Mergers and acquisitions. It seems that we’re always hearing about two companies joining forces in an effort to cut costs, gain market share, access to talented employees, or acquire new technology. As a result, inevitable lay-offs occur as there are always redundancies when companies combine. You can drive yourself crazy wondering if you’ll be part of the first wave, second wave or spared. And even if you are spared, the “new” culture may not suit you. Here are a few tips to help keep you sane, grounded and prepared for what may happen in the months ahead:
- Don’t hit the panic button just yet. Once acquisitions have been announced, it may take a couple of months for management to determine where there are redundancies in the organization so you likely have some time to prepare for a potential new job search. In addition, you may find that the new organization allows for opportunities internally that didn’t exist before the acquisition.
- Reach out to your network and do a little homework. Assess what’s out there, which companies are growing, new technologies and markets as well as organization changes. Spend a couple of hours per week researching technologies that will be part of the new economy.
- Update your resume. Confidentially get the word out but don’t post your resume online. Work with your network and professional organization and let them know you’re considering a change. Posting your resume online allows it to be visible to hiring mangers as well as your current company so hold off on posting. Additionally, submitting your resume online often ends up in the “black hole” of resumes and does not end up in the right hands and makes it difficult for a recruiter to represent you in the future for that particular company.
- Contact a recruiter. Reach out to your recruiter and meet for coffee or lunch. If you don’t have one then ask someone in your network with whom they’ve worked. Ask them what they’re seeing in the market and discuss your candidacy. A recruiter who has their pulse on the job market and a strong network can be invaluable. It may take a couple of months from the first interview to land a new job (especially during quarter-end, year-end and summer/holidays) so be patient. Recruiters can offer you sound career advice, utilize their network and share market information with you. Additionally, a good recruiter will keep the process moving along with the company as well as address concerns you may have along the way.
- Consider consulting or temp-to-hire. Consulting allows you the opportunity to look for a direct hire role while you’re consulting, keeping your skills fresh and earning a marketable pay rate. In addition, many search firms now offer their consultants the option to elect medical benefits at rates lower than COBRA. For example, our firm offers medical and dental benefits as well as 401K, while you consult for us.
- You are likely in high demand. The job market has a very low supply of qualified candidates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate for March 2016 was 5%. In the Bay Area, 3.8% for San Francisco and 3.9% for San Jose.
- Keep calm. Easier said than done, but keep pushing forward with your current role and be aware of what’s happening in your organization so you can be prepared. Looking for a new job is challenging, but utilizing your network and a solid recruiting partner, can make the process much less stressful.