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Donna Mcdonough

Networking Success Story - Donna Mcdonough - New England Career Services

I have always been a strong advocate of networking.  I truly believe it is the backbone of my business!  It is so much easier to get your foot in the door if you have a personal contact within a company.  In today's busy workplace, people's time is limited.  Although I do cold calling, it has always been more productive for me when I can contact a company and refer to a networking contact to help reach the person I want to connect with.  I believe people feel more comfortable when there is a mutual contact.

Although I have been in the job placement industry for several years, I worked in direct sales for 18 years.  I was one of the top sales people in New England. I contributed my success to networking.  I would always ask for referrals and these referrals ultimately brought me more business.  One must realize that "no" does not always mean "no forever". I learned to keep the door open, and would always ask permission if I could follow up again in a few months.  The majority of the time, people welcomed a second phone call. 

Patience is a key factor in networking.  It takes time to build relationships.  I do not feel comfortable giving referrals to people until I get to know and trust them.  If one walks into a networking meeting and expects "instant referrals", they are setting themselves up for disappointment.  I facilitate a networking group called Business Supporting Business out of Nashua.  We pride ourselves on relationship building time the referrals will come and they do come!

As a career counselor with New England Career Services LLC, it is so important for me to be able to reach out to a networking contact when I need help.  Not only do I assist people finding  employment, I also work with individuals who are trying to determine a new career path.  Informational interviews are a big part of my business.  Being able to sit down with someone and learn about what they do, what a typical day is like in their business, what training/education is necessary and what are the pros and cons of their industry have helped many of my clients make a more informed choice when deciding on a career path.

Friends of Kevin has been a great resource for me.  I know I can call Kevin and feel confident he can come up with a referral for me whenever I need assistance. In today's world, unfortunately it is "who you know versus what you know" that can help people find a job.  For anyone in the job market, network, network, network every day!  Let everyone know you are looking for work.  Your bank teller, you hairdresser, your financial doesn't matter...just letting people know you are seeking a job can do wonders. 


It is important to look at networking as a partnership.  When I approach a networking event, I always walk in to a group thinking "how can I help someone?  According to Dale Carnegie, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."