The company I work for is up for sale?! Five suggestions for coping.

This very conversation came up twice in one week for me recently from friends looking for trusted advice and a sense of control. They work for two very different companies with varying scenarios. However, each situation is leaving them and their fellow colleagues with the same worry and wonder.

Businesses continually consolidate to grow, evolve, and maybe even cash out.  Recent headlines have Amazon buying Whole Foods, causing many consumers to ponder how this will affect their food and shopping experiences. I heard a rumor that Verizon may look to acquire Disney – apparently, not true.

About three years ago the organization I worked for decided to seek a potential buyer. I was part of the executive team working on the best fit and next step for our company, while managing the day-to-day and my team at the same time.  I believe I felt the full spectrum of emotions during this entire process, and had so many questions running through my head. Specifically, what about my future and the future ofmy team?

What if you work in a company that is up for sale? Or rumored to be “on the block?” All the powers that be are figuring out the details, but where does this leave you?  Here are my five suggestions for coping while this stuff is happening in the background of your day-to-day:

1.     Do your work! Motivation can plummet during times of uncertainty. You have a job and there are lots of people counting on you to do it. Don’t give anyone a reason to doubt your performance and dedication.

2.     Talk to your supervisor or human resources director. Share your concerns and ask your questions. Know that there may not be black and white answers, and people are restricted as to what they can/can’t say legally. And in a lot of cases, they don’t even know the outcomes! While this may be frustrating, set your expectations accordingly. This is a stressful time for everyone.

3.     Create a “Plan B”. Worst case scenario, you are cut along with lots of other folks. This stinks, but is a possibility—so be prepared. Update your resume and your LinkedIn. I recommend to keep both updated two-three times a year at least.

4.     Network within your organization. This is very different than gossip in the lunchroom (which you should avoid contributing to). Make sure you get to know as many people as you can in your office. Some folks may be retained and you’ll want to stay in touch. There may be a restructuring and now you’re working together unexpectedly. There are a million reasons why this is just good office practice in general.

5.     Network outside of your organization. There are peer groups by industry, by gender, by specialty and region EVERYWHERE! Find your tribe and have fun getting to know each other. Try a few groups out, whether online or at an in-person social gatherings. Here are just a few that I’ve seen recently that are committed to the people involved and probably have a chapter near you or you can join what’s called a “virtual” chapter.

Eventbrite - Great events, near you.

Ellevate - Global network for women. Founded by Sallie Krawcheck//Wall St. "Wonder Woman".

Women in Digital USA - Relatively new organization for women in digital careers.

American Marketing Association - Marketing professionals at all levels across the US.

Levo League - Network of professionals of all kinds.

The Muse – General career info and job posts.

The good news is you don’t have to do this alone. If you need advice on navigating or updating your resume or LinkedIn, schedule some time here and we’ll get your Plan A & B in motion!