With declining 401(K) accounts, job sharing and cutbacks, there's a good chance the recession may has ruined your career plans. A recession may be a dicey time to ask for a promotion, but it's certainly a perfect moment to get positioned for an ascent up the corporate ladder. As the economy continues to heal, here are six tips to allow you to shine in your boss's eye and be a top candidate for recognition come the year-end review. (For a related reading, see What Makes A Good Boss?)

IN PICTURES: Dealing With 9 Co-worker Personality Conflicts

Ask What Needs to be Done
It sounds like a no-brainer, but quiz your boss on what is the most important way you can spend your time and then make those tasks a priority, suggests Steve Langerud, director of professional opportunities at DePauw University. By tackling the objectives that your boss holds in high esteem, you'll naturally be in a better spot to get attention and praise for your work.

Demonstrate Your Value
Forget what your job description says, create an action plan for how you can be doing your job better, says Mary Hladio, founder of Ember Carriers Leadership Group. Consult your boss and other leaders within the organization for their input, and put the ideas in motion.

Be a Team Player
Shaunti Feldhahn, author of "The Male Factor," says high-level managers of both sexes want to know that their employees are on board with the team, especially at critical moments. "In a demanding period, you want to make sure you are sharing the same pain," she says. For example, this might mean staying late for a meeting or pitching in on a company-wide initiative. (For more, see 7 Tips For Staying Off The Chopping Block.)


IN PICTURES: 10 Retirement-Wrecking Moves


Brief Your Boss
Even if it's not part of your job requirements or you haven't been asked to do it, voluntarily offer your boss reports on your progress, says former Human Resources trainer, Mimi Donaldson. "Bosses are busy," she says. "You cannot expect them to notice when you do something great." But a routine email summing up your day-to-day accomplishments and where you stand on major projects is an influential way to keep your boss informed without monopolizing time.

Network Like You're Unemployed
Langerud also advises reaching out to colleagues in other departments and requesting their feedback on how you can help them be more effective. Around the company, it will only improve your reputation, he says, and it will likely get circulated back to your boss that you are a problem-solver and a dedicated worker. (Learn more in 4 Career Networking Tips That Work.)

Be Heard and Seen
It's not about gossiping around the water cooler every morning, but finding subtle, yet powerful, routes to contribute to your firm. For instance, it may be presenting a strong, thoughtful point in a meeting, or sharing innovative ideas up the ranks about ways to improve your company's operation. Plus, being seen at company events, such as holiday parties and other social gatherings, volunteer activities and corporate retreats, shows you care about your job.

The Bottom Line
Not only is the job market more competitive in recessionary times, it's also getting increasingly difficult to get a raise. That's because the pool of money corporations reserve for rewarding staff - even the most stellar of employees - is shrinking. According to a survey by the business research organization The Conference Board, the average company is only budgeting 2.8% for wage increases in 2010, a number that hasn't dipped under 3% in more than two decades. The current work environment demands that you must stand out in your boss's mind if you want to get a bump in your salary or a promotion. (For more tips, check out Can't Get A Raise? Negotiate Your Benefits.)

Find out what happened in financial news this week. Read Water Cooler Finance: G20 Leader Spats And China Fakes It.

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Retirees: 7 Lessons from 2008 for the Next Crisis

    When the last big market crisis hit, many retirees ran to the sidelines. Next time, there are better ways to manage your portfolio.
  2. Professionals

    Is A Stockbroker Career For You?

    Becoming a stockbroker requires a broad skill set and the willingness to put in long hours. But the rewards can be enormous.
  3. Economics

    Industries That Thrive On Recession

    Recessions are not equally hard on everyone. In fact, there are some industries that even flourish amid the adversity.
  4. Executive Compensation

    How Restricted Stocks and RSUs Are Taxed

    Many firms pay a portion of their employees’ compensation in the form of restricted stock or restricted stock units.
  5. Professionals

    Broker Or Trader: Which Career Is Right For You?

    Both brokers and traders buy and sell securities, but there are some subtle differences between the two careers.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    10 Characteristics Of Successful Entrepreneurs

    Do you have the qualities of a successful entrepreneur? Those who do tend to share these 10 traits.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Is a U.S. Industrial Recession on the Horizon in 2016?

    Find out why the industrial economy may be teetering on an industrial recession and what could prevent it from going over the cliff.
  8. Personal Finance

    Don't Sign That Non-Compete Without Reading This

    Non-compete contracts aren't just for high-level execs these days. How to protect yourself if your employer – or prospective employer – insists you sign one.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Gloom and Doom for Global Markets in 2016?

    Learn about the volatility in global markets during the beginning of 2016. See why famous investors are saying some economies could see recessions.
  10. Professionals

    Financial Career Options For Professionals

    A career in finance can take a business professional down many different paths.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do interest rates increase during a recession?

    Interest rates rarely increase during a recession. Actually, the opposite tends to happen; as the economy contracts, interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the risks of annuities in a recession?

    Annuities come in several forms, the two most common being fixed annuities and variable annuities. During a recession, variable ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does the risk of investing in the industrial sector compare to the broader market?

    There is increased risk when investing in the industrial sector compared to the broader market due to high debt loads and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  2. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  3. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
  4. Ponzimonium

    After Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme was revealed, many new (smaller-scale) Ponzi schemers became exposed. Ponzimonium ...
  5. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. Included in earnings reports are items such as net ...
Trading Center