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  • Most people hope to get promoted on a fairly regular basis throughout their career. In fact, nearly four out of five professionals assess advancement opportunities when they're looking for a new job, according to research. But you can't avoid this truth: Getting promoted often involves far more than your talent, capabilities and experience. More than nine out of 10 bosses surveyed said favoritism plays a role in these decisions, and 56 percent said they already had a person in mind for a promotion even before they started formally reviewing candidates. It's clear that soft skills and overall personal comportment play a big role. For example, employees who form friendships with co-workers are 40 percent more likely to advance. Given this situation, we're presenting the following list of nine reasons you're not getting promoted, adopted from a recent article posted by Glassdoor. The reasons include everything from poor communication styles to shoddy work habits to office gossip and even dating. As a whole, the list reveals that there are a lot of ways to lose out on moving up. Fortunately, it's also easy to make adjustments to get past these career barriers.  

  • All jobs come with some frustrations, and you may occasionally fantasize about quitting your job in a blaze of "I'm outta here!" glory. Given the intense demand for IT professionals with proven, difficult-to-find skills, you may feel confident in doing just that. Nearly two-thirds of IT data employees, for example, believe that it would be easy or very easy to find a new job opportunity, according to industry research. That said, even if you find a better opportunity with a new employer, you should never succumb to your worst impulses when leaving your current job. Instead, you should carefully consider the following guidelines on how to gracefully resign from your current job, as adopted from a recent article posted by Glassdoor. The guidelines cover everything from making the initial announcement to helping your team members make the transition to packing your office belongings. At every step of the way, it's critical to express appreciation to everyone who helped you get to where you are today—and where you're going. "Making the decision to quit a job is almost never easy," according to Glassdoor. "Whether you have been practicing your Jerry Maguire-style farewell monologue or the need to exit has been precipitated by unforeseen circumstances, leaving a job is filled with a lot of emotions for you and for the team you are leaving behind. But no matter the circumstance, there is a 'right way' to quit your job. Hint: It's not what Tom Cruise did in the 1996 movie."

  • Most U.S. workers are not engaged at work, according to a recent survey from Rapt Media. The resulting report, "U.S. Employees: Detached, Disengaged and Disenchanted," indicates that companies are out of touch with employees' expectations of their employer. For starters, most professionals do not feel their employer did a good job onboarding them, and they believe that their leaders are generally detached from the rank and file. Employees are bored by the repetition and lack of creativity that goes into internal communications, and they get very little lasting value out of training sessions. What's more, many organizations lack awareness about the negative morale situation in their company because a significant number of staffers admit that they're not truthful when completing engagement surveys. Employees "report feeling underappreciated by their bosses and disconnected from their leaders," according to the report's "Letter from the CEO," from Erika Trautman, Rapt Media's founder. "They're disregarding internal communications and forgetting their training. They no longer feel a sense of loyalty. … [Employers must] throw out the old playbook and begin contemplating new and creative solutions. To employ an oft-used quote from Thomas Jefferson, 'If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.' If you're unable or unwilling to change, it's not a question of whether your employees will leave—but when. And even when they stay, they won't be as effective as they could be." An estimated 400 U.S. employees took part in the research.

  • Among the many steps involved with getting the job you want, coming up with a winning cover letter may be among the most challenging. A cover letter, after all, typically serves as your introduction to a potential employer. It is the document that describes who you are and why you'd make a great hire—and it's done in a much more conversational, storytelling manner than a résumé or employment application. In addition, the cover letter should be tailored to a specific employer and should address specific challenges that the targeted company faces in its industry, along with details about how you'd help tackle those challenges. In other words, cover letters involve actual writing, and we all know how painful that can be! Given how important a cover letter is, we're happy to provide the following best practices. They address templates, substance, tone, keywords and the closing call to action—not to mention the often tedious but absolutely essential need to carefully proofread the letter. Our tips were compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by Glassdoor and Monster.

