Starting a new job? Be sure to follow the Four P’s

July 21, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

By Aysha Bell
GCU Career Services

CONGRATULATIONS! You might have just graduated from Grand Canyon University or maybe you’ve been out of school for a little while and you have now landed your first, real-world position. What a wonderful feeling! It is tempting to relax, put your feet up and feel as if you have “arrived.” However, the work has actually just begun, and GCU Career Services wants to help you be successful with the Four P’s of being successful at work: preparation, professionalism, politics and performance.

PREPARATION: Feeling anxious about your new position is normal. To overcome anxiety, review your resume and the job description again by focusing on your past accomplishments and visualizing how you will utilize your previous experience in your new career!

  • Practice your elevator speech and handshake. You will meet numerous new colleagues, and it is important to make a strong first impression.
  • Know the logistics! Some key items to know are the address of the company, where to park (and if you need to pay to park), dress code, and name and phone number of the person and/or department to which you report. Also, know whether you need to bring a lunch or if there is a cafeteria onsite.

PROFESSIONALISM: You might have a probationary period in which your conduct may be closely monitored for anywhere from 90 days to one year. Pay attention to:

  • Attendance
  • Dress code
  • Work habits
  • Cellphone usage (some companies have very strict cellphone policies)

POLITICS: Workplace politics refer to the nature of how individuals interact and build/nurture relationships in the company. Practice positive communication by aligning yourself with the mission, vision and goals of the department.

  • Listen to your manager or supervisor and follow their advice. They may serve as a mentor for you – someone who can help you accomplish your goals in the company.
  • Identify the “movers and shakers,” the individuals who excel in the company and have done well. Approach, get acquainted with and listen to any advice they give you.

Avoid negative habits such as putting down other coworkers, trying to do the least amount possible and not being a team player. Do your best every day to be a productive employee who strongly supports the team. A great phrase to remember is, “Be on your way up, not on your way out.”

PERFORMANCE: You were hired to do a job. Therefore, make sure you understand the requirements of your position. Your performance will be evaluated at some point.

  • Meet with your manager and discuss your progress. Identify any areas of opportunity for you to become even better at your job.
  • Accept feedback graciously and learn from your mistakes.
  • Set measureable goals to improve performance.
  • Participate in learning and development opportunities. Some classes at work may be worth college credit!

Remember, GCU Career Services is here for you. Visit to utilize any of our online tools to identify your career path, build your resume, research career options or apply to current job postings!


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