DEAR HARRIETTE: My co-worker -- and friend -- and I are applying for the exact same manager position at work. I'm already feeling anxious about how bittersweet the outcome will be either way. I really need this job, but I know that my friend needs it, too. Things are not awkward between us yet, but I can't imagine that they won't be awkward in the future. How do I handle this? How do we remain friends no matter what happens? -- Same Job
DEAR SAME JOB: If it is obvious that the two of you are applying for this job, say something. Tell your friend that you know you both want this job, and that you wish there were two perfect jobs for both of you right now. Express your support for your co-worker as you also state that you know you will both do your best and whoever gets it will be great for the job. Be the congenial one.
Then stop talking about it. Prepare for your interview by researching exactly what it takes to be a good manager at this company. What are the expectations, and what have you witnessed that helps to inform your understanding of the job? Finally, what are your unique qualities and experiences that make you the best person for the job? Be prepared to share all this information dynamically and confidently.
If you become the manager, do your best to ensure that your friend feels good about being on the team. May the best candidate win.