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Should I quit? Company merge

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Should I quit? Company merge

Postby John W. » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:00 pm

Hello everyone,

I need a hand in an important decision to make and would like to hear what your thoughts are.

I have been working for a big American company in my home country for one year (company 1). Before accepting this job at company 1, I used to work for another big American company, also in my home country, for three years (company 2). Not so long ago, company 1 announced that will merge with a big American company (company 3), giving rise to three independent companies in a near future.

I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this merge (actually no one does), the only important information that I have is that the CEO for this new company (after division) will come from company 3.
I kind of like my current job, love the city that I am living, and do not like my boss. Recently, I have been offered to participate in a job interview to work for a big German company (company 4) to do exactly the same duties that I do in my current job, but in a bigger and expensive city.

Here are my concerns:

1 – There are basically only 5 companies in the whole world that do this kind of business, so basically my job universe, after quitting company 1, would be company 4 and 5, mainly because I think will be burning the bridge with company 1.

2 – I want to, at least, participate in this first job interview to get a more detailed picture of this position at company 4. However, accepting to participate in the job interview can result in a lot of exposition. Am I being paranoiac?

3 – Am I getting “red flags” in my resume by quitting company 2 after three years to join company 1, and then quitting company 1 after one year?

4 – I am 33 with a PhD.

Thank you.
John W.
 
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Re: Should I quit? Company merge

Postby D.X. » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:09 am

Hi John W,

I've been through 2 M&As. I understand the Situation.

Usually with M&As there will be some form of reorganization and usually some form of reductions of force. These reductions can have a predictive elements, i.e. Areas of duplication and Areas where the Company already has Expertise/presence. If you are at a site for example where the merging or acquiring Company has site you may be a target for future reduction,etc. Basically you can do you Analysis and make some assumptions. In General, but not a garantee, if you're in the Company that's driving the merge or acquistion, you may be in a less risky spot, but you really have to watch and be predictive, it may not be necessarily true all the time.

The good News is that such reorgs and reductions won't come for about a year after the official M&A (public disclosure and close of deal). So you would have time to watch.

With M&As there is both opportunity and risk. The opportunity is that maybe other positions become available for you to look at, the risk is that you may not get those opportunities and be faced with a reduction on Hand. The time after a M&A and until the reorgs start (and during the reorg) can be stressfull. Few will know what's going on and there can be alot of tention. My best advice here is accept the emerging change,adapt , be flexible, avoid gossip and carry on. Keep an eye on the Situation and be ready to jump (have a back up plan).

With that in mind, the M&A also gives you the opportunity to look at external opportunities. I.e. your Company 4. You can totally take a grab at it, no one will hold it in a negative light, M&As should always be a trigger to look for external opportunities (or evaluate your current career path/and Situation in the company) since there is uncertainty. You could go to Company 4, camp there for 2 to 3 years, and if it compells you then, you can look for ops back in that Merged Company, afer the dust is settled. The enviornment will be different, and it wont be Held against you provided that you left professionally. I've seen this happen a few times.

M&A has always worked positive for me with repsect to external opportunities - the first lead me to one of my dream companies to work for, the other led me to a better title (Promotion) and alot of responsiblilty.

So ball is in your court - given the above you will Need to take the best decidsion for yourself.


Good luck DX

minor edits
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Re: Should I quit? Company merge

Postby D.X. » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:27 am

One other Point regarding M&A - especially if you Company is the one that is being Merged or Acquired.

Remember, on the first offical day 1 of the M&A there are no promises of your job. It will take a good 6 to 10 months before you start to get some Point of clarity (this is the time HR, Finance, Senior Managment will be planning the future). Until you have a new contract with that legal entity (i.e. you've been told to re-apply and succeeded, offered a new role, or you've been told you're automatically confirmed in the new organization with the new struture) you are in Limbo. This goes to the risk part I said. So Keep that in mind - it is quite often you will hear from Senior Management represents opportunity - to save from mass Exodus, and in some extent they are right, but what they are not telling is that opportunity may not be for all.

