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Updated 09/16/2016

  Often with notice, employees learn
  the company is either "On the Block",
  is closing down, "activist investors"
  plan to acquire then implement big
  changes, or someone with lots of
  cash decides they want the place
  where you work.  Or work is less and
  cuts have to be made.  No one wants
  to hear any of the above yet they do.

  Keep your ears open, mouth closed.

  Sometimes this is a transitional period that the company will survive and need to hire
  experienced people again, often giving preference to former good performing team
  members.  Saying bad things about the company does not go over well with anyone.

  However you elect to view the situation, you can present it as a positive or a negative.
  The challenge is to take an intelligent position in an environment where good solid
  information is limited if not prevented from being disclosure.

  Such transactions can have one, more or multiple of the following characteristics:
   -  the buyer is in trouble and sees enough cash in the seller to pay for the purchase
       making the acquisition a very good deal for the buyer and employees hope they
       are included in the transaction and survive the new company staffing reductions

   -  the buyer sees growing competition for their "stale" products and need to refresh
       the product line to compete or acquire new products to enhance the product
       portfolio and reduces employees

   -  an external buyer perceives the financial gains to acquire the company then "slice"
       it up into different business units and sold for more money than the acquisition
       cost and reduces employees

   -  a competitor sees the opportunity to acquire a competitor and remove gradually
       terminate the competing (or sometimes just the poorer performing) goods and
       services as they reduce employees

  There are 5 states this process often follows:

   1.  The Confusion & Denials
  •  Did you hear what they said in the Break Room?
  •  The other company is crazy to even try this stunt.
  •  Our Management would never agree to something like this.
  •  Who thought this through ... it doesn't make any sense?
  •  What's a good web site to start looking for a job?
At some point some simply go "silent" waiting to see what happens.  Being the
"Cheerleader" for the wrong side of this argument is not wise.  People focus on
the job to maintain production and show they are still contributing thus valuable.

If the companies are of substantial size and has their stock publicly traded, getting to the truth will take some time as executives will be limited in what and how they can talk about the discussions or what is actually happening.  No word from them keeps them and the companies safe from prosecution for now.

Some companies may offer outplacement assistance to help you find employment but this is often only a few weeks or months.  Some will offer outplacement assistance but this is also normally for a few weeks or months.

Be prepared to sign many documents of which some of them may be:
-  a 'non-compete' agreement that you will not work for a competitor for some
    period of time
-  a 'non-disclosure' agreement that you will not discuss anything that happened
    and/or any thing that may be perceived as negative about the company
Before signing these, talk to a lawyer to protect yourself and family.

   2.  The Anger & Frustration
Official word slowly comes out but often just that there are "discussions".  Fear begins to spread in the vacuum of facts.

   3.  Is Unemployment Now Immediate, Start Your Search?
Being pro-active is always good.  Follow the standard fire drill.

For LinkedIn:
  a)  Expanding your connections with focus on your industry and geography
  b)  Look for people like yourself: What are they doing with their LinkedIn Profile
  c)  Look in other major cities for skills others have you have forgotten about
  d)  Ramp up your LinkedIn Profile to be rich in keywords you want tied to you
  e)  Expand your LinkedIn Recommendations and Endorsements
  f)  List all your high value activities to impress prospective employers
  g)  Insure your Accomplish Statements show strength and dollars for impact

Companies You Would Like to Work At:
  a)  Where to you see the work you love at and in what cities/states
  b)  Are you current on the skills involved or do you need a refresher/upgrade
  c)  Are the companies you considering better prepared against a transition

For Resumes:
  a)  Create a hard-hitting high favorable impact Resume showing your value
  b)  Insure you have references lined up who will speak for you
  c)  Ex

  In the end, what is going to happen will happen.  Employees at both companies are
  spending countless unproductive time worrying about their future versus working to
  insure their future whether it is at the changed company, a competitor or somewhere
  where stability exists.  Employees at the Vice-President, Division or Product Heads are
  often retained if their products or services remain.  It is always possible that goods or
  services that were loosing money can not be ended in the transition.

  You have given much of yourself over the many years, often unrecognized or given any
  appreciation.  Give the company a chance to see what their new attitudes are like.  You
  may find little happens.  You may find opportunities for advancement.  Or you may find
  advancement through starting a discrete job search as your primary or contingent plan.