Colleague VS Peer- Differences between them

Colleague VS Peer

If you are a college student, you may have come across these terms: colleagues and peers, a lot. If you are younger, then you must have heard your elders say these terms a lot. For example, today is my colleague’s birthday, my colleague’s daughter is going to be graduate, my colleague’s son is getting married or something like this, my colleague is so jealous of me, my colleague is very lazy, my colleague is not good at that. Today’s topic- Colleague VS Peer.

In this article, we will help you learn the exact meaning of these terms and also the difference between them. Because a lot of us are unaware of the fact that there is a huge difference between them. Yes, even some working people too, are still unaware of it and consider them both the same.

What do you mean by the word Peer?

“Peer is a group of people with whom one has a mutual bond of affection.”

So, this was the basic meaning of peer group. They have something in common that you can relate to. For example, the group of people of your age. Let us take another example of a peer group. In a retail store, there are different work positions like cashier, sales floor, etc. The people working in the same sector (for example, cashiers) can be called a peer group.

What do you mean by the word Colleague?

“It is a person with whom one works in a profession and business.”

Let us take an example of a software company. In a company, people are working in different sectors like networking, developer, and recruiter. So, the people working in different sectors are colleagues of each other. 

The biggest mistake you make by treating your Colleagues as your friends

Now, this is a concept, you have to get it and if you don’t get it, you will fail before starting.

At work, you have colleagues. You do not call them friends because friends do not exist when you go to work. You both are at that particular workplace for the same reason. There you both have something to do, you have some responsibilities. And if you forget the word “colleague” that person becomes your friend. And then you no longer have that focus, you no longer do the things you are supposed to be doing. This will affect your work a lot more than you imagine.

So, always remember that there is a very thin line between colleagues and peers. And once it gets blurred, which is very easy to get, your work will be affected.

The same goes for school. When you are in an academic institution and you are supposed to be learning, what do friends have to do with it? Remember, when you have some goal or purpose of working or even studying, your focus can get easily blurred by your friends. In other words, your future will be determined based on your friendship.

We are not saying to never make friends, but you must remember what is best for you and how not to lose your goal. According to that, choose friends. We have seen many events where friendship is not helping people to succeed. For example, a student said, I cannot speak in English in front of my friends. Isn’t this ridiculous? When friends are supposed to help you improve, isn’t it illogical to be friends with someone with whom you are afraid to even speak in English?

Is a Colleague or a Peer your competition?

In every company, the managers select one candidate for the promotion to move up the organization chart. So, your competition for the upper position in your sector will be with a peer and not with your colleague. Because colleagues are completely from different work sectors. So, your work performance will be compared to your peers to select the right candidate. Hence, peers and not colleagues are your real competitors.

Can a Colleague be a Peer?

No, most probably a colleague can never be a peer. Yes, we understand that your colleague can have a similar bond of affection with you but a colleague can never resemble a peer. Because there is always some aspect that will set you apart, that is skill set. You cannot ask your colleague to cover for you in case of an emergency. Here, only your teammate or peer can help you with anything about your work. And this is the reason why you must maintain good relations with your peers.

How to treat your Colleagues and Peers at work

We must understand how to treat our colleagues. We work an eight hours shift daily which means we spend most of our time with our work colleagues. So, we must maintain the relationship with them in a very friendly yet professional way.

However, you must be aware of the fact that there is a lot of drama and office conflict going on. And once you get into that it will ruin your relationship with not only your colleagues and peers but also the work you do. 

Below are some tips for you to handle such situations better! So, next time your colleagues are pushing you back, try following these tips.

1. Be a superstar at the work you do. This will help you spend more time working on yourself and not getting into any kind of drama with others. You do not want to be around those drama-filled coworkers, stay away from them.

2. Try not to be unnecessarily rude with your colleagues. Always talk to them nicely, don’t ruin their day by acting uninterested while talking.

3. Try to cooperate with your colleagues. You must make small conversations with your colleagues now and then. For example, wishing them good morning every day, asking them if they had lunch and things like that. Do not be abandoned by just coming to work and leaving. Your cooperation with your colleagues might help you with your promotion or anything else.

4. Help others if you can. Now, if one of your colleagues is really in need of your help, do not turn your back. I understand that it is not your place to work for them but sometimes they too can help you in your emergency or something. So, just go through the work, see if you can do it if you can, and have some time, then go for it. But remember, your work is the main priority.


It is of great importance to know the exact meaning of the terms; colleague and peer. Also, you must know the difference between them. Now, some of you might be in a confusion, whether the boss is your colleague or not. Let us break it to you because the boss does not share the work you do, he/she is never your colleague even working in the same company.

This knowledge about the differentiation in the terms can be asked anywhere to check your knowledge. However, many of us are too confident to consider these terms; colleague and peer, same and never really think about the difference while using.

Thanks for reading, have a good day!

Colleague VS Peer- Differences between them

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