Take it for what its worth. They will never ever Promise (on paper) you a new Job in the new organization, just because, they just don't know and legally can't. So factor that in to your decison making as well.

If you do decide to stay at your current Company for what ever reason - take it as an opportunity to watch how others behave as wel. Change Management is not everyones strength - and this type of situation it can actually be a great People learning experience. Some fold and are weak, they run around in cirlces, despite a prior outward and political strength, yet others shine and stay the course - they'll Show tremendous leadership and probably the first to have a back up plan - find those and align. Its a nice rare time to watch human behavior in a Change Management Situation.

I survived a quasi 3rd (reorg with reductions recently)- I learned alot.

Do read Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson - talks to some of the Points above while teaching you about "the handwriting on the wall".

Good luck!

Dx
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Re: Should I quit? Company merge

Postby Dave Walker » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:09 am

I just want to thank DX for this wonderful, in-depth advice that clearly speaks from experience. I can't think of anything else to say, except thank you!

Also, my wife works for a Very Large International Company and "Who Moved my Cheese" was talked about a lot. It apparently has a lot of value -- and also became a running joke when someone's literal cheese was moved out of a refrigerator because of a reorg. True story!
"The single factor that differentiates Nobel laureates from other scientists is training with another Nobel laureate." -- Sol Snyder
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Re: Should I quit? Company merge

Postby Renee L. » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:11 pm

I’ve worked as an R & D chemist at two large chemical companies in the US, and am aware of the merger you are talking about.

One question I have: Did the German company contact you shortly after the merger announcement? And did they say how they found out about you and your background?

I think this is a very good sign that the German company is interested in you; you must have some expertise that they value, and which they can only find in persons who have worked in that sector of the chemical industry.

Here in the US, it is not uncommon for one chemical company to look for good people when a competitor has a lay off. For example, several years ago DuPont laid off half of the people at their automotive coatings lab in Michigan; within a few days, BASF’s coatings division here had 12 job openings posted on a job website, all for experienced automotive coatings R & D professionals. DuPont’s loss was BASF’s gain.

My advice to you – you ought to discretely explore this opportunity with the German company, and go on an interview if that comes up. However, I think it best that you not say anything about this to your coworkers, since the management might hear, figure that you’re no longer interested in the post-merger company-to-be, and they may be less likely to keep you on long term.

As for your concern that it might look bad on your CV if you only worked one year at Company 1: I can only give you advice that I know is relevant for the US, though perhaps it is relevant for Europe, too. At least here, we would not be too concerned about the 1 year at Company 1. Just say the truth if someone asks – an opportunity to advance in your field of expertise opened up at the German company, and you wanted to take advantage of this. And emphasize that the German company sought you out; this makes you look like an even more desirable professional. Besides, absolutely everyone in the chemical industry is aware of the Mega-Merger, and will understand that people will be considering other positions because of this.
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Re: Should I quit? Company merge

Postby D.X. » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:53 am

Dave Walker wrote:I just want to thank DX for this wonderful, in-depth advice that clearly speaks from experience. I can't think of anything else to say, except thank you!

Also, my wife works for a Very Large International Company and "Who Moved my Cheese" was talked about a lot. It apparently has a lot of value -- and also became a running joke when someone's literal cheese was moved out of a refrigerator because of a reorg. True story!


Hi Dave, much appreciated - to funny. Thier cheese was actually moved!
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Re: Should I quit? Company merge

Postby Dick Woodward » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:59 pm

John W:

The advice that you have received is first class, and agrees with my own M&A experience. One thing to consider - I suspect the merger you are discussing may get a great deal of US anti-trust review, and the ultimate structure of the combined companies may be very different prior to the split into 3 entities. As others have suggested, look at other opportunities but keep your options open.

Best of luck,

Dick
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Re: Should I quit? Company merge

Postby John W. » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:40 pm

I am so thankful for the shared experiences. I will take in consideration before making any important decision. For sure, there are risks either if decide to stay or if I decide to explore other opportunities and it is impossible to know upfront which one is the best, but I definitely can analyze the situation and make the decision that seems right to me.

Again, thank you!
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