Seems like daily we see more announcements regarding companies merging. This often creates significant uncertainty for employees that lasts for months as the wheels of the justice system determine if the merger will be allowed.
Here are 5 tips to survive your company merger:
1. Focus on What You Can Control
There is so much during this time you can’t control. You can’t control if the merger will go through, or what happens to the companies if it doesn’t. If you are at the executive level, you may be able to influence the new organizational structure, or you may not be able to. You can control your attitude, your effort, and taking care of your health. Do stress-reducing activities, or whatever works for you.
2. Do Your Job
Don’t let all the distractions damage your work performance. There will be lots of rumors and its okay to pay attention, however, don’t let it consume you. Continue to deliver to meet or exceed the expectations of your job. If you have any interest or desire to stay in the merged company, the best thing you can do is to do great work during this time.
3. Update Your Financial Plan (or build one if you don’t have one)
Understand what the merger means for you from a financial standpoint. If you participate in equity plans, understand what you will receive from the merger agreement. This may provide an incentive to remain and continue to do a good job, at least for a specified time period. Update your financial plan to know how much income you need to earn to maintain progress on your goals. You want to understand your personal situation when the time comes for job or severance offers.
4. Understand Your Possibilities
While not spending too much time in the rumor mill, do pay attention enough to know how your department is positioned for the merger. It could be that your department is one that is weak or non-existent in the other company. Or it could be a complete duplicate. Or you could be in a department that is the growth engine in the industry. Know the lay of the land to assess how likely you are to have a job when the dust settles. For those of you ready to move on, you also want to know how likely you are to be in line for a severance package.
Consider what you may do if you are no longer employed by the combined company. Sometimes, a merger provides the impetus for you to move to a new phase. Will you change industries? Change careers? How will you pay for any education you may need to make these changes? This can be both exciting and frightening. Include various scenarios in your financial planning.
5. Build Your Network
This may be the hardest tip to undertake. It takes a lot of time to check in with current and former colleagues, and perhaps to get out of your current network to meet new people. At a minimum, schedule 2 breakfasts or lunches with folks either at your current company, vendors, or people you know from your personal life – from kids’ sports, your sports, church/synagogue, civic activities. You may need to tap into these folks later for help. At this point, you are not asking for help but merely re-connecting and seeing how you can help them. Helping others is a great way to take the focus away from our own misery and uncertainty at this time.
Merger announcements create much ambiguity and concern but hopefully, these tips will help you to manage your emotions and fears through this difficult time.
For more information about we can help you with career planning and transitions, check out our Career Planning page on our website.
Joni Lindquist, MBA, CFP®, is a Principal at Aspyre Wealth Partners, specializing in Financial Planning and Executive/Career Coaching. For help with your specific situation contact Joni Lindquist at jlindquist@AspyreWealth.com, (913) 345-1881 or visit our website at AspyreWealth.com. We help successful people Master What’s Next® – whatever phase of life they are in.
Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash