Temp of the Month February 2023: Debra Morin

Debra started work through Whitman Associates in 2022 and has loved being able to slowly get back into administrative work while testing the balance with her home life and other activities. She has completed several small assignments and just started her latest at a firm she worked for previously. The part-time, work-from-home assignments allow her to also spend time with her husband and 3 teens.

Debra loves to be outdoors, either on the lake, biking, hiking trails with her dogs or camping. She also enjoys teaching strength, mobility and dance fitness classes at her local YMCA, which she has done for 12 years. Debra is a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers and cheers them on the in whatever sport is in season. 

Temp of the Month January 2023: Alex Sargent

Before joining Whitman Associates in July 2022, Alex was a district staff member for a U.S. Representative in the Chicago suburbs, specializing in immigration casework and outreach. He also spent two years as a Teach For America Corps Member teaching middle school in Eastern North Carolina.

Through Whitman, Alex was placed in a temp-to-hire position as an Administrative and Database Assistant at a law firm in Dupont Circle. After the uncertainty of moving from Illinois to the DMV, the position has given him an opportunity to set down roots in the area while working with a great team of attorneys and administrative staff.

Alex lives in Prince George’s County, MD with his partner, Anna, and his cat, Furiosa. When he isn’t cheering on Arsenal FC or the Florida Gators, he is likely rewatching one of Mike Flanagan’s Netflix series, playing Destiny 2, or over-thinking his fantasy football lineup as defending league champion.

New Single – Christmas With You

Donita released Christmas with You today!

Just in time for the holidays, Whitman Associates alum Donna Escorpeso has just dropped her newest single, Christmas With You. Donna was an integral part of the Whitman staffing team, and the office’s reigning karaoke champion. Now she’s pursuing her singing career in Los Angeles. Congratulations!

Check out the song here!

Be sure to add her on Instagram and Spotify and keep an eye on what’s next from this amazing artist!

Temp of the Month December 2022: Chris Baiza

Chris and his family have recently relocated to Andrews AFB, Maryland after living in Las Vegas, NV for the past 10 years. His wife is in the US Air Force and received a Change of Duty Station Orders to relocate to Maryland.

Chris has a background in Market Research and Customer Service. He worked for CBS Television City for 10 years in Las Vegas. He connected with Whitman Associates in September 2022 and was quickly placed in a role as a Property Administrator. Though a bit overwhelmed initially, he was was able to adapt to this new role and looks forward to learning and taking on more job functions and responsibilities in the future.

Chris also has three children, the oldest is 18 years old and a recent high school graduate, his middle child is 16 years old, and the youngest is 15 years old. In his spare time Chris spends time with his family; they like to do a variety of things such as hiking, antique shopping, going to the beach, streaming movies, and playing video games. Chris loves collecting anything Star Wars related and comic books.

He is thankful to be working with and representing Whitman and Associates, and looks forward to all the potential opportunities that may be offered in the future.

Temp of the Month November 2022: Romona Morton

Romona is a senior administrative professional with over 27 years of experience providing executive level operational, strategic, and program support to C-level executives, their teams, and the organizations they lead. She has been affiliated with Whitman Associates for 20+ years.

One of Romona’s winning work philosophies is that she brings her whole self to work with a spirit of fulfillment, service and authenticity. This has not only allowed her to find purpose in her work assignments, but to fully engage, continue to learn, inspire others, and thrive.

She is a proud mother, a board member of the non-profit Yet Stand, Inc., advocates for mental health for urban youth, enjoys competitive writing, and has authored several short stories.

Temp of the Month October 2022: Allison Gartner

Allison Gartner is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Wildlife Conservation. She has enjoyed working with Whitman Associates because it has given her the opportunity to participate in different professional assignments that have helped her personal and professional growth.

She loves to do anything outdoors and spend time with family and friends during her free time. Her favorite color is purple, favorite animal is an owl, and loves anything chocolate. She enjoys staying active and trying new things. She hopes to visit all the National Parks and travel the world in the future.

