Apprentice runner-up Helen gets promoted at work

Runner-up on the latest Apprentice series, Helen Mulligan was an executive assistant to the CEO of Greggs before she started the 12 week process. Since her sterling performance on the show she's scored a promotion in the bakery company, where she is now head of retail in the South East and responsible for 200 stores and 2,300 staff.

But it took Lord Sugar's business reality show for Helen's bosses to realise her potential, so what chance do the rest of us have? How can you get recognition for your performance at work?

Make your voice heard
You don't have to shout your own accomplishments from the rooftops to get attention, just know how to make your voice heard. Be sure to speak up in meetings - contributing ideas and opinions is incredibly important, no matter how big or small the meeting might be. One bright suggestion is all it takes to get you on the radar.

Make sure your boss is aware of what you're doing. At the end of each week, send them a concise email with details of your work - use it as an opportunity to highlight things you are ahead of schedule on, pieces of work you have undertaken voluntarily or are beyond your immediate remit - but without saying things like 'I stayed late to finish this' which aren't really going to have any effect on your boss.

Know what your achievements mean for the business
It's all very well feeling pleased with yourself for personal achievements at work, but think about it from your boss's point of view - they want to know about work you've done that has given an obvious benefit to the company.

Rather than telling them you've had a great review from so-and-so client, explain that it was your sway that convinced the client to do more business with the company for instance.

Be pro-active
Keep your eyes open for opportunities within the company which could mean interesting projects for you to be part of - extra contribution won't go unnoticed. But at the same time, don't take on too much.

If you go above and beyond at work already that's great, but taking on a work load you can't deal with isn't going to help you in the long run. Much better to do a few projects exceptionally well than find yourself cutting corners because you have too much on your plate.

Sometimes if you really think you deserve more recognition for the role you play at work, you just have to ask for it. Organise a meeting with your boss to discuss your position. Be prepared with all your accomplishments, what you contribution has done for the company and be clear about what exactly it is that you want. A bonus, promotion, a pay rise?
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