Be the Guy (or Gal) Behind 'Dark Knight'

In a down economy, you should be helping your employer get a piece of what's being spent.

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Jobless claims hit a six-year high last week, the Labor Department told us today. Yes, it's lousy news. Economists had expected the number of claims to be around 430,000—not 455,000.

But before we lose our minds over the new number, and I'm speaking to the employed here, let's look at a few other numbers.

  • The Dark Knight hit the $400 million sales mark on Monday, faster than any movie before it.
    • Brinker International reported comparable restaurant sales at Chili's restaurants were up 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
      • Sotheby's rang up more than $3 billion at auctions in the first half of this year, a record for the auction house.
      • By and large, yes, consumers are seeing their costs rise faster than their incomes. But the above numbers show someone is doing well in a nation where, it would seem, no one can pay their mortgage bills or fill their tanks with gasoline.

        As layoff rumors swirl and executives talk of the softening economy, you're likely hiding beneath your desk, hoping the storm will blow over. Bad move.

        It's clear that there is still money to be made in this market. The best thing we can do for our employers is find ways to help them make it.

        Brinker's sales were boosted by moves at Chili's that included increased prices and a focus on express meals and takeout offerings. Smart employees are often behind these kinds of ideas or strategies. Don't you want to be that kind of employee? It is, after all, the greatest way to "recessionproof" your job.