When You Are in a Company That is Acquired It’s Normal to be Terrified

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Acquisitions are commonplace in the business world. But as WordPress and WooCommerce mature, the growth of acquisitions were not far behind. Everyone has their opinion. But what happens when you are part of one. Not the owner, but a part of the team.

It’s Normal to Be Terrified

In a podcast, we chatted with Laura Nelson about WooCommerce acquiring MailPoet. When asked one is the single piece of advice she would give to someone who ends up in her shoes.

I would say, it’s totally normal to be terrified. And so don’t be concerned that you are terrified. Because it’s a huge change and of course it’s normal to worry about, is my job going to be safe? Am I going like the work I’m going to be doing? Am I going to like the team, et cetera? I guess with that in mind, is to just embrace the experience. Change is terrifying, as humans we hate it. And our brains, when that happens, go into this alert mode of like, oh no, this is bad, this is bad. Just try and learn and get as much out of it as you possibly can. It’s a really interesting experience.

And I think, at least in my experience of it, it’s been a really positive one. And people are excited to have you, so don’t ever think that the team that you’re joining are going to be upset that you’re going to be there. So try and enjoy it. And open your mind to learning different ways of doing things, new perspectives, just soak up as much as you possibly can. And remember, if you don’t like it, it’s an experience that you have learned something from, and you can apply that to a different venture if that’s what suits you.

A Culture Check

Even though Automattic runs this culture check, and I feel like I’m fortunate that it’s working well for me, just the change of going from a 13 person company to a 1,300 one, even if the culture is the same or largely the same, is huge. And some people, it’s just not for them. It absolutely just doesn’t suit the way they work or their beliefs in championing the smaller company or the smaller work environment.

So yeah, you definitely have to check in with yourself and make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Work’s more than just the paycheck you get every month, you have to enjoy what you’re doing and who you’re working with. And if that isn’t right, then get out and move on, do what you’d like to do.

Listen to the full episode with Laura.


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