  • When they demonstrate their tech wizardry with mission-critical solutions, data science professionals place themselves in the driver's seat for lofty compensation packages, according to a recent survey from O'Reilly Media. The accompanying "2016 Data Science Salary Survey" indicates that today's data scientists in the United States are typically members of the six-figure salary club, as many consider themselves quite formidable at the negotiating table. In their roles, they conduct data analysis to respond to research questions and provide needed input to key decision-makers. And these professionals continue to hone their skills in high-demand programming languages (such as SQL, R and Python) and big data platforms (including Spark, Hive and MongoDB)—all of which makes them more valuable to their organization. "When tools become industry standards," according to the report, "employers begin to expect them, [so] it's in your interest to keep up with new technology. If you apply for a job at a company that is clearly interested in hiring someone who knows a certain tool, and this tool is used by people who earn high salaries, then you have leverage knowing that it will be hard for them to find an alternative hire without paying a premium. This information isn't just for the employees, either. Business leaders choosing technologies need to consider not just the software costs, but labor expenses as well." More than 980 global data scientists, engineers, programmers, researchers and other data professionals took part in the research.

  • The vast majority of them haven't entered the workforce yet, but young people identified as "Gen Z" have already developed strong ideas about how tech will impact their careers, according to a recent survey from Monster. The accompanying report, titled "Move Over, Millennials: What You'll Need to Know for Hiring as Gen Z Enters the Workforce," indicates that most members of this generation feel that IT solutions and innovations will make them more productive, while raising expectations for what they are expected to accomplish. They also think that tech will increase demand for job candidates with their skills. With respect to recruiting these current and future professionals, employers will have to provide competitive compensation and health benefits, along with assignments that address the need for a "higher purpose." In exchange, these companies will find that members of this generation of workers are highly motivated: They are willing to relocate and work nights and weekends for the right opportunity. "Today's employers need to pay close attention: Employee turnover rates are returning to pre-recession levels, and Gen Z will rapidly outnumber Millennials and Boomers," according to the report. "More self-reliant, technologically savvy and ambitious than previous generations, Gen Z has characteristics that are extremely valuable to employers. … The game is on for how to attract, retain and recruit this new generation." While there are no precise birth dates for these workers, Gen Z is generally defined as those born starting from the mid-1990s to those who will be born as late as the mid-2020s. More than 2,000 professionals representing all workplace generations took part in the research, which was conducted by TNS.

  • As competition to recruit qualified technology professionals grows increasingly intense, a significant number of IT decision-makers reported that tech job candidates now expect a salary that is higher than the market average for their roles, according to a recent survey from Modis. The resulting report, "Tech Trends Survey: IT Leaders and the Employment Market," reveals that today's tech professionals are focused on salary and total compensation in evaluating potential employers. But they're also interested in less traditional benefits such as flexible hours and free meals and snacks. More importantly, these tech pros want roles that will enable them to create change in a company, while working on innovative products and projects. "With the [low] tech sector unemployment rate, the pool of available and skilled talent is smaller than ever," said Jack Cullen, president of Modis. "Today's employers need to be open to negotiation, and today's candidates need to be prepared to negotiate." The findings also shed light on a number of other tech topics—such as IT skills shortages and tech-related policy and political issues—and we've included some of those here. An estimated 500 IT decision-makers took part in the research.

  • Have you ever fantasized about being your own boss—cutting the chord to full-time employment to embrace the life of a contractor? If you follow through with such plans, you may find that taking the hired-gun route isn't always what it's cracked up to be, according to a recent survey from Deloitte. In fact, most of the contractors surveyed said they wouldn't choose to work independently in the future, and only a minority reported that they are very satisfied with the experience. Many of them miss the steady paycheck of a full-time job, as well as the other benefits of full-time work, such as health insurance, training and mentorship. They also find it difficult to understand and connect to a company's internal culture when working in the gig economy. The takeaway: Given that full-time employees are now enjoying more flexible arrangements at the office, there's less incentive to take the plunge as a contractor. "Today's workforce wants the ability to choose how they work—full-time or contract work," said Mike Preston, chief talent officer at Deloitte. "Regardless of what they choose, they crave a holistic experience that combines good compensation and benefits with a focus on well-being and career development." Nearly 4,000 professionals who work or have worked as independent contractors, along with those working full-time jobs, took part in the research.