Best-selling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, answers common reader questions about how to further your career in HR.
What should you do when you hear through the grapevine that your job will soon be changing? Your company has been bought by a new organization, and you're told you'll soon have to travel more, work longer hours or report to someone new. What are your options?
Know that there is a difference between hearing information through the grapevine and being given it as a directive by management. I suggest you check your sources and use any time you have before meeting with your boss to formulate intelligent questions about all the ways new ownership is likely to affect your responsibilities.
It is reasonable, for example, to ask:
- If there will be any changes in salary and incentives.
- If the company will help with the increased expenses you'll incur in the maintenance of your household, given that your travel will increase.
Keep Your Intentions Confidential
If you don't like the answers and decide that the job is untenable, don't express that in word, deed or body language. Say thanks and that you'll absorb all the information—and then get back to work.
Whatever responses you receive and whatever real-world changes occur, do not complain or become passive-aggressive. Instead, assure management that you are excited about the changes and that you'll be giving the new responsibilities your all.
Your best interests are served when you make a move that works best for your timing, not theirs, and keeping your affairs confidential stacks the odds in your favor.
The Exit Strategy
Privately, you must build an exit strategy while you simultaneously give every appearance of being the new company's biggest fan. There is a silver lining to the new travel schedule: It will give you lots of time to update your resume and to build and execute an effective job search plan. You can schedule phone calls and interviews in between flights and in hotel rooms at night.
Your most important consideration is thinking of yourself as Me, Inc., a company that makes pragmatic decisions based on its best interests. And just like every company, you should move forward with your plans on a need-to-know basis that maximizes the stability and success of the financial entity: the corporation that is you.