Spotlight on O*NET Users: Becky Hayes

Becky Hayes, M. Ed., L.P.C.

Career Counselor

Houston, Texas

Meet Becky Hayes, owner of College Major Testing, in Houston, TX, and enthusiastic O*NET user.  Becky was career counselor in Rice University’s Career Services Center for 14 years.  Last year she continued her work in private practice.

Becky began using O*NET in a Continuing Studies workshop she created, “Test Yourself for Career Change.”  O*NET served as a primary resource in the class.   Becky walked participants through the process of using O*NET, emphasizing how to discover transferability of skills between occupations.

Many of Becky’s clients are college students. When working with clients she finds that O*NET is as an excellent counseling tool.  O*NET displays objective information “right up there for all to see,” she notes.  A very helpful and fun activity she has devised is printing task lists, cutting only the task statements into slivers, and then mixing the paper strips in a bowl.  She has clients draw task statements, one at a time, and rank them by appeal. She works with clients to find occupations that tend to have the high-appeal tasks.

Of course, “the list that emerges in the activity is a hybrid task list, perhaps not mirroring the task list of any specific occupation,” Becky explains, “but it helps people get close to occupations that probably would be more satisfying for them.”

Becky sees significant results of using O*NET with her clients often.  “Teachers I have worked with saw their ways to becoming sales people, and I’ve had lawyers become teachers.  A dramatic metamorphosis I saw, though, involved a young man, perhaps 28, 29 years old—an unhappy engineer.  He looked up the occupational information in O*NET and learned that sales and instructing were occupations that needed his skills and engaged his interests.  Though he remained with his employer, he moved to the Marketing side of the enterprise.  Now he is responsible for client relations, which allows him to use his verbal skills more.”

Is the man more satisfied with his occupation?  “I guess so,” ventured Becky.  “He referred his sister to me!”

College Major Testing is housed in office space that Becky shares with three other professional women who have varying practices in social work and counseling.  Her client base hasn’t changed since she was affiliated with Rice University.  Most of her customers are referrals.

Becky and her husband (married for 35 years!) have kept a full house in Texas.  Besides raising their two children, they have hosted exchange students over the years—students from Norway, Chile, and Italy.

She and her husband are from Charleston and Hilton Head and travel frequently to the Carolina coast. 

Career counseling, travel, hosting the world, and running are interests Becky balances with more quiet, solitary activities.  She loves to garden.  She’s reading Mirror, Mirror, Gregory Maguire’s Snow White tale upon which Broadway’s  hit ”Wicked” is based.  She recently enjoyed “Finding Neverland” at the theater.  When you meet Becky Hayes you know you are with a cup-half-full kind of person!