All Your DC Career Coaching Questions Answered

Glasses sitting on a goals journal

A career coach is designed to help you move your career forward, whether you’re just starting out, or you need a career pick-me-up. While the level of engagement offered by career coaching professionals may vary, there are some basic services that all career coaches offer, such as resume drafting assistance, interview tips, career mapping, and employment assistance. Here are answers to the most common career coaching questions, with a specific focus on career coaches in Washington DC. 

Do I actually need a career coach?

The most common question related to career coaching is “Do I actually need a career coach?” 

If you are in Washington, DC and are looking for a job, looking for a better job, or simply curious about whether you are on the right track, career coaching will likely help. According to Harvard Business Review, “Career coaches can help you figure out what you want to do, understand what’s preventing you from advancing in your professional goals, and endure the ups and downs of job hunting.”

A career coach can help you:

  • Map out your career trajectory
  • Design your resume/CV according to employer expectations
  • Market your skills
  • Apply for the right jobs at the right time

When should I hire a career coach? 

Most people in the DC area only consider career coaches if they are unemployed or wholly dissatisfied with the position they are currently in. However, limiting your use of a career coach to times of greater desperation may be unwise. When you’re under pressure to land a new job, career coaching will likely be more difficult and less effective. The adage “it’s easier to find a job when you have a job” is equally applicable to career coaching, especially in the competitive and fast paced DC market. 

So consider hiring a coach when you’re not looking in order to get the most out of their advice without the stress of having to immediately implement it. By working with a coach when it’s not an emergency, you will be better able to take advantage of programs and benefits they offer.

However, don’t let this advice stop you from using a coach when you are job hunting. There are several key times in your career that you may need advice as you are looking. For example, new graduates frequently need advice on how to choose the right career. A career counselor can be incredibly beneficial in making this decision. 

What specific benefits will a career coach provide?

Business women editing a resume

In the DC area, career coaching is almost a necessity. Jobs go quickly here, and if you aren’t standing out of the crowd, you’re likely to get lost. Here’s some key benefits that career coaches can provide: 

  • Resume buildingA stand out resume is absolutely critical in any location, but it’s especially important in the DC area, where competition is fierce. 
  • Interview PreparationInterviews are tough, no matter how experienced you are. A career coach can offer tips and tricks. A great career coach can offer tips tailored to your field and your geographic location, whether that’s Washington, DC, or another region. 
  • Career Changing AdviceYou’re never too old to learn a new field. Career coaches can advise you on every aspect of your considered career change, from outside networking to searching within your own company. 
  • Career Advancement AdviceYou may be perfectly happy in your field, but yearning to climb the corporate ladder. A career counselor can help you figure out when and how to do that. 
  • Advice on Maintaining a Positive AttitudeJob searching can be tough, especially in a field as competitive as DC. Career coaching can be incredibly valuable in teaching you to maintain a positive attitude. 

How do I find a good career coach?

Finding a good career coach can be tough and take time since you want to find a professional that will do more than just give advice. Make sure you look for coaches that understand the Washington, DC market, and look for organizations that represent both employers and potential employees. Those that do are frequently more in touch with what employers really want and can teach you the inside information on what recruiters and employers look for in cover letters, resumes, and interviews. Finally, make sure your career coach is a good personality fit for you. If you don’t get along well with them, they won’t be effective at helping you help yourself. 

How much does a career coach cost?

Person paying online with credit card

It depends. Career coaches can cost as much as $500 an hour, far more than most people can afford. However, there are less experienced coaches that cost less. Many agencies and businesses, such as Whitman Associates, provide career coaching benefits at no cost. If you are just starting out in your career, or you are not looking for a position requiring extensive experience or education, programs such as those offered by Whitman Associates are likely just what you need. 

Tell me more about Whitman Associates’ career coaching options!

Whitman Associates has an amazing team of associates committed to ensuring that our clients and our candidates get the best care. 

