5 ways people are getting raises and promotions in a tight economy

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Recently, I watched a story on a breakfast show, Canada AM and was inspired to write.

The CTV show broadcast a segment with American career expert Joe Takash of Victory consulting. Joe demonstrated what this hardened economy represents- an opportunity, not unlike the Chinese word for crisis, which also happens to be opportunity. In an attempt to disseminate Joe's timely information, here is my perspective on his five key points:

1. Take charge - In a time when job search necessitates self-promotion (sometimes momentary, shameless episodes in extreme circumstances to "close the sale" [convince the employer to hired you). This is the opportune time to express your voice with clarity and highlight your achievements. The idea reminds me of an article I read a few years back with something resembling "eight words to say to your boss." The strategy?

You take charge by reminding the boss about your achievements and accomplishments. (All the more reason to create six month and one year milestones of what you have achieved in terms of value to the employer). My mind escapes me on the reference, but in my hobbled nocturnally infused mind, I believe it was humanresources.about.com. In a word, modesty takes refuge in a fiercely competition market for talent, not skills, employers so eagerly desire.

2. Dress for success - At first glance, this may seem like a trite or moot point, but your mind would be dumbfounded by the number of employees, job candidates and interview prospects who don't take the time to demonstrate confidence.....in the physical presence.

Let us not forget that 93% of our communication is non-verbal. A well coiffed, well presented employee with amount of common sense should dictate that clothes portray our brand name imaging to employers. (Younger job seekers can reference this on the NY times web site on how college graduates ought to dress for the job search).

Especially if you are doing a cold call with employers, make sure you present a decent package to potential employers. You only have one chance to make a good, first impression!

3. Avoid gossip - Words need not be wasted on such a reckless, vicious human activity that poisons the work environment. Don't be seduced by its venom!

4. Be creative - My longstanding refrain is the one track mind that employers have: can you make me money or can you save me money? If you cannot quantify these two precepts of business, then consider the alternatives: can you/did you improve something at work? Did you increase efficiency by doing something? Do you think like a consultant and scan the workplace and envision something that needs a mainstream overhaul?

Remember, all employers have problems that need to be solved.

Résumé tip: Make your content 70/30 (hint: Use this formula with the last point). Call me or email me for more info on how you can captivate employers' and potential employer's attention by following this powerful strategy.

If you are still at a loss to how you can improve the bottom line, go deeper and engage in the mindset of a consultant. Get feedback about what's going well and what can be changed and/or improved. Engage in active listening, get some results and present them to the boss. You are responsible for your career report card. No one else.

5. Stay late and come in early - If you're willing to make the commitment to the employer, you may well be rewarded. And this defies the idea of presenteeism entirely?

Melissa Martin is a bilingual career coach who specializes in offering career counseling by phone. Contact her today at www.CareerCoachingByPhone.com. Connect with Melissa via linkedin.com/melissamartin or follow her on www.twitter.com/ravingredhead

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