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How to Survive a Company Merger

Tags:  Job stress, Mergers

The company you work for merges with another and suddenly you aren't sure if you'll have a job in the morning. Unfortunately, job losses seem to go hand-in-hand with mergers and acquisitions. But it doesn't mean you have to be on the short list.

Though ambiguity can wreak havoc on your emotional well being, you can survive a company merger. It's all about your focus and not expecting your boss to save you. She'll be too busy focusing on not losing her job herself.

Instead stay positive, stay visible and most of all remain flexible. If you want to avoid having to pound the pavement looking for a new position, follow these Guideposts:

1. Be Positive: Don't Give Anyone In The New Company Reason To Let You Go

The only place grumpy belongs is with the seven dwarfs. No one wants to work around someone who moans and groans or is in a constant state of panic.

The best thing you can do to give yourself a shot at holding on to your job is to not do anything that would give the new company a reason to let you go. That means you should show up on time with a smile on your face and do the job they are paying you to do.

2. Be Visible: Don't Hide In Your Cube

A lot of people might think the old adage, ""out of sight, out of mind,"" is a good reason to keep a low profile, but they would be wrong. While you don't want to be remembered for some unforgivable error in judgment or a major workplace blunder, you do want to make a connection. If you have ever lived on a farm you know how difficult it is to eat the animals you've named.

This is when you should get out of your cubicle or office, stop telecommuting, and be sure to get some face time with those that are in a decision-making position. Make sure they know what your interests are and what you are capable of doing.

3. Learn About New Business: Don't Resist. Consider Transfer Opportunities.

Now is the time to embrace change because it is happening all around you. Think of this as Star Trek and they are the Borg. You need to allow yourself to be assimilated into their culture and way of doing business. Otherwise you'll be like a salmon fighting an upstream battle.

Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut, unless someone from the new company needs your assistance. That's when you should take the opportunity to ask as many questions as you can to learn all about their business.


4. Keep Learning About The Company, The Culture And Your Resale Value Inside Or Outside The Company

While you're learning everything you can about the company, their culture, their vision and values, be sure to figure out what you have to offer in return.

First, because it will be important when it comes time to consider what opportunities this new venture has to offer. Second, because you'll also want to consider your options on the outside in case you ultimately decide it's better to move on. Yes, just because you aren't a victim of the lay off, doesn't mean you might not voluntarily decide it's time to find a new job.

Whatever the ultimate outcome, know that you can influence the choices the company makes by making yourself a standout candidate.

For more information on this topic, see the companion Skills in Action video!


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