There’s nothing employees want to hear less than that their company is about to go through a merger or an acquisition. But in the tech sector especially, the shifting tides of the marketplace mean that these changes are a reality many people must face. While it’s tempting to bury your head in the sand until the rocky times are over, that’s simply not an option.
You want to swim — not sink — no matter what happens to your current job, and the key is to take action now and get prepared.
Let’s face the music: Mergers and acquisitions happen all the time. Perhaps your competitor wants to control the market share and snatches up your company without a second thought. Or maybe your company is already a market leader in a sector your competitor wants to break into. Whatever the situation, jobs are at risk during the transition, and that goes for the other company’s employees, too.
Finding out that change is afoot can come as a shock to employees and create an exceptionally stressful, tense environment. After all, mergers and acquisitions put your livelihood at risk. It’s no wonder that work atmospheres change instantly as soon as the news spreads.
The important thing to remember is that nothing’s set in stone until the leadership makes personnel decisions; it’s not a guaranteed death sentence to your job.
Don’t let your stress get the better of you, and seize this opportunity to build yourself a “lifeboat” to get you to your next job, if necessary.
While ideally, we’d all be perfectly prepared to get a great new job at the drop of a hat, that’s not the case for many people. Whether or not your business is going through a merger or acquisition right now, it’s smart to follow the steps below so you’ll never be caught off guard.
How to Survive a Merger or Acquisition
Get your finances in shape.
Planning a big purchase? Now’s the time to put that on hold. Eliminate any unnecessary spending and come up with a plan so you’ll be in good financial shape for the time it takes you to find a new job — just in case.
Refresh your resume.
It’s a great idea to always be updating your resume, but if you haven’t, start right now. You want to be ready to send it out to potential employers at the drop of a hat, especially if others in your same role will be on the job market at the same time as you.
Reach out to contacts.
Rekindle valuable relationships and reach out to new contacts that will strengthen your network. The sooner you do this, the better position you’ll be in if you need to let them know you’re looking for a new job.
Break out your hiring paperwork and see if you have any clauses written into it about whether your role can be laid off, severance pay, or non-compete agreements. Human resources mangers also often have a wealth of resources to help you find your next job, if necessary.
Keep your morale and work ethic high.
Show your superiors that you can take changes in stride by resisting the gossip and negativity that inevitably occur during mergers and acquisitions. You’ll make a great impression on those around you, which is a valuable edge to have during this transitional time.
Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (June 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You?