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How Do I Win My Company's Top Job?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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TALK TO HER Tionna

Now more than ever we are confronted with obstacles and difficulties in our daily lives that we just can't seem to handle on our own. Fear not! Noted author and world-famous advice columnist Tionna Smalls is here to help you solve your problems! Today, Tionna counsels a troubled job-seeker.

Dear Tionna,

There's an opening for the top position at my company, and I'm up for it. I'm totally qualified for the job: I spent eight years working alongside a former C.E.O., and I've spent the last six years basically doing everything I could to put myself in position for it. It would also be kind of historical for the company, because I'd be the first woman in charge. Unfortunately, a new guy, who's only been here a couple of years, is suddenly being mentioned for the position. Some people are even saying he'd be better at it than me, because his lack of experience would allow him to bring fresh ideas and "change," whatever that means, to the company. Also, did I mention that this guy is black? The company's never had a black in the top slot either, so it would be equally historical. Things are starting to get nasty: People are calling me unlikable and saying that I'm sending subtle racist messages about him. But it's not true! I just want this company to be the best it can be! Sorry, I teared up for a minute there.

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Anyway, what should I do?

Signed,

Staring at the Glass Ceiling

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