fisheats.jpgIt seems one day can’t go by with yet another financial titan collapsing. Today we find out WaMu, aka Washington Mutual Inc., has failed and J.P. Morgan Chase is buying up the bulk of the operations.

Thank goodness for J.P. Morgan that keeps on buying up these failed institutions.

Based on history, J.P. Morgan cuts a huge number of jobs when it takes over. The firm’s acquisition of Bear Stearns saw about 50 percent of that company workforce get slashed.

But what if you’re absorbed into J.P. Morgan or any firm that may end up buying your employer?

I’ve heard from employees in the past who said changes happened quickly after a new buyer came on board. But I have also heard that it can take weeks or even months before anyone notices anything different.

Either way, it’s probably a good idea to come up with a strategy for dealing with your new bosses and keeping your career moving along.

“Leave behind the past and strive to make the future a success,” says Tom McLane, a recruiter and business consultant. “They should continue to perform their jobs at the highest possible level, spend time with their new boss to get a clear sense of expectations, and make every effort to understand the culture of the acquiring firm in order to adapt behavior if necessary to confirm with this culture.”

You should also be proactive and let everyone know how great you are, without coming off as a big-headed jerk.

“You need to become the ‘impossibly perfect employee,’ politically correct, approved of by management, colleagues and direct reports,” advises Sally Haver, senior vice president, Business Development at The Ayers Group/Career Partners International.

Some of her tips:

1. bring more business into the company in any way you can,
and let management know you’ve done it.

2. maximize human capital

3. help make cost-effective decisions regarding every
conceivable item such as vendor choices, personnel
(cross-training, creative management solutions, et al)

4. See where the “holes” are and volunteer to spearhead
projects that should be done, that no one has raised his/her
hand for.

5. Be visible in the very best way. Be seen working hard,
solving problems, partnering with colleagues and senior
management to help the company get through these tough
economic times.

Bottom line, she says, “the company, if it’s still standing, needs outstanding employees. Be one of the best, and you’ll remain standing along with the company.”

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