Beyond the essential resume writing assistance and interview tips, we focus on the importance of developing critical skills, including communication and strategic thinking based on industry requirements as well as your professional goals. Moreover, we offer helpful advice on how to adjust your job search and resume to better fit certain fields and employers. Because we know the DC job market better than anyone, we offer insight that other career coaching organizations just can’t provide. 

Whether you opt for the amazing benefits of Whitman Associates or another career coaching program in DC, you will likely find the process beneficial in advancing your career. Reach out to Whitman to see how we can help you take your career to the next level!

Make Sure Your Employees Dress For Success

Man in business suit buttoning jacket

As the world finally gets some breathing room following the pandemic, many businesses are struggling to re-establish office routines. Whether it’s redistributing workloads due to staff shortages or setting policies for remote work, there are ample new or revamped workplace expectations that must be addressed to ensure a well-running business. 

One common issue employers are struggling with is the employee dress code. Regardless of what type of business you run, your workplace needs to have a strong policy in place for employee attire. 

Why? Studies show that employees gain more respect from both their customers and their peers when they are dressed in an appropriate manner. Thus, it pays to make sure that your employees are appropriately dressed for your business needs.

Read on to find useful tips and tricks to make sure your dress code is appropriate and successful. Also, you can jump ahead to see our sample dress code reminder email to employees

Find the right fit

An appropriate employee dress code doesn’t have to mean formal business attire. Rather, it requires clothing that is appropriate for the type of business being conducted. If you are an attorney meeting with business clients or making a court appearance, a suit is appropriate (and, in some courts, it’s mandatory).

Even in a more casual environment, a dress code is a must. Take the retail store for example. Virtually all stores have some sort of dress code for employees. For some, like a retail clothing store, the attire likely matches the type of clothes being sold. It’s entirely appropriate for a men’s high-end suit shop to require its employees to also wear suits to work every day. However, a casual clothing store may require employees to simply wear jeans and a button-down shirt. 

For many businesses, the most practical option is a uniform. Whether the uniform is provided by the employer or simply dictated by guidelines depends on the specific needs of the business. An upscale restaurant may require all employees to wear black pants and a solid color shirt, but not be exacting about the style as long as they match the atmosphere of the venue; whereas a ski resort may provide shirts, hats, gloves, and ski jackets with the resort emblem on them so that employees are easily recognizable. For some businesses, aprons or t-shirts with business logos may be the most appropriate employee dress code option. Regardless of the specifics, dress codes involving uniforms mean customers will have an easy time identifying employees when needed. 

Coffee barista wearing apron while arranging cups

Other businesses may have a more strict employee dress code on most days, but allow more casual attire under certain circumstances. For example, casual Fridays are popular among many businesses as a way of allowing their employees to unwind at the end of the work week. Companies where employees seldom have client interactions may permit a business casual dress code and require more formal attire only during client interactions or special presentations. Regardless of how you structure your dress code, just make sure that it is appropriate for your business.

Ease into it

Before you send a dress code reminder email to employees, you need to have an established dress code. If you haven’t previously had a strict or well-established dress code, don’t simply announce it one day and expect it to be immediately followed. Rather, take steps to ensure employee buy-in. Conduct a survey to gauge employee feelings regarding the implementation of a dress code. Be sure to ask questions that highlight potential reasons for establishing a dress code. For example, inquire whether employees have ever been asked, “Do you work here?” and how often. Or ask if employees see the financial benefit in being provided with a uniform that they don’t have to purchase. By phrasing questions in this manner, you’re giving them the opportunity to see the benefit of a dress code, as opposed to focusing on the potential burden.

Another important step is to announce your new dress code and ease into implementing it, especially if you are going from a casual environment to one requiring more formal attire. Your employees will need time to build an appropriate work wardrobe. Consider creating a trial period when the code is in effect but there are no consequences for failing to adhere to the specifics. This allows time for employees to familiarize themselves with the code specifics and gives them time to purchase new clothes, if necessary. It also forgives potential forgetfulness for tenured employees who are used to the old dress code. Once employees have had the opportunity to get used to the code, you can make it mandatory going forward.

