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Surviving a Company Merger

Mergers and acquisitions are becoming an increasingly vital aspect of today’s corporate culture. The big fish are slowly buying out the little fish in every industry, and your company may become a victim. You could lose a job or perhaps your promotion will be put on hold. Regardless of the results, your ultimate goal is to survive a company merger with your job — and your dignity — in tact, so use the following tips to keep your job when your company is acquired by another company.

Go to the Source

Rumors might abound about a potential company merger, but don’t believe the gossip mill. Instead, go directly to the source — your boss — and ask if there’s anything you need to know. Express a desire to make the transition as seamless as possible and you’ll have a better chance of surviving the company merger, if one exists at all. If you suspect that your boss is holding out on you, go one step up to the next animal on the food chain until you get answers you can believe.

Work with Management

During a company merger, management lines can blur and job descriptions become redundant. For example, if you’re a client relations specialist and the corporation that is acquiring your company already has one, your job could become unnecessary. Do whatever you can to work with all management personnel to find a place for you in your new digs. Don’t be opposed to switching departments or taking on new roles; it’s all about rolling with the punches.

Prepare Your Resume

Even though your current employer probably has your resume on file, go ahead and update it so that you can submit it to the head honchos of the new corporation. You’ll want to show off your most valuable skills and talents while down-playing any negative factors. The goal here is to survive a company merger, which means giving the new company every reason to want you on their team.

Do Your Research

As soon as you hear about an impending company merger, get on the Internet and research the new corporation. Find out about their CEO, their CFO, their management pyramid, their company culture and anything else that might help you to “fit in” once the merger takes place. That way, you’ll be armed and ready when your position within the company is called into question.

Speak with HR

In some cases, human resources will have lots of information; in others, they’ll be just as in the dark as you are. Try your luck, however, because you’ll want to be as prepared as possible if you’re to survive a company merger. Ask them what you should expect regarding loss of jobs and job description changes, particularly in your department. Be as direct as possible because you want solid, accurate information.

Prepare to Relocate

Oftentimes, company mergers and acquisitions require that employees relocate to a different city or state — and sometimes even another country! Talk to your family about the potential for relocation and find out how they feel about it. Know what you’ll say if you are asked to relocate, and what you’ll request in return. If you’re a valuable member of the company, you might be able to negotiate a higher salary or better benefits. Just don’t try to negotiate until you understand the scope of the playing field.

Update Your Industry Knowledge

If you’ve been with the same company for the last fifteen years, you’re probably behind on changes and new trends in your industry or in your specific job. Get on the Internet and find out what the current trends are and start searching for ways to continue your education. Company mergers often mean trimming the fat, so make sure you’re a valuable piece of muscle and bone.

Keep a Positive Attitude

If surviving your company merger means avoiding a lay-off, you need to be as positive and forward-thinking as possible. Demonstrate your ability to transition into whatever your company is now becoming. If you’re negative, spiteful, difficult or explosive, you’ll be one of the first to go.

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