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Christine Fife

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8 Tips to Highlight Yourself

Last weekend I attended a surprise party for a friend’s birthday. The party was held at the home of a 32-year-old enterprise sales professional who is intelligent, outgoing, attractive and an all-around generally nice guy. I’ve known this person for a while and know that he enjoys his bachelorhood, but he does very well with women. For the party the girlfriend of the birthday boy, who was really the one throwing the party, brought boxes of 1960s style glasses, food trays and cocktail paraphernalia (i.e.  cocktail shakers, glass punch bowls, etc.), as it was a Mad Men theme party. Certainly, it would not have expected for my bachelor friend to own these types of items, who would? But when you throw a party, granted the birthday boy’s girlfriend was actually throwing a party, you would expect that the homeowner would want to make a good impression on his guests. My bachelor friend apparently didn’t think much about this.

I arrived at the party a little bit early to help set out to food and help greet guests before the birthday boy showed up (this was a surprise party.)  When I got there a few guests had already arrived, but the kitchen trash can was overflowing, they were dirty dishes in the sink and the bathroom was a mess.I started thinking, is this usually held my bachelor friend’s apartment looks? Does he bring women he dates over for dinner? How can he even offer her something to drink in his plastic Giants baseball tumblers?

When you go for an interview for a new job you probably dress a little nicer than you normally do and speak a little more formally than you normally would. Why? Because you want to highlight your positives.

In this day and age, with our real-time, always on lifestyles, we’ve gotten rather diligent at highlighting ourselves, particularly in our professional lives and online. Have we forgotten how to do this in the real world? For the most part, probably not, but for all you bachelor types who aren’t sure how to highlight yourself when throwing a party here are 8 tips for you.

  1. Make your kitchen functional. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a few matching glasses, a set of basic kitchen knives and a nice bowl or plate to set out a few refreshments.
  2. Clean. Empty waste bins before they overflow. Your environment will smell fresher and it’s more hygienic.
  3. Ensure usability of your powder room. Be sure the toilet paper roll is full and have soap and a hand towel available for guests to use (preferably a towel that has been washed within a reasonable amount of time.)
  4. Clear away dangerous items. If you’re going to have a house full of people, it’s a good idea to put skateboards away and clean up art projects in progress.
  5. Be proud of your style. Take pride in your appearance, whatever that means to you. As a very liberal-minded person, I accept that people have their own style and what is “acceptable” in the sense of appropriate forms of dress can vary. Whatever your style is, just be sure you feel proud to show it off.
  6. Find strength in your opinion. Have your own thoughts and be confident to endorse them. Even if you’re a shy person, you should never be afraid to feel confident about your own opinion. If you don’t stand up for your ideas, why would anyone else?
  7. Surround yourself with acceptance. Who you spend time with has a big reflection on who you are. Be sure to surround yourself with people who accept you and your right to have your own opinions and wear your particular brand of style.
  8. Do unto others. Be thoughtful. That doesn’t mean you have to open the door for every woman you see or give up a parking place to someone else. Don’t go against your own convictions, but when you see an opportunity to be thoughtful to someone else, just because, do it.

I was going to do 10 tips, and I was going to tie this all back to business and marketing, but I’d rather give that as an assignment. Look at your company or your products/services, and figure out how you can highlight them as well. Is the figurative company kitchen functional? Are you proud of your brand’s style? Do you believe in your company’s position in regards to your market space? See if you can come up with two ways that uniquely highlight you. Then think of how you would apply that to your company/product.

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More Stories By Christine Fife

As I drove off to college I never would have guessed I would end up here! But it’s been a fantastic journey. My career has been richly diverse giving me an advantage over marketers who are siloed into niche positions. I strive to be a true Renaissance person—I love to learn about everything and trying new things comes naturally. My career has been no different; I’ve successfully launched enterprise software and medical device development startups, improved communications processes for the regulatory department of a major financial exchange, increased client business and product development for several international exchange program companies and founded an international educational non-profit organization. My master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Golden Gate University gave me a broad understanding of traditional marketing best-practices, but my BA in theater gave me the skills to understand how people communicate with one another and the importance of promoting a brand in a voice that is right for the audience.