Top Must-Have Behavioral Skills for New Job Success

Arvind Mehrotra
5 min readMay 28, 2023

Understand the importance of 6 behavioural skills for a new job and ensure you are ready to succeed in your new role.

We are now at an inflexion point regarding the job market, more than ever before. Reports suggest that over 100,000 employees have already been laid off in 2023, compelling them to look for new jobs and career pathways. In addition, quiet quitting has forced another section to disengage and reconsider their current positions. Thanks to the Great Resignation trend, many others are already beginning the next chapter of their careers. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report,” 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 as technology adoption increases”.

So, how do you ensure you are perfectly poised to succeed in your new role? Do you have the behavioural skills needed to thrive as a “new employee” in 2023, regardless of age, designation, or seniority? In Linkedin’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 92% of learning and development professionals said that behavioural skills are just as necessary — or even more important — as your technical competencies. This trend remains strong today, especially after the pandemic’s talent churn.

As a result, the following behavioural skills are critical for job success:

1. The ability to quickly learn new technical skills

Interestingly, this is not a complex skill but is unrelated to whether you are a digital native. Certain employees have the intrinsic behavioural ability to quickly pick up new technical knowledge, whether operating new hardware or selecting the best SaaS app for your team, or even rudimentary coding skills. These individuals are open to technical learning (even if they are business users themselves) and can join the dot between digital tools and job outcomes. This behavioural skill is essential for employees to succeed in a newly joined organisation at any level.

2. Persuasive communications

Effective communication is not just the ability to get your point across. Great communicators can also help others empathise with their point of view, even if they do not always see eye to eye. This behavioural skill also entails active listening to garner the correct information necessary to make the most compelling argument. Persuasive communication is essential in various career pathways, from product management to CxOs, marketing and sales to software development, and even education or content development.

3. The ability to stay organised

Self-starters are always in demand in any organisation, and that is because these individuals are motivated and sufficiently organised to get the job done. There are several aspects to this behavioural skill — for example, time management, multi-tasking, foresight, and the ability to prioritise instead of being a perfectionist. In addition, staying organised ensures you can navigate the many moving parts which make up the new. Be it a new job, idea, or project to reach the best outcomes for you and the company, it is critical to be organised.

4. Numeracy, or the ability to work with numbers

It is not necessary that you must be a data scientist or a math wiz. Numeracy entails that an employee can understand and work with numbers, just like they can work with textual information (i.e., literacy). For example, a behavioural skill will allow an employee to immediately understand that two values are identical, e.g., 1/4 and 25%., even if the expression is different. It will enable you to grow your critical thinking capabilities, become more analytical in your thought processes, and make better decisions.

5. Rudimentary leadership capabilities

Having a new employee who shies away from leadership positions (even if temporary) is not ideal. To employers, this often indicates a lack of ownership, low self-esteem, and poor communication skills. Instead, every new employee needs to demonstrate leadership capabilities to some extent. It can be empathising with others, giving advice, stepping up to make tough decisions, or encouraging teamwork. Notably, a certain degree of emotional intelligence (EQ) is central to developing this behavioural skill.

6. Negotiation

Development of negotiation, a behavioural skill interconnection with several other skills, such as problem-solving, persuasion, teamwork, and effective collaboration, requires developing a learning plan. Negotiation essentially refers to the ability to take cognisance of the resources at your and another person’s disposal so that you can formulate a suitable compromise or middle ground for both. The ability to negotiate also allows you to deliver value to the other person while being satisfied that you are receiving value yourself. This behavioural skill can drive job satisfaction for new employees and make them an indispensable part of the organisation.

Unlike hard skills, learning behavioural skills through fixed structures and formal learning alone is insufficient. Becoming tech-savvy, persuasive, organised, numeracy-literate, and equipped to become a leader and negotiator takes time.

Coaching and mentorship have proved to be effective ways to imbibe behavioural skills, as these methods dive into the psychology behind human behaviour and bring about lasting improvements. In addition, as the job market remains turbulent (or highly lucrative, depending on how you look), these six behavioural skills can help new employees succeed in their new organisation.

Know more about the behavioural skills you need to develop by emailing me at Arvind@am-pmassociates.com.

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Arvind Mehrotra

Board Advisor, Strategy, Culture Alignment and Technology Advisor