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BLUF: The company I work for is being acquired by another company (large enough companies to make the WSJ front page regularly).  I’m trying to decide how “actively” I pursue other job opportunities.
 
Background: I’m in Information Technology. Rumors and speculation happen every day, but no one really knows what’s going to happen.  We get a very nice salary continuance if we stay on until (and if) we’re told to go.  I’ve had good performance, recognition and promotions over my several years. The only loyalty I feel at my present job is about doing the best job I can, living up to my commitments, and supporting my colleagues. 
 
My resume is up-to-date (MT format!).  I have relationships with a few recruiters.  My network is not bad and improving…and everyone at my company has been working on building their networks since the acquisition announcement!  
 
I understand no one can make a decision for me; I’m looking for input in what to take into consideration.  I’d like to apply for posted positions and even start leveraging my network, but I believe that once I start, the “word” will get out that I want to leave.
 
Am I just being a ninny, a worrywart, and a High-C (Aim…Aim…Aim…)? What else should I consider when choosing to be more active in pursuing other job “options”?
 
-Jazz

jhack's picture

Have you listened to the casts on managing during M&A?  

http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/08/managing-during-mergers-and-acquistions-part-1-of-2

I can vouch for the quality of the advice there, from personal experience. 

And don't worry about the search.  Management knows people look around during this time.  They're evaluating people, and you're evaluating situations.  If they think you'll be 100% loyal and would hold it against you if you looked around, you definitely should be looking.  

John Hack

EricGagnon's picture

EDITED by me.

Mark's picture

We have a cast about this due out sometime in the next couple of months.

Yes, you can search, and John's right that you can expect a little more leeway because people understand.  But I generally recommend to not take advantage of the more relaxed standards, and keep your search private.  You get to ask more questions, but that doesn't mean sharing more about what YOU are doing.

Think of it as strengthening (and/or tapping the value of) BOTH your internal and external networks.  The internal network will give you information that will help you assess the future and future quality of your present spot, which will inform your external search.

One benefit of public companies is the very press you mention.  Lots of people will tell you that internal rumors happen faster than news articles, but that's often not so.  Start a personalized RSS feed with mentions of both firms, and start scheduling time for externally supplied news (maybe later than rumors in SOME cases, but higher probability of truth overall).

Keep us posted!

Mark

AManagerTool's picture

I have high hopes of making it through the merger but since I can't guarantee it and I'm a bit more risk adverse these days, I'm looking. 

Outwardly, I am positive, helpful and work hard to keep my team achieving what needs to get done while helping the conquering army invade because those are my orders.  Inwardly, I am tense, moody and am having problems keeping me and my team motivated.  I don't sleep much anymore and I have a baby (my first) on the way.  I am angry at all the donkeys that I tried to get help from for years, rushing forward with solutions for my problems after the announcement of the acquisition.  I am aggravated that groups of people are taking credit for work that I had to do...because they had better things to do.  I am scared that people will not recognize my teams and my contributions to the organization because it's small and doesn't fit the standard ineffective mold.  We worked hard for years, built something great and it might get torn apart because it doesn't fit on a new org chart.

Basically, I want to say that I am human.  This hurts and I'm scared. 

Rather than regurgitate MT doctrine to you (You can look that up yourself), I'll take the tack of telling you that you are not alone and that you are justified in looking around.  I would listen to the advice you are getting but feel what you are feeling, share it with your partner and do what you can to mitigate risk....that's all you can do.

Good luck

Mark's picture

Tool-

Probably a good time to re-read "If"... it's on my desk again because I have to read it to my son's 7th Grade English class tomorrow morning:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

asteriskrntt1's picture

I don't care if you are a high C, D or whatever combination.  Look at the realities of your situation.  If your companies are on the front page of the WSJ, read the WSJ and look at the current economy. 

How about 2 million people in the US laid off since Jan 1?  How about in China, they have laid off (with virtually no benefit packages) the equivalent of the entire population of California - roughly 35 million people.  You think any of them did not have a network they were building and relationships with executives and recruiters?  Stay in that High C zone and you can aim aim aim yourself into a deep situation you have zero control over.

Very few people find jobs instantly.  That generous severance doesn't last forever, especially in this economy.  Others hire you when THEY need you, not when you decide you need to be hired. 

Start your search yesterday.  You can always turn down a job.  And not to be a blow to your ego - I am guessing if word gets out you are looking, it won't be looked at with the same scrutiny as Bill Gates stepping down or Jeffery Immelt considering his options. 

None of this precludes keeping a positive outlook.  Absolutely better to be positive.  Do whatever you can to be positive.  In my humble opinion it is better to vent on here anonymously than to people who might get your rumour mill going. 

 

 

 

 

tlhausmann's picture

Tool,

Career management means being prepared for what comes next.

What you are feeling is normal. Your preparations make you ready for either outcome.

PM me anytime. I'm in IT and may be able to help.

AManagerTool's picture

I was having a bad day.  I'm glad sometimes that I have an office with a door. 

It's good to have an outlet and support.

Thanks again.

Jazzman's picture

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and encouragement. In talking it over with my wife, I’ll probably move forward cautiously by talking to some of my more trusted friends about opportunities. Also, I do plan to keep even closer tabs on my in industry and my professional specialty.

As they’re announcing senior leaders, they’ll probably start drilling down into the organizational structure. I expect I’ll need to adjust my strategy accordingly. Fortunately, I am in an organization now that is very free with acquisition information and the “analysis” of that info. Some of the other departments I work with aren’t so lucky…but I share when I can.
In the end whatever will be will be…I just hope as many of us as possible are in the best possible place to be…wherever that may be!
-Jazz

Jazzman's picture

Edited to delete duplicate post

Mark's picture

Tool-

No worries!  Everybody has them.