Expert Interview Series
Managing Editor, www.GoodCall.com
Arthur Murray is the managing editor of GoodCall with nearly 30 years of newspaper and magazine experience. A native of Virginia, Arthur attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a bachelor's in journalism. We recently chatted with Arthur about what young adults can expect from their career search and their first full-time job.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What was the impetus behind GoodCall?
The idea was to create a website that could provide data-based advice to students and parents about college – including scholarships, careers, student loan debt, and other issues.
Based on the data and research that you've seen, what are some of the biggest myths about conventional job search strategies and/or employment opportunities?
The biggest job search myth (and I've personally experienced this) is that you tailor your search to your resume. Instead, you should tailor your resume to your search.
Finish this sentence: "When young adults begin looking for internships, one of the biggest mistakes they tend to make is…"
…waiting too late to start their search. Lay the foundation for your internship by talking early to the career office at your university. Fall is not too soon to begin the search for an internship the following summer.
Don't get too comfortable in one role. Sometimes you have to move on to move up.
Since you talk about "going the extra mile" when it comes to job interviews, could you tell us what you mean by that?
"Going the extra mile" in an interview means being prepared not only to talk about yourself, but also about the prospective employer. Know what the company does and how you could fit in the role you're seeking. It doesn't matter if your perception is wrong; just showing that you've thought ahead and realizing that it isn't just about you will create a great impression.
When it comes to benefits packages, what do newly-employed college graduates tend to misunderstand?
I think compensation is one thing they misunderstand. It isn't just about your salary, it's about the potential for bonuses, time off, insurance, discounts at client businesses, and more. Young people tend to think themselves "invulnerable" and ignore company-paid insurance, but they should understand how this fits in. Finally, company 401(k) matches are really important to beginning a retirement strategy.
Give us a few suggestions on how a person can minimize the hassle and stress associated with moving to a new city for a new job.
Be selective. Don't move more than you need, and try to minimize the amount of time you'll be a prisoner to that first lease. It's very difficult to find the "right" place when you don't know a city, so pick an acceptable place with a short lease and find your dream situation later. This also gives you flexibility on the off chance that the job isn't what you expected.
Once they land their first full-time job, what should new college graduates do regarding their student loans?
Check out refinancing from the start. Chopping just a little off the interest rate can result in big savings over the life of the repayment term. One other thing: when you're interviewing for a job, find out which of your prospective employers will help with student loan repayments. It is becoming a popular benefit.
What challenges will today's new entrants into the workforce have to face over the next five to ten years?
Changes in technology can present opportunities for (and obstacles to) advancement. It's up to you to stay current on the tech that's critical to your company's performance, even if you don't use it directly.
Finally, I would urge new entrants to the workforce to follow this advice: don't get too comfortable in one role. Sometimes you have to move on to move up; don't be afraid to seek challenges at your current employer and at other companies.
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