I have personally been through several mergers/acquisitions and I have a few things which I have learned which I am hoping might help you. I have grouped these items into two categories: Control and Out of Control. It is very important to spend significant effort in the items that you can control so that you don’t worry about those that you cannot control. I believe most people tend to focus on those items that is outside their control, especially those who are going through this process for the very first time. I hope the items below will help you have a positive experience!
In Your Control
- Attitude: It is very important to have an overall positive attitude regarding the change. If you have a positive attitude others around you will also tend to do the same.
- Patience: There will be a lot of unknowns and there will probably be a lot of changes. You need to be patient and work through the changes. It will usually take 18 to 24 months for things to return to a normal state.
- Network: This is one item that you should be constantly growing and if you have been great, however if you don’t have a LinkedIn account go ahead and get one setup and begin to grow your network. If there are local groups that meet, go ahead and get plugged into those.
- Skills: It is important to keep your skills up to date. If you would like to learn something new either get a book or take a course. If there are specific certifications that you have been putting off, go ahead and get those completed.
- Education: Education in my opinion is still very important. I have seen and heard of countless stories where candidates didn’t get the position because they did not have the right degree.
- Resume: Your resume should always been current, at least through your last position. It is a good idea to go ahead and get that updated. It will save you a lot of valuable time.
- Internal Opportunities: With the new company there will probably be some new opportunities that you might want to consider. If there are do your homework and get in front of those who are making decisions.
Out of Your Control
- Boss: In many situations, you might work for someone new. This tends to be frustrating because you are going to have to prove yourself over again. Have a positive attitude and do your very best to wow your new boss with your capabilities.
- RIF: There will be some redundant positions which will result in people getting let go. You should be prepare for this as much as you can. I have been let go. It is painful and it will be a shock to you personally. You will tend to doubt your ability and you will wonder “why me”. If it happens to you, it is a good idea to take a few days to process what happened and talk to people about how you feel. I know that is pretty hard. Once you have had a few days, go ahead and start reaching out to your network and begin the process of finding your new opportunity.
I hope this list will help you. Going through mergers/acquisitions is hard and it requires patience and flexibility. I wish you the best through this transition period.