One of the scariest things that can happen in a weak economy is having a company buy out the company you work for. Whenever that happens, there are usually no guarantees. You could have a job or you could find yourself being phased out as part of the takeover.
This actually happened to me about three years ago. The small, family-owned company that had employed me for 7 years was bought out by a larger corporation from a different state. Shortly after, when the new company merged their resources with ours, dozens of my co-workers started losing their jobs until only 5 people from the original company remained. I was one of them.
Three years later, I’m still employed and have even gotten my second pay raise and I give credit to some decisions I made early on.
First, when I learned we were being bought out, I was quick to accept it and embrace the changes. As I expected, there were new rules and new procedures. Unlike some of my co-workers, who simply could not accept the change and wanted to do things they way they always did, I accepted the new ways immediately. After all, no employer wants an employee who constantly complains or who doesn’t want to accept change.
Second, I willingly changed jobs. In the seven years with the previous company, I had just one job, inside sales. However, the new company wanted me to field customer service calls instead. So, I did just that. It wasn’t easy, both because I had very little experience and, in general, I’m not much of a people person. But, I still gave it my best effort because I knew looking for a new job would be much harder.
Third, I paid my own salary. One thing I’ve learned both from this experience and working for a company that was having some hard times before being bought out is it is very hard to get rid of someone if they bring in as much or more money than you are paying them. And, I did just that. Even though I was officially customer service, I still continued to do sales when things were slow.
In addition, I volunteered to audit the company’s accounts and found thousands of dollars of mistakes in our favor. Doing that saved my job on at least a couple occasions and did eventually earn me a little more status in the company.
As I said before, company buyouts can be scary for employees and there’s no way to guarantee what will or will not happen. But, if you embrace the change and take steps similar to what I did, you will have a fighting chance of keeping your job.