In 2021 the owner of the company I was working for asked me to come into his office. He told me that he was entertaining the idea of selling the company. My mind immediately started to race. I instantly had a million questions, “What is it like to be acquired?” “Will my position be secure with the new owners?” Will our name change?” I took a deep breath and tried to calm my mind. Over the next year I would repeat the exercise and stop to take some deep breaths. I learned that going through an acquisition can be a challenging and stressful experience. It is important to approach the situation with a calm and level-headed attitude, and to be proactive in ensuring that you are informed and prepared for the changes that are coming. Here are ten key points to consider if you find yourself working for a company that is being acquired:
- Document everything. The process of an acquisition can be complex and lengthy, and it is important to keep track of all relevant information and communications. Make sure to keep copies of any emails, documents, or other communications related to the acquisition, as these may be useful in the future if you have questions or need to refer back to something.
- Negotiate now, not after the sale. If you are concerned about your job security or other aspects of your employment, it is important to raise these issues with your employer as soon as possible. Do not wait until after the acquisition has been completed to try and negotiate changes to your employment terms, as it may be too late at that point.
- Ask questions. If you are unsure about anything related to the acquisition, do not be afraid to ask questions. It is important to be informed about what is happening and how it will impact your job and the company as a whole.
- Learn all you can about mergers and acquisitions. It is helpful to have a basic understanding of the process of an acquisition and what it entails. There are many resources available online or through professional organizations that can provide information on the different stages of an acquisition and what to expect.
- Research the new owners. If the company you are working for is being acquired by another company, it is important to learn as much as you can about the new owners. This can help you to understand their goals and motivations for the acquisition, and how they may plan to integrate the two businesses.
- Prepare for a longer process than expected. Acquisitions can often take longer than anticipated, so it is important to be patient and stay focused on your work during this time. It may be helpful to set aside some extra time for tasks that may be disrupted by the acquisition process.
- Focus on the business. While it is natural to be concerned about how the acquisition may impact your job and career, it is important to stay focused on your work and the business. Keep in mind that the acquisition is just one aspect of the company, and it is important to continue to work hard and deliver high-quality results for the company.
- Keep everything confidential. It is important to remember that information related to the acquisition may be sensitive, and it is essential to keep any information or discussions about the acquisition confidential. Be mindful of what you share with others, both inside and outside the company, to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked.
- Learn about the post-close integration. Once the acquisition is complete, the two companies will need to be integrated in some way. This may involve restructuring, changes to the leadership team, or other changes that may impact your job or the company as a whole. It is important to stay informed about these changes and how they will impact you and the company.
- Seek support. Working for a company that is going through an acquisition can be stressful and overwhelming, and it is important to seek support if you need it. This may involve speaking with a supervisor or HR representative, seeking guidance from a professional organization, or seeking support from friends or family.
Overall, working through an acquisition can be a very exciting time. It can be challenging, stressful and overwhelming. It is important to stay focused and proactive in order to navigate the process successfully. I found that by following these ten points, you can gain more confidence and feel more stable in your employment through the process.