neighbour who had some background with electricity. The negotiations also came in handy when I went to look for an affordable DJ and also when asking for a sound system from my cousin.
My strengths and weaknesses
I think my biggest strength is that I am highly adaptable. Unanticipated problems rarely throw me off guard because I can easily work with the resources I have to achieve the desired outcomes. I also have good decision making abilities and negotiating skills as seen in the sound issue. I think I am a good communicator because I always articulate what I need clearly but also make a point of listening.
On the other hand, I realised that sometimes I am too concerned with getting things right to the point of pushing people. I often pay too much attention to detail and this makes me a perfectionist.
I need to learn how to let go of some irrelevant issues and I need to learn how to pick my battles because not everything can always be done right. Additionally, I have a problem with time management because I almost missed my deadline for starting the parting and this will definitely cost me in the job world.