6 Tips for Navigating a Merger or Acquisition

Mergers and acquisitions are a common reality for many industries, particularly the tech sector. Every year, billions of dollars change hands as a result of corporate consolidation.

In 2019 alone, there were 3,590 technology industry acquisitions and mergers. With new technologies constantly being developed and introduced to the market as well as pressure from customers to provide more complete solutions, many deals offer the opportunity for organizations to gain new capabilities, expand service offerings, or acquire greater access to new or existing markets.

With all these possibilities, it’s important to have a talented team to support all the new developments. Talent loss is common during any merger or acquisition, therefore retaining talent while also attracting new talent is crucial. Utilizing a talent acquisition strategy can allow organizations to proactively reach candidates that are right for the new company, rather than continue to hire with an old mindset.

While the tech industry M&As reshape the landscape and appear to offer a fast track to take a company to the next level, they can be challenging and overwhelming for employees of those organizations. Fears of instability, chaos, and confusion can be common. However, being a part of a larger team offers a number of benefits including providing new opportunities to advance your career, broaden your perspective and make a bigger impact for customers.

If you’ve found yourself struggling to navigate a merger or acquisition, don’t lose hope. Keep reading for a few tips on how to thrive in your new role and embrace the chaos that comes with it.

1. Embrace your new responsibilities

When transitioning to a larger team, it can seem like you are losing some of your job responsibilities. While you may be tackling fewer things, having a larger team can allow you to focus and do those things really well. If your new role and responsibilities aren’t clearly defined, make sure to reach out to leadership for clarity and find ways to contribute to your team’s success. Identify areas where you want to grow both personally and professionally. Having a more narrow range of responsibilities can be an opportunity to focus on the aspects of your job that you most enjoy.

2. Figure out what success looks like in your new role. 

One of the biggest challenges of an M&A is the uncertainty of how your impact on the company will be measured. Make it a priority to talk to leadership about what success looks like given the changes. Knowing the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your new role will be critical in helping you exceed the standards set forth.

3. Consider moving laterally. 

If you’ve been focused in one area, but are really interested in something else, now is the time to make your move. Making a lateral move can increase the depth of your understanding and allow you to hone other skill sets. With a larger marketing team, you’ll have the opportunity to explore even more possibilities with your career.

4. Stay open-minded. 

Transitioning during a merger or acquisition can be even more difficult if you were content with your past position. Let go of the old, and focus on the new. If you’re stuck in the past you may find yourself falling behind. Mergers and acquisitions can be a hard thing to accept, but the sooner you embrace the changes, the sooner you can begin to grow with your team.

5. Support your team.    

Help out colleagues who may be taking on your former responsibilities. Even if you aren’t in a leadership role, you can still act as a leader to your new, larger team. Getting to know new employees can help broaden your perspective and learn better ways to approach tasks. Making everyone feel welcome after the merger or acquisition is key to having a positive experience.

6. Stay optimistic.   

With the uncertainty of a merger or acquisition, it can be easy to be negative about the situation. If there’s something you miss from your job role before the change, simply ask to be more included in that initiative. Keep in mind that everyone around you is also experiencing the same thing you are, so you can always figure it out together.

Corporate change such as mergers and acquisitions won’t stop anytime soon. Embrace the change and use it as an opportunity to grow with your team personally and professionally. 

About the author: Kerry Gilliam, Sr. Director, Marketing – Jobvite.

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