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What to do when your company is acquired

Two years ago, the small, 30-employee company I was working for was acquired by a large corporation with over 1,000 employees. When the acquisition was announced, I didn’t know what to expect. If your company was recently acquired, you are probably feeling similarly unsettled. Maybe you’re worried about losing your job, changing roles, and adjusting to a new corporate culture. You might even be asking yourself, should I stay or should I go? Here’s what to do when your company is acquired.

What to do when your company is acquired

Research your new company

First up, go straight to Google to research your new employer. Sift through their company website, and check out indeed and Glassdoor for employee reviews. Do the company’s values align with yours? What are current employees saying about working there? Knowing what the company is all about will help you determine whether or not you see a future with them.

When my company was acquired, I connected with a college friend on LinkedIn who happened to work at my new company. I messaged her to see how she liked it, and felt put at ease by what she told me about my new employer.

Stay open minded

An acquisition means change, and you’ll have to stay open minded to adjust. All change isn’t bad! Your new company might be stricter about filling out a timecard, but more relaxed with their dress code. Be open to how your new company might do things differently (or even better), than your previous company. You might even be able to share a few ideas from your former company that will improve your new company as well.

Think about a fresh start

If you’ve already been thinking about changing jobs, this acquisition might be the perfect time to jump ship. You’ll likely go through onboarding and training with your new company, and learn a whole new way of doing your job. If you’re already looking for a new opportunity, you might not want to put yourself through that only to leave shortly after.

On the other hand, if you were looking for a fresh beginning, this acquisition may give you what you’re looking for without having to start anew! You can feel like you’ve started somewhere entirely new without even having to update your resume.

Look out for career growth

It’s common for employees to leave during an acquisition. You’ll definitely lose coworkers who decide to take their talents elsewhere. While losing colleagues is a bummer, it can also open up opportunities for you to climb the career ladder. I’ve actually been promoted 3 times since my company was acquired; the first time was a promotion to match my previous role and salary to those at my new company, and the second was to fill the role of a coworker who left during the acquisition. Acquisitions often provide unexpected opportunities for career growth.

Look at the facts

You might be worried that your job is about to become redundant. But it’s generally not standard practice for companies to lay off recently acquired employees. When a company purchases another company, they’re also purchasing the talent. They want your expertise! Even if the new company does end up letting you go somewhere down the line, you’ll at least reap unemployment benefits while you look for a new job! 

Don’t rush

Acquisitions take time. Your acquisition will likely have a long transition process. This will give you plenty of time to learn about what life will be like at your new company. Don’t feel rushed to make a decision about staying or leaving the second the acquisition is announced! There’s no harm in riding out the transition process for a while to determine if your new company is a good fit.

The truth is, there are a lot of unknowns during an acquisition that will take time for you to navigate. There’s no way to know what the future with your new company will bring. But following these steps will help you know what to do when your company is acquired.

Have you been through an acquisition? Tell me about your experience!


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