Almost always when a company is merged or acquired it gets people’s attention. It rattles their cages. It’s an unsettling event, and it destabilizes things.

That’s not all bad. Sometimes a merger shakes people out of a rut. It may cause you to do some introspection or self-examination, and it may make you stretch.

A merger can motivate people—of course, there are plenty of times when it demotivates people, too.

But you probably can make this a real turning point in your life. The merger may be one of those things that really hits you and knocks you off the tracks you’ve been running on. It may cause you to rethink your values, or reconsider where you’re headed.

It’s easy for a person to grow stale in a job. Maybe it’s time for you to take a hard look at your job performance and how you can improve it. Are you working up to your potential? How do you need to change?

Now is the time for “New Year’s resolutions.”

This is true whether you are being promoted or demoted, transferred or reassigned, given a new boss, assigned new responsibilities or a change in your present duties, retired early or terminated, or even if it looks like your job situation is going to remain the same.

In fact, even if you have no earthly idea how you’ll be affected by the merger, now is the time to stretch and set some new goals for yourself ...