The devil is in the details

Make sure your dress code is clear and unambiguous. To do this, give a written policy to all employees, and require them to sign an acknowledgment that they have received and understand the policy. And make sure it is always available in the same location at your office. Once they understand the policy, it’s reasonable to occasionally send a dress code reminder email to your employees.

Ensure your policy contains sufficient detail through the use of examples. Don’t simply state that your policy is “business casual.” Give specifics of what “business casual” means. Likewise, give examples of what is not appropriate as well. Include an FAQ section that you update regularly as questions arise. It is entirely likely that if one employee has a question about the dress code, others do as well. 

Communication is key

Just a Reminder  During business hours, Whitman Associates employees are expected to be dressed and groomed in a professional and businesslike manner to reflect our Washington, D.C. location. Furthermore, studies show that employees gain more respect when they are dressed in a professional manner.  We need to keep in mind what is appropriate for Business Casual when your particular assignment permits Business Casual. Business Casual wear is NOT the same attire one would wear for the weekend or at home.

Consider having a meeting to go over expectations and allow questions. During the meeting, explain the dress code in detail, and make sure your employees fully understand the reason for its implementation. Also, clearly articulate the consequences for failing to adhere to the policy. 

A successful dress code policy will require periodic reminders of what your code entails, why it’s important, and how to address questions your employees may have. Send out a quarterly email dress code reminder to all employees, and consider some sort of reward system for employees who consistently follow the code, even if it’s nothing more than a simple email thank-you note.

Here’s an example of a clear and concise reminder email: 

Just a Reminder

During business hours, Whitman Associates employees are expected to be dressed and groomed in a professional and businesslike manner to reflect our Washington, D.C. location. Furthermore, studies show that employees gain more respect when they are dressed in a professional manner.

We need to keep in mind what is appropriate for Business Casual when your particular assignment permits Business Casual. Business Casual wear is NOT the same attire one would wear for the weekend or at home.

Examples of appropriate Business Casual attire:

Slacks, i.e. khakis, dockers and similar slacks

Button-up or polo shirts

Blouses

Dress shoes (not flip flops, athletic shoes, etc.) 

Examples of inappropriate Business Casual attire:

Jeans Shorts

Leggings

Tattered, tight, skimpy or revealing clothing

Tank tops, halter tops, midriff shirts

Athletic shoes

Loose footwear, i.e. sandals, flip flops, etc.

Any questions about attire should be discussed directly with Whitman Associates. Remember, you will be treated with more respect when you are appropriately dressed. As always, thanks for your cooperation and help in this matter.

With a little planning and strategic implementation, your dress code will be a success for your employees and your bottom line!

Temp of the Month September 2022: Clarice Bhattacharya

WAI 2022 September Temp of the Month.Idea-driven, artist, and a communications professional, Clarice Bhattacharya is an urban vagabond, lover of all things chocolate and holds a Masters degree in Strategic Communication from George Washington University.

Clarice has lived in Washington D.C. for three years where she has been exposed to exciting new people, interesting perceptions, and opportunities that have helped shape the person she is today. Clarice loves working with Whitman because of how lovely everyone at Whitman is and the quality of professional assignments that are offered. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, reading and lying on the grass on sunny mornings.

Temp of the Month August 2022: Lesleyan Jackson

Lesleyan Jackson is a native Washingtonian with a love for education, health and wellness. Lesleyan holds a bachelors degree in Health Policy and Administration from Penn State University and a Masters degree in Public and Community Health from Trinity Washington University. Lesleyan’s passion for health advocacy has afforded her a wealth of professional experience throughout Washington, D.C.

Lesleyan loves working with Whitman because of the wide range of quality professional assignments offered. In her spare time Lesleyan enjoys traveling the United States and abroad, reading and spending time with family and friends.