3 Impactful Things to Do When Starting a New Job

Hint: Figure out how to align work with the *way* you work.

Anna Burgess Yang


We’re still in the middle of The Great Resignation, with no signs of slowing down. The latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics showed yet another record number of people quitting their jobs.

With all of this movement, it means that many people are in various stages of “settling in” to new roles (myself include). I am also part of The Great Resignation having started not one, but two new jobs in 2021. This was after spending 15 years at my previous job. So not only was I beginning new chapters in my work life, but I hadn’t been in that situation for a loooonng time.

However, coming from a very well-established career meant that I have a very clear understanding of how I work best. My goal immediately upon starting new jobs was to figure out how to make the work “fit” around how I’m most productive — while still meeting any requirements like meetings and deadlines.

Here are the three things I immediately tried to discern to figure out how I, personally, could be successful in my role.

1. What parts of the job require deep work?

I was a product manager at a fintech (the 15-year haul), then a content marketing manager, then an account manager. Each job had aspects that required “deep work”: work that needed concentration and uninterrupted time to complete.

This is a challenge at many jobs, especially with emails, Slack messages, and meetings.

I’d ask myself, “What tasks require deep work, how much time will it take, and how does that fit into my day?”

As a product manager, this was often reading analysis docs or looking at large data sets. As a content marketing manager, I wrote drafts of blog articles and eBooks. Now, as an account manager, I write lengthy proposals and Statements of Work.

For me, deep work can happen when I block off time on my calendar. I have made the mistake of planning too much and instead only looking at blocks for 1–2 days at a time. I have a separate Google calendar called “Blocks” that overlays my public Google work calendar. I’ll move the block…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur. Niche freelance writer. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. • https://start.annabyang.com/