Ottawa County Michigan Works!

Employment Expertise –Life After Layoff

Question: I’ve just been laid off. What’s Next?

Life after a layoff, or other type of job loss, can be very difficult.

But it is also valuable time that can be used wisely to assess your job skills and what you want from your next job.

Think about what really matters to you in a job. Is it salary, good benefits, a specific shift? Is it flexibility and location or a clear career path inside the organization? Do you want an environment that allows creativity and problem solving, or one where you are given specific tasks? Any answers that apply to you are the right ones.

It’s easy and sometimes necessary to take a job because you absolutely must. Sometimes it feels like the decisions are made for you. But try to determine what you are not willing to compromise on. Regardless of what feels ‘necessary’ taking a job you know you’re not going to like is not a good idea. Those feelings will spill into the rest of your life.

Your own characteristics are a kind of skill. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. If it’s too difficult to be objective you can try an online profile test to see objective results. We don’t promote specific sites but they can give you some idea of your work-related behaviors.

It may be time to consider your educational needs as well. Looking for that certificate or GED you’ve been putting off? How about a WorkKeys certificate? The National Career Readiness Certificate is becoming the minimum requirement to be considered for a position.

Perhaps a change of career is in order? Check the nearest vocational school, community college or university to see what they have to offer. If you need tuition assistance ask them about scholarships, Pell grants and other assistive resources. You can also check into Federally-funded programs through the Ottawa County Michigan Works! service centers.

For WorkKeys information call OCMW at (616) 355-3326. To ask about a GED program call the Lakeshore Adult Learning Center at (616) 494-8803.

For other schools and training centers visit and click on the Local And County Resource Links.

Article on the Holland Sentinel