I've worked at my current job for just about 2 years. Due to the type of job it is, the turnover rate is high, so I am one of the most experienced employees there.

We're likely to have one or two positions opening up for a duty manager role in the next few weeks, which I'm planning to apply for. I know that of the top 3 most experienced people we have, it's likely that all 3 of us are going to be applying for these posts, so we'll be in direct competition for them.

I'm friendly with my colleagues, and I'd obviously like to remain so. How can I help to make sure that happens despite the upcoming competition and the end result of one or two of us getting the posts, and one or two of us not?

  • Do the colleagues or will the colleagues know by default who the applicants of this promotion are? Or is it going to be completely anonymous up until a decision is made? I do not suggest anonymity at all, I was just curious. Feb 8, 2019 at 18:11
  • If you get the position, will you be managing those coworkers?
    – MlleMei
    Feb 8, 2019 at 19:09
  • @MlleMei Yes I will.
    – ArtOfCode
    Feb 8, 2019 at 19:11
  • @CrazyCucumber The process is anonymous, but the three of us all know we're all applying.
    – ArtOfCode
    Feb 8, 2019 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


How can I ensure I maintain a good working relationship competing with my colleagues for a promotion?

I'd say, first, that you can't be 100% sure, because when you compete, you'll never know if the other(s) are sore loosers or not. One thing, for sure, don't be one :)

As a sports competitor for years, and also as someone who has been in your position, I always applied to business and sports the same philosophy: "work hard, run/play hard, but remain always nice". Compete to be better than yourself first, better than the clock then, and see the results at the end. And always do that with respect to your opponent. Sportsmanship is the key. Be a gentleman. You win more at the end, no matter what the scoreboard shows...

In your case, I'd just tell them that you'll enter the competition to win, but wish them to be at their best. And GG1 (before), GG (after). And remain the same, no matter what. Work as hard after as you worked before, help them when needed, be professional. You'll have won anyway: respect. The greatest victory.

1: Good Game

And, just in case you lose, work harder, improve your skills, and compete again later... ;)


First, depending on how much you know and interact with the other co-workers, I would just keep cool. I wouldn't make a huge deal out of this, or rub it in anyone's faces.

If you choose to approach them about this, do this individually, and start off with a simple greeting, some small talk, something like that to lighten up the mood and keep it casual.

Then I would go into asking how they feel about applying for that position, and the key here is to listen to them, see what they would do in that position, what they could improve, etc. Mention some things you agree with, so they can be put at ease that if you get the job, you'll still communicate with them and that you won't be harsh on them.

After that, maybe briefly mention that you are also applying and that if you don't get the job, mention that there won't be any hard feelings because you know they will do a good job too based on their experience level. Maybe add a joke in there to lighten things up like

Hey, if you get it, you can do [something funny, like being responsible for buying everyone lunch]... ah, just kidding. (If they are not the kind of person to make light of that joke, I don't recommend it.)

At the end, say something like "good luck" or "We'll see what happens" "Whatever happens, we'll still see eye to eye", etc

This whole dialogue is meant to put the co-worker at ease to help them see you will indeed be fair and friendly no matter what position you're in or they're in.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.