Why You Should be Horizontally Networking With Your Peers

You never know what you can gain from the person next to you.

The word “connections” is often loaded with thoughts of elevator pitches, introductions at dinner parties, and endless hours of LinkedIn scrolling. We search throughout the ways of the business world, spinning our own networking webs in hopes of genuine relationships and beneficial opportunities. With tunnel vision set in on climbing to the top–we can mistakenly block out the world around us. Yet, there is purpose and power in making connections with people who are in the same position or level as you. 

Everyone needs a solid support system

Genuine horizontal networking entails surrounding yourself with others that can make room within themselves to support you. It’s always a great feeling to have someone in your field to share certain accomplishments with. It can also be a huge help to have others who you can relate to when things aren’t as fortunate; they may know exactly what to say or do because they’ve been in your heels before. You can also feel comfortable sharing said downfalls with your career peers before anyone else. Building bridges with those around you can establish a solid foundation to stand on.

Having someone looking out for you is important 

Having someone alongside you to sharpen you out throughout your career can be one of the most important keys to success. Critiquing always feels better coming from a coworker, rather than your boss. Yet, having that sharpening tool isn’t just useful for critique. With great people in your side, great opportunities can be harvested. They can always keep an eye out for you, while also keeping an eye out for themselves. Some relationships don’t even have to be beneficial–having someone in your corner that respects you and acknowledges your efforts can be the best feeling, and sometimes all we need. 

Keeping a leveled head

While it’s always great to surround yourself around those who motivate you to strive higher, it’s healthy to establish balance within your space. We must remember to never get besides ourselves in our path to success and to make bonds with those that you can both relate and look up to. Attitude always determines Altitude–meaning the way we treat others can have an effect on our success. When we start to reach the threshold of our goals, we can not forget about the people surrounding us and remember the ones above us. The preface of horizontal networking is treating the next person with as much respect and importance as we do our vertical connections. The magic in networking is the genuine connections you gain from different individuals–the opportunities are just a bonus. So, the next time your coworkers ask you to join them for drinks, or a lunch invite makes it way to you–accept it. You might gain a connection that you’ll never want to cut loose. 

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