Chris Perry , MBA, is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, career search and personal branding expert, professional speaker, entrepreneur and brand consultant.
He is the founder of Career Rocketeer , the Career Search and Personal Branding Network, Launchpad, a Career Search Strategy Guide series, and multiple other services and networks, including MBA Highway.
Recognized as a thought leader on a variety of job search and personal branding topics, his experience and advice have been featured in interviews, print publications and such media outlets as The Wall Street Journal, ABCNews, CNNMoney, TheLadders, Monster.com and more.
He also speaks professionally on career search, personal branding, social media and marketing to universities, graduate programs, companies and other organizations and consult students, professionals and businesses on job searching, social media and branding. Some of his audiences have included College of William & Mary, University of Richmond, Rutgers University, Virginia Commonwealth University and many other universities, groups and organizations.
What are you working on right now?
Full-time, I work in brand management at Reckitt Benckiser, a global consumer packaged goods company, and free-time, I am working on building my brand community, strengthening my networks, and coordinating multiple events, book projects and speaking engagements.
3 trends that excite you?
1. Travel: Despite how many places you can go online, I am still excited to see that people still want to travel and see and learn about places in person. There is so much to explore out there, both locally and globally. I hope our innate curiosity to explore the greater world never changes.
2. SEO: The fast-paced growth of the internet and ever-accelerating importance of SEO. You MUST be present and visible online to make an impact and gain credibility. It doesn’t take what it used to for someone to become a recognized industry thought leader. If you come up first on Google, you stand heads above professionals whose more traditional credentials would otherwise put you to shame.
3. Events: The transition from in-person to online events is interesting both because online events do allow more people to engage at a time, but also because in-person events can create a deeper level of engagement for attendees and fewer in-person events overall means more opportunity for new in-person events to take root and gain visibility and longevity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by collaborating with others and leveraging each person’s unique strengths. While I am an idea generator by birth, I always use my ideas to catalyze others’ ideas which are sometimes better than my own, but more importantly are often ideas that they are now more motivated to make happen. You can’t move an idea forward if the people behind it aren’t its lead champions.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by people, but specifically three types of people (none of them are mutually exclusive).
1) Idea people who love thinking inside and outside the box.
2) Self-improving people who continuously strive to be their best and make the world better.
3) Genuine people who are confident in who they are and openly accept others.
What is one mistake you’ve made that our readers can learn from?
I generate tons of ideas, and sometimes, my excitement about all of them gets the best of me. I end up spreading myself too thin and then getting unfocused and upset with myself for not being able to manage all of them effectively. While I will likely never master it completely, I now try to get as much feedback on my ideas from others as possible so to filter out only the best ones on which I can then devote my time.
What is one book and one tool that help you bring ideas to life?
I really enjoyed reading “Eating the Big Fish” by Adam Morgan which describes how challenger brands can develop game-changing strategies to compete with industry leaders. Not only is it insanely insightful for brand managers, but also for career professionals looking to maintain their career agility at all levels throughout their professional life. I use so many tools and platforms to bring things to life, but if I had to choose one, I would have to be Gmail. While it may sound old school, I have been a part of more successful projects and ventures than imagined thanks to the investment I have made connecting with others and building my network via Gmail.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Don’t forget the power of relationships. The world is going digital, but all of us are still human. Relationship-building is what moves the needle in the end. Be active in pinging your network and initiating connections with new contacts. Personal connections with customers, partners and/or career stakeholders increase brand loyalty and open doors for new opportunities.
Who is the one person you’d love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Brent Peterson, Founder of InterviewAngel.com. He and I connected when I first started my ventures in the career search and personal branding space and I have ever since admired his work, his ideas, his desire to make positive social impact and his patience with and management of the full-time career vs. entrepreneurial venture struggle faced by every born-to-be entrepreneur.
How did you get involved in the career search and personal branding space?
My work on Career Rocketeer and beyond was inspired by my own job search and my work in career services. Having been in the job search trenches myself and having worked with students, I saw firsthand what strategies were working for job seekers and what weren’t. I saw how little job seekers seemed to know about the entire process and tools available, as well as the kinds of resources and guidance they needed and when they needed it to pursue opportunities successfully.
Also, as a marketer, I also saw the opportunity for improved education around marketing oneself in a job search, but more importantly branding oneself for a life-long career.
I am excited about the progress my partners and I have made thus far and look forward to a bright future of helping and educating job seekers and professionals.
What is your greatest passion?
I am seriously passionate about singing, and when I say, singing, I don’t just mean in the shower. I grew up in a family of musicians and singers and sing every day of my life. I was in an all-male acappella group in college and got the opportunity to of sing all over the country, at the White House and even for the Queen of England. Since my college days, I have survived only thanks to karaoke. I would love to start a professional acappella group to rival the sound of Rockapella and the cast of Glee. If you know any group who is looking for a powerful baritone with a Frankie Valli/Michael Jackson falsetto, send ‘em my way.
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