5 Tips for Surviving and Thriving After a Merger

29 Jan 2015

An article in the Lawyer looked at a recent survey on mergers & acquisitions. The defining points of those surveyed was that 95% of managing partners thought that their firms would be involved in some sort of merger with the next decade. As well as this 45% of firms who have not secured a merger in the last 5 years would consider one before 2017. This leads to the thought that there is a large likelihood you and your law firm could be involved in a merger of some sort in the near future, the main question is how can you make yourself standout and thrive in this new environment.

Your first thoughts could be to ‘keep your head down’ and get on with your work, you will still be appreciated like you used to. However, there are far more proactive ways to stand out. This is not a hinderance, but a new opportunity to excel in the workplace and progress your career. We have produced 5 tips that are designed to not only help you survive your firm’s merger, but to go on to thrive after it.


Don’t be afraid to provide evidence of your success or pitch for a higher position.

This is something you can do as a monthly or even weekly exercise anyway, but in a newly merged environment it can be even more important. Look to show those unfamiliar with your work exactly what you bring to the company. Evidence of your input in key cases or other contributions you have made to progress the company should be readily available. This can allow you to present it when requested or at an appropriate point, it would not hurt to have a similar pitch ready incase you are asked about your thoughts on job progression either.


Ask questions – show an interest in the new future direction of the company.

You are possibly now working for a company with a different outlook, at a different point in its lifecycle and with different driving forces behind it than before. Don’t assume that you know everything about it, even if you worked for one of the merged firms for many years, different traits may now be present. Show a real interest in where the company now wants to go, fit yourself into those aims and help progress the firm towards them.


Get yourself educated.

Why have the companies merged? What is the philosophy of the new company? What will the teams above and below you look like? Where is the focus now, is it on acquiring skills, clients or something else? Try to get as much information as possible about what your new environment will be. Industry press might hold some of the answers but management teams should also be eager to pass on new information.


Be a realist: Do you fit in? Do you want to work for the new company?

When the answer to either of the above is no you might be able to survive, but you are unlikely to thrive to your potential. People work better when they are employed by companies they believe in, cultures they engage with and in jobs they love. If this is no longer you in this new company, then start to consider how willing you would be to move and thrive somewhere else.


Avoid gimmicks.

It is inevitable that you will want to stand out, show dedication to making the merger a success and evidently how great you have been in the past for your company. Don’t however resort to cheap gimmicks that are sure to get you noticed but have little real-world benefit. For example, it is highly doubtful that your newly merged firm will at this moment want to diversify into a obscure new market, despite the lengthy proposal you have spent hours producing. Make yourself standout the smart way, not the wrong way.