September 24th, 2008 | 6:00 am

Ask-A-Recruiter: What happens to job offers after an acquisition?

filed under Ask A Recruiter

istock_000005168521xsmall1.jpgContributed by Caroline Ceniza-Levine of SixFigureStart

I accepted a job at a company where I was supposed to start next June. Now this company is being acquired and they have not said definitely what is happening to the offers they extended. How long do I wait for them to get back to me? Can I continue looking for a job or will people look askance if they find out I accepted another offer?

This is a tricky situation because normally it’s bad form to continue interviewing after you have already accepted an offer. However, there is a chance that your offer is void due to the acquisition, and the fact that the prospective employer can’t give you a definitive answer suggests that you should move on.

I recommend you reiterate your interest to the acquired company at the same time you continue your job search. Given the market, searches are taking longer so the likelihood is that you will have time to look as your prospective employer takes its time to see what the acquisition means for the offers extended.

If you are working with an agency or with your college’s career services (given that the job starts in June this is probably a student getting a job after graduation), let the agency or OCS know exactly what is happening. Explain that while you initially accepted the offer, given the acquisition, you are continuing your search. Keeping the relevant parties informed enables you to maintain your integrity.

Finally this exact circumstance underscores the importance of having an updated resume and network of contacts ready to go. You just don’t know when the job market will throw you a curve so you need to be able to launch a job search not only by choice but also by necessity.

Get serious about your career with personalized, 1:1 coaching from SixFigureStart (http://www.sixfigurestart.com/). Caroline Ceniza-Levine, co-founder of SixFigureStart, has recruited for Accenture, Booz Allen, Citigroup, Disney ABC, Oliver Wyman, Time Inc, TV Guide and others.

2 comments

  1. Donna Deming

    I agree that you should continue to search for another position. In the current environment anything can happen and the position you accepted may or may not come to fruition. In my experience when a company is “being acquired” there are usually job cuts. This may not necessarily happen in your case but if I were you I would hedge my bets and continue searching.

  2. Caroline Ceniza-Levine

    Thanks for writing Donna. PS. I like your site and am glad that you work with artists. I used to focus on that niche when I did life coaching 7 years ago, but now I focus on career coaching and Gen Y. It’s all good!