Work long enough and you will inevitably be a part of a merger. It’s a fact of business. Let’s also not kid ourselves and think that all mergers are easy. Would it not be a safe bet to think that NO merger is easy – even if it appears to be so to the general public? Businesses have to adjust and make changes just like the employees. Some companies conduct a merger in a way that is not only in the best interest of the business, but also what is best for the (potential) incoming employees. But, the fact is simple: You WILL have questions and want answers. If that happens to you, ask these 10 questions.
Ask These 10 Questions
Anyone faced with an uncertain work future is also faced with a variety of questions:
- What does this mean for me?
- What about my insurance?
- What about my pay rate?
- What do I do now?
- What will it be like to work for this new company?
- Where will I go to find another job?
- What will it be like to start over?
- What do I say if someone asks me about the change?
- Where do I go from here?
So, do you want answers?
[pullquote]Before we continue, let me be clear: You are not a selfish person when you ask this.[/pullquote]
Question One: What Does This Mean for Me?
We all have obligations to our families, creditors, professional/civic organizations, and various others. We also have obligations to ourselves. An uncertain future places the need to know what does it mean for me in the center of our thoughts.
You may put of planning for a vacation. I may consider waiting to make a purchase. You may cut back on expenses. I may turn down an opportunity because I don’t how if I will be able to fulfill the commitment.
Before we continue, let me be clear: You are not a selfish person when you ask this. There is nothing wrong with wanting to know how an uncertain future will impact you – absolutely..100%…nothing wrong.
Question Two: What About My Insurance?
Healthcare is on our minds. If it isn’t, it should be. This is a hot topic that could easily open a heated debate. For the purpose of this post, the assumption is made that you have insurance with your current employer. If that is true:
- When will my coverage end?
- Will my new employer provide coverage?
- What will I have to pay with my new employer?
- If I don’t have a job, how much will my COBRA premium be each month? (If I don’t have a job, can I afford to pay for COBRA?)
Question Three: What About My Pay Rate?
Again, wage could easily be a hot topic and links directly to what does it mean for me. We want to know what our rate-of-pay will be when changing jobs. If you made X, will you make the same/more/less at your new employer. Will you be paid hourly or salary? Perhaps your exempt/non-exempt status changes. What does that mean for you to go from hourly to salary – or the reverse?
Question Four: What do I do now?
You must have a plan. Short term…long term…just plan. Be ready for the NOW. This is about you. Decide your NOW and what that means for YOU.
Question Five: What will it be like to work for this new company?
This is a given. You want to know what will change when working at a new company.
Question Six: Where will I go to find another job?
What if we don’t want to stay with a new company? Is that a possibility? Yes, it is.
Everyone has a choice to make when going through a merger. Some may make a decision to seek employment elsewhere. If so, we make decisions when faced with finding a new job. We must decide between using a staffing firm, seeking opportunities on our own, or both. Will we post our resumes online? What about LinkedIn – can I post an update there and it be appropriate to do that? What about Facebook?
If you don’t know the answers, ask. There is nothing wrong with seeking help!
Question Seven: What will it be like to start over?
Change is good….yeah, right. You might think: Tell that to someone who loses their job if change is good.
Maybe it is! Maybe forced change is good because it forces discovery of starting over! Accept fear! You will be scared, but it can also be revitalizing. Imagine starting a new adventure because that is what it will be.
Question Eight: What do I say if someone asks me about the change?
Verify what you should and should not say to others (verbally, written word, or social media) should the job change is the result of a merger. Legal considerations may prevent disclosing details until after a set date – and even after. This often comes back to your particular position, but really applies to all employees. Your goal should be to avoid any potential conflicts (legal, ethical, etc.) at all cost.
Question Nine: Where do I go from here?
No, I didn’t accidentally ask the same question twice. Yes, asking about what do I do now could be the same as where do I go from here. Or, it could be different and that difference is perspective. They key is action and the action is GO.
Question Ten: Where Can I Find Inspiration?
Why do you need inspiration? Times can be tough when going through a change. I encourage you to find something that inspires you. For me, I find associating my posts with Doctor Who to be – well – inspiring.
On December 25, 2013, the Eleventh Doctor, mere moments before becoming the Twelfth, told his traveling companion, Clara, that “you’ve gotta keep moving”.
Maybe that’s what we have to do – we have to go. We’ve gotta keep moving! Or, as has been said before: Next Stop Everywhere!