What if your entire career could change due to forces beyond your control?
If your company is in the process of a merger or acquisition, your job may be one of many facing evaluation when the deal is done. The goal of an acquisition process is to make both companies stronger, but there will inevitably be redundant positions across the board. If you’re not careful, you may lose your spot to someone else, no matter how many years you served with the company.
How, then, can you protect the career you have worked so hard to build? It all comes down to finding ways to demonstrate your value, especially in the eyes of any new administrators you may have after the acquisition. Keep reading to discover easy ways to demonstrate value and stand out as a rockstar employee.
1. Job Security Via Building (and Strengthening) Relationships
Going through a company acquisition can be very scary. One of the best ways to stay safe is to do something you really should have been doing all along: building important workplace relationships and making sure to strengthen them whenever you get the chance.
This is one case where the old adage “it’s not always what you know but who you know” is very true. Having a good relationship with your managers and your team shows executives old and new that you are a team player. If you are the one who often keeps morale up among the rest of the team in times of stress, you’ll appear invaluable to the new leadership team.
2. Be Honest About Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses
By now, you’re probably very familiar with the concept of SWOT analysis. You may have analyzed your team and even your entire company over the course of your career. To survive the acquisition, though, it’s important to conduct a thorough and honest evaluation of yourself, including your own SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).
Later, this guide will touch on methods to help you track and quantify your accomplishments and capitalize on new opportunities. Right now, it’s important to analyze your potential weaknesses and who – or what – the biggest threats are to your job. Instead of hiding those weaknesses, you should seek out company mentors and training opportunities. Doing so will help you shore up your skills while publicly demonstrating your desire to become a more valuable employee.
3. Become Proactive by Volunteering for New Opportunities
If they are being honest, most people walk into work like they are walking into a battle zone. They have the same goal that any tired and war-torn soldier has: keep their heads down and go home in one piece.
Should that description sound familiar, then you may be tempted to spend the entire acquisition trying to quietly blend into the background. In a word…don’t! This just makes you look easy to replace, especially when others keep jumping forward to tackle new challenges.
To demonstrate your employee value, you need to be proactive and volunteer for new opportunities and responsibilities. When the smoke clears, the new bosses will be far likelier to keep workers who never hesitate to volunteer when something important needs to get done.
4. Track Your Skills and Achievements
Let’s be real: the main thing that makes the acquisition process so scary is the specter of competition. Previously, you might have been supremely confident in your job security. Once your company starts getting acquired, though, your job security may hinge on how well you can prove you have more relevant skills and experience than your potential replacement.
That’s why you need to keep a record of your successes at the company over time. Whether you use a complex record-keeping app or a simple word processor, the idea is to write down your accomplishments, complete with quantifiable info (instead of saying you improved your team’s profits last quarter, for example, write down the exact percentage of the increase).
If all goes well during the acquisition, these records will help you keep your job. And even if you end up losing your position, this quantifiable info can help you craft a killer resume when you start looking for a new job.
5. Demonstrate Communication Skills by Bringing New Ideas to the Table
Speaking of your skills and achievements, it’s easy to make the rookie mistake of thinking that your skills are limited to things like your education, certifications, and years of experience. Obviously, such things are very important. However, during an acquisition, executives are also paying close attention to workers who have so-called “soft skills,” including solid (no pun intended) communication skills.
This is why there is no time like an acquisition to start bringing new ideas to the table. Speak up during meetings, and don’t be afraid to email your boss with any good ideas you’ve been cooking up. Even if the company doesn’t embrace your ideas, offering them shows you are adept at communication as well as dedicated to innovation.
6. Stay Flexible and Positive Throughout the Company Acquisition
We saved one of the best methods of demonstrating your value during acquisition for last. As luck would have it, this is the easiest method because it’s all about attitude. Above everything else, you need to remain openly positive during the acquisition process and also try to remain very flexible.
Remaining positive may not sound that important, but keep in mind that acquisitions are scary for workers across the board. It’s natural for frightened employees to gossip, but those who talk poorly about the acquisition and those leading it will be likeliest to lose their jobs because they don’t seem like team players.
If you try to turn negative conversations about the acquisition into positive ones while staying flexible enough to take on new roles, you’ll stand out as an employee they can’t afford to lose.
Discover How Painless Company Acquisition Can Be Today
Now you know how to demonstrate your value during an acquisition. But do you know where you can make the most impact with your extensive skills and experience?
Here at Confie, we understand acquisition negotiations because we’ve been on both sides of the table. You can start by learning more about successful M&A skills in our knowledge center. If you need more help after that, don’t hesitate to contact us today or call us at (714) 252-2500.