08/31/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Recession is Over... Now What?

Newsweek reported that the recession is over (though we won't see the signs of recovery for quite some time). So what does that mean for your career? Here are four things you should do as soon as business begins to bloom again and you're able to breathe a bit easier on the job.

Ask for a raise. You put in the overtime hours, stuck out budget cuts, grinned and bared it through the raise freezes -- and lived to tell about it. Now it's time to reap the rewards of your patience. Set up a meeting as soon as possible with your manager to revisit the conversation you didn't dare bring up last year.

Dot your "I's." True, your company might have more money to offer you now than it did a few months ago, but that also means they have more money to offer a candidate more qualified than you. Beware of businesses clearing the brush from the forest fire, so to speak.

Be choosier about your projects.
Not long ago you were willing to resort to custodial duties if it meant you'd be less expendable. Now that there's more security in your future, consider what you'd prefer to be working on. Ask for it today so the step back you took in responsibility doesn't end up being a permanent one. Now that they're used to seeing you file papers and fetch coffee, they might not go out of their way to get you back on your career track.

Go after the job you really want.
Though the unemployment rate is still climbing and is expected to be in the double digits by the end of the year, economists are hopeful that 2010 will bring growth and opportunity. Start preparing for the job you would have gone after had you not been forced to hit the deck and ride out the storm.