Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) have become an increasingly popular business strategy. Especially for law firms now that demand is flat.
This year could break all records for the number of overall M&As and their value. The joining of giants AT&T and Time Warner probably won't be the largest.
Essentially M&A is a multi-purpose tool.
With a single move, your law firm can acquire access to what it didn't control previously in talent, special niches such as cryptocurrency, and branding.
In categories it's already in market share expands.
And, it's a legal opportunity to reduce manpower. During the fitting together of the two entities, many jobs will be labeled "redundant." Targeted will the highest paid employees who are no longer useful. Many of them will be over-50.
Actually, AARP documented that bias against older workers can begin for employees in their 40s. If you have read Dan Lyons' book "Disrupted," you recognize that your head could be on the chopping block once you celebrate your 30th birthday.
Here is the article I published on the extent of ageism.
Of course, as soon as the rumor of a possible M&A enters the grapevine, as an older employee who is enjoying an awesome professional experience, you are going to pull out all stops protecting your future in that particular organization.
The initiatives include being involved with projects that are of value to the company or which are attractive to describe on a resume. The new game is totally focused on acquiring skills that are marketable out there. The more marketable the less nervous you will be as the rumor mill keeps churning with updates.
Another must-do is consult with an employment lawyer who is not associated with your firm. You have to be ready to negotiate the best severance package, which should be custom-made for you.
For instance, if your spouse carries wonderful medical insurance from another employer, extending your own coverage for a year need not be a priority. Even with COBRA, a laid-off 58-year-old with a non-working wife and two teenage children found out the monthly nut for covering the family would be $2,500.
But, the wisest move might be, if you sense you will wind up "redundant," is to begin your job search right now. After the actual reduction-in-force, the marketplace will be glutted with professionals like yourself.
Okay, though, you didn't survive. You are laid off.
Likely you will be assigned to outplacement, brick-and-mortar or virtual. That service can be useful to you, if you listen carefully. Everything keeps changing, ranging from how to do resumes (yes, multiple ones) to putting together an elevator speech. Here is the article I published on personal branding during professional transitions.
In addition to outplacement, you may or may not find useful custom-made coaching for the seasoned professional. If you are in hot field, you might already have had a "soft landing," that is, been offered a comparable or better job.
What specialized coaching for the over-50 helps with is to outsmart ageism. For example, you will prevent going up against blatant forms of it. Instead, you will be in front of the bias with the elevator speech: Here's what I can do for you. That is the approach which has proved effective. You don't defend yourself against ageism. You sell the results you will achieve for that new employer or client.
Also, in the midst of the M&A ordeal you might have become overwhelmed with what I call "The Four Monsters" which eat away at everything from confidence to the ability to problem-solve. Specialized coaching helps you lift yourself out of the jaws of those demons. Meanwhile, here is my book on a lot of that, free to download, print, and read.
What kind of coaching do I provide? Here is an introduction Download BACKGROUNDERJaneGenovaCoaching.
The initial session is no-cost. You can check out the chemistry and determine if the service can be a game-changer for you. Yes, you can emerge from a crisis better off than when you entered. As the cliché goes, a crisis is terrible thing to waste.
The next step? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.
Full Disclosure: I lost my middle-management position during an M&A. The memo went out about "redundancies." My solution was to hang out a shingle.