The Bottom Line: Job Perks in a Recession

No Raise - How About a New Computer?

Even stellar job performance may not earn you a salary bump this year. But you can still score these lucrative perks at your next review, says Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees:

A personal item that benefits your firm.. Ask your manager for a BlackBerry upgrade or tuition reimbursement for an accounting class. "Keep the request reasonable and justifiable," Nelson says. "Box seats at Wrigley won't cut it."

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Extra vacation days. If layoffs have left your office short-staffed, ask for personal days instead. "Your boss will be more inclined to green-light extra time off for private matters" - visiting your sick grandma in Topeka, for example - "than a Caribbean vacation," Nelson explains.

Pet privileges. Bring Rufus to work once a week. You'll have to reassure the boss that having your (low-maintenance!) pup around makes you more productive. Sorry, cube jockeys, this one's best suited for those who can shut the door if the dog gets frisky.

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One for the team. Request a plum that your entire department can enjoy--like a newfangled espresso maker or color copier. While nothing beats cold hard cash, the Office Hero title has its own benefits.

The Hot Stone Incentive Plan. Suggest that your supervisor tie your bonus to a future goal - e.g., increase sales by 15 percent this quarter and win a spa package. If it fires you up for another year of kick-ass performance, the boss should jump at it.

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