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. Personal Finance

    6 Reasons To Get Your MBA Abroad

    Given the number of high caliber business schools outside the United States, it may make sense to venture overseas for your MBA. Here's what you can gain.
  2. Personal Finance

    Top Factors Preventing Workers From Being Promoted

    Many employees blame office politics when they fail to get promoted, but they may be sabotaging their own careers with these behaviors.
  3. Professionals

    Career Advice: Investment Banking Vs. Corporate Finance

    Read an in-depth review and comparison of a career in investment banking and a career in corporate finance, with advice about which one to choose.
  4. Professionals

    How to Get Boomers & Millennials To Work Together

    Baby boomers and millennials don't often see eye to eye, but getting these two generations to play nice is important for any company.
  5. Personal Finance

    Insider's Guide To The Top U.S. Business Schools

    The best business school for you depends on your skills, career goals and interests. We help future MBA's make a more informed choice.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    START-UP NY: How a Tax-Free Zone Would Work

    START-UP NY is an initiative designed to attract companies to New York State by giving them 10 years of tax breaks. Sounds good, but is it a success?
  7. Markets

    Is Another Bear Market Ahead?

    With market volatility recently reaching its highest level, investors are questioning what the outlook is for U.S. stocks in 2015 and beyond.
  8. Personal Finance

    10 Habits of Successful People

    10 of the most-often cited habits of people who have enjoyed success in business and in life.
  9. Economics

    Explaining Silo Mentality

    A silo mentality occurs when certain departments in an organization do not share information or knowledge with other departments.
  10. Savings

    5 Ways To Be Irreplaceable At Work

    Companies most value five certain behaviors, and the employees who exhibit them establish themselves as essential to an organization.
  1. 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 >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. How can I hedge my portfolio to protect from a decline in the retail sector?

    The retail sector provides growth investors with a great opportunity for better-than-average gains during periods of market ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the correlation between term structure of interest rates and recessions?

    There is no question that interest rates have enormous macroeconomic importance. Many economists and analysts believe the ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!