ostrich.jpgThe job market is still struggling, but many economists believe employers are just reluctant to hire new workers even though many firms are doing better and could probably put out the help wanted sign.

But why should they hire any more workers? You guys are doing the work of two or three employees these days, and you’re not asking for more money.

Glassdoor.com, a job site, recently conducted a survey on employee confidence and the data was quite depressing:

* 29% are making less money than they have historically.
* Almost one in three (31%) have taken on more work without more compensation or advancement.
* And in the past 12 months, salaries reported by employees on Glassdoor.com have fallen an average of 8 percent since the prior year.

I know, workers are running scared thanks to employers who want you all running scared because if you are, you won’t ask for more money and you won’t complain that you’re doing too much work.

Well, many corporations are doing just fine my friends and it’s time workers realized that.

Just today, General Motors Corp. reported it’s quarterly earning jumped to $1.5 billion. Yes, GM folks. The company that was at death’s door last year.

Companies like GM are doing well because they cut staffing to the bone and they slashed the wages of workers. So, when you look at worker productivity numbers across the board, they look great. You’re doing more for less. I recently discussed this topic on NPR Talk of the Nation.

Unfortunately, workers are feeling the pain and starting to drop the productivity ball a bit. Last quarter, productivity actually went into negative territory, albeit slightly, for the first time since the first quarter of 2009.

Employees need to do their part now and start asking for more money or more bodies.

I’m not saying you should go bang on the door of your boss right now. Do some research first. Make sure your company is indeed one of these firms that’s starting to do OK but is reluctant to take the hiring plunge. If you’re company is publicly traded it’s easy to get information about it online. If not, you’ll have to do a bit more detective work. Is new business coming in? Does your manager seem happy lately? Look for the signs.

If you think there’s money to go around ask yourself: “Do my bosses know what I’ve been doing? How valuable I’ve been to the company?”

I’m not saying you have to take an ad out in the company newsletter, but you’re crazy if you haven’t been updating managers on your great work. Send an occasional email, stop by and have a chat with your boss about how things are going. Get a mentor to start singing your praises.

Also, here are some other things to keep in mind:

Wendy Enelow, director of the Resume Writing Academy, suggested keeping “a running list of your accomplishments” ranging from small process improvements to large projects handled. “Be certain to include any quantifiable achievements, such as increasing sales 22 percent by capturing a new key account or reducing operating costs 11 percent by eliminating repetitive processes,” she said.

Ask for a promotion from a point of strength, said Suffolk’s Stybel. Tell your managers you’re getting calls from recruiters, he said, but only if you really are.

You also should be networking, joining trade groups and social networking sites, growing your skills, and building your reputation in your industry outside your company,” Stybel said.

Look, there’s a good chance you might get a big fat “no” right now because employers have gotten used to keeping wages under wraps. But you have to put the raise bug in your manager’s ear. That’s how things happen folks. Executives are good at putting their heads in the sand. You have to tap on their shoulders now and then and ask them to come up for air and take a look around.

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