On August 13, Matt Perman began as the director of Career Development at King’s. Perman is the author of the best-selling book What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done, and How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free From Barriers to Your Productivity. He is a popular speaker on leadership, productivity, and theology from a gospel-centered perspective and his work has been featured in Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, and Desiring God.
Perman says, “I want to see businesses and cultural institutions in the city more and more saying ‘we want to hire more King’s graduates’ because of their excellence and generosity. That is a key part of being a principle-centered leader in the marketplace and all sectors of society.”
Perman succeeds Lucinda Sweazey (BUS ’15), who is transitioning out of her role at King’s to pursue opportunities in the business world. Sweazey’s leadership helped draw over 80 percent of the student body to one-on-one coaching meetings with the Office of Career Development. Her work reviewing resumes and coordinating workshops, marketplace visits, and networking opportunities resulted in 98 percent of the class of 2017 being employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.
“We have been blessed to have Lucinda spearheading these accomplishments,” says Eric Bennett, vice president for Student Development. “Matt is a perfect fit as the new director of Career Development at King’s. It was evident when I first met Matt that he wants to help people do work that changes the world. His understanding that societal transformation is never an end in itself will help our students grapple with their faith and discern how God’s purpose aligns with their work. I’m genuinely excited about Matt’s leadership for this next season of Career Development.”
In 2015 Perman co-founded the organization, What’s Best Next, to empower Christians to be productive in all areas of life, and to do so in a way that is God-centered and gospel-driven. Prior to that he served for 13 years at Desiring God, leading the web department, serving as director of strategy, and helping build the ministry for greater influence. He also served as director of marketing at Made to Flourish, an organization dedicated to equipping pastors to connect faith and work.
Perman’s work with churches, as well as the ideas in his book What’s Best Next, have centered around melding the practical and theological aspects of vocation. “A lot of Christian teaching on vocation focuses just on the theological side,” Perman says. “That is absolutely central, but that is only half of the story. We need to know how that theology informs our practice. Unfortunately, I’ve found that there is little Christian instruction on the practical side of how to actually go about our work productivity and navigate our careers with effectiveness. Without this, we might have great motivation and purpose, but we will lack the practical skills to actually shape and influence the culture.”
Perman received his undergrad in philosophy with a minor in business from the University of Northern Iowa, studied under John Piper at The Bethlehem Institute, and received his M.Div. in biblical and theological studies from Southern Seminary. Perman invites students to come to the Office of Career Development for coaching and resume assistance by emailing email@example.com. More information about the College’s approach to career development is available on the King’s website.
Perman says, “It is gospel-driven work that changes the world. What does it mean to do our work in a gospel-driven way? It doesn’t mean being the pushy guy who tries to insert Jesus into every conversation. It means doing our work with excellence and for the good of others, and as an offering to God.”