As Betfair and Paddy Power announce plans to merge, in a deal that would create one of the world's biggest online betting and gaming companies, what should you do if you’re in the employee waiting room – ready to be called in and delivered your fate?
1) Don’t panic – mergers happen all the time
There is plenty of mergers and acquisitions activity going on at present, as companies combine powers to be a major player on a global stage.
2) It may fall through
As we saw with Pfizer and AstraZeneca, even if intentions to merge have been made public – it doesn’t means it will complete. Mergers of this size are extremely complex, so it may not even happen.
3) Implementation takes a while
From the time a deal is announced to implementing changes, a lot needs to be done before any actual activity takes place – deciding on the culture of the new organisation, its vision and purpose, how it will be structured, understanding how each operates and so on.
Particularly for large organisations, a merger can take a year or more to complete. Relax a little. You have a while to figure out what it means for you.
4) Acknowledge that there will be a level of uncertainty
There will be whispers around the office about what a merger will result in – redundancies? Relocation? Having two people, from different companies, who have the same job – where only one position is needed? Redeployment?
Uncertainty is a given – so learn to roll with the punches. Think about your skills and what you’re good at – as this will help build your confidence in knowing you have a lot to offer.
5) But it’s a good opportunity
Try not to be sceptical; a merger can be the best thing that has ever happened to you. If you’ve been thinking about changing job, tired of the same work routine, or frustrated at the lack of development you’ve received – this could all be improved as a result. Potentially there will be more opportunities that could take your career in a new and exciting direction
6) Look to network
Make new contacts and try to understand the new organisation from an employee’s perspective.
Not only will this help you to feel more settled, but it can create new career opportunities for you – not to mention the fact that your old colleagues will see you as a conduit between the old and new business, an important position during unsettled times. Above all remain professional.
7) Assess who you need to meet
Understand who makes the decisions in the business and who can have a positive impact on your career. You may want to meet with HR, to see how things are done in the new business, or the sales team, to get an understanding of where the opportunities lie.
8) Have your elevator pitch ready
You will be meeting lots of new people, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Be prepared to impress and say exactly what skills you bring to the organisation. Flailing and thinking of what better things you could have said three weeks later, means you might have missed a golden opportunity.