I am working as a junior, while one of my colleague's title is senior. I am confused by her recent behavior, that makes me feel senior is higher than junior at an administrative level.

She tends to give me orders, though she calls it suggestions, review my work, and manage me like she's my manager (actually, I already have a manager).

I believe she is asking me questions with the intent of learning from me but she never asks directly, but always disguise her intention. She wants to use the same tool that I use. She has no experience with this tool, while I know a lot about it. And from my experience, when she asks for something, I know it.

She even starts to prioritize my works, and decide whom should I work with, over our team leader. I am not the only junior in my team that ran into this with this individual.

So is this typically part of the senior role or is the senior title just another position on the team? What should I, as a junior, expect from a senior on my team?

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    I have done a signifigant edit to the content of your question. What you were asking is really out of the scope of this site, and you posts sounded like a semi rant. This has focused the scope on something we can help with. Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


The senior is typically responsible for the results of the project or work effort. The behavior you describe sounds completely within the reasonable expectations of a senior professional position. The senior is generally responsible for reviewing the work product of the juniors assigned to them, as well as guiding their work efforts and often in assigning their day to day activities.

If the team leader has a problem with the senior over stepping her authority it is the responsibility of the team leader to address this, not the junior. If you are conflicted because the team leader gives you conflicting instructions with those of the senior then I would address that by talking with your senior and explaining that the team lead gave you these instructions, and allow the senior to sort out the problem.

The senior position is one of increased responsibility and actions. If you work against your senior you are not likely to get as good of a review as you would if you work with your senior. No matter where you go you are going to have a senior, manger, or director that is going to give you instructions you do not agree with. Learn to deal with them now until finally you reach a position where you are the one responsible. Then you will appreciate those people who can work with their seniors, as it will make your life easier at the top.


Does she has such right because she is senior and I am junior?

Some places she does, some places she doesn't. Mostly, it doesn't matter if she has the right, all people have the option of bossing others around or organizing some chaos so stuff gets done (depending on your perspective).

In general, you should shift your perspective. Not all bossy people are out to get you, and not all orders are wrong. As the person with less experience, assume that those with more will make better decisions than you (until proven wrong by that person).

You say you have a lead over both her and you? Talk with them. Bring up the scenario and see what they think. Maybe they say they are grooming the senior with more leadership, and your feedback can help them rein her in. Maybe they didn't know and do corrective action. Maybe they tell you to listen and do your job...

Random people on the internet don't know.

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    The important thing here is to talk to your actual line manager and find out what he/she is expecting. Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 4:21
  • "Random people on the internet don't know." - exactly. Talk to HR, talk to your real supervisor. Get some clarity on the actual roles and responsibilities.
    – Bob Cross
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 13:34

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