Midwest Work Ethic – It’s A Thing!

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It’s a well-know fact that Midwesterners are hard workers.

For all of my 25 years in Executive Search we have constantly received requests for candidates from the Midwest, because they “know how to work”, especially in our Construction and Manufacturing divisions. I would agree the work ethic demonstrated by our parents from an early age, the down-home values of honesty and integrity instilled in us from our elders, coupled with the rich kindness and care for others you experience in the Midwest, really does make the Midwest overall a very special place, rich with everyone becoming family if you’re not already. 

Every region, state and city in the Midwest are different, but each has qualities that make them special places to be. However, the Midwest is oftentimes wrongfully targeted as “backwoods” or “simple”, leading one to believe the people here are uneducated, poor business-people and to the extreme, unworthy of a true professional’s time. I can attest to the fact that there are a number of reasons why the Midwest is exceptional.

Genuine Friendliness/Community Oriented

People in the Midwest have an affinity for putting themselves out there and meeting new people. If someone is new to the community, it won’t be long before they’re invited to dinner or asked to be a part of an event, not because of small locale, but because people are aware and care about those around them.

If a neighbor, friend, or acquaintance is going through a tough time, people step up. As much as well wishes and small talk is appreciated from time to time, actions speak louder than words. It’s more than just giving someone a hot-dish (no it’s not a casserole around here, it’s a hot-dish). Little things like holding doors and shoveling others’ driveways are more common gestures in the Midwest than anywhere else. I may be partial because I’m a resident, but the friendliness of the region is proven.

The University of Cambridge did a study analyzing almost 1.6 million U.S. residents and found that the Midwest was home to the most conventionally friendly people in the country (Source: Huffington Post). It’s not often places immediately want you to feel welcome, but in the Midwest, it’s one of the many things we’re known for.

There is an immense pride Midwesterners have about where they live. Oftentimes, Midwest states are underestimated and viewed only for our cheese and farmland, and while we make a mean cheese curd, it’s not uncommon for locals to step up and defend their town for nightlife, aesthetic and community. 

Enthusiasm regarding the region is abundant, but you don’t realize it until you experience it. Whether it’s seeing someone shirtless at a Packer game in negative-twenty degree weather or being one of the 65,000 people outside the Fiserv Forum as the Milwaukee Bucks win the NBA Championship (so much fun), people love to celebrate and we take great pride in our teams. It’s common for visitors to admit that even though they aren’t Packer fans, they’ve never seen a stadium like Lambeau Field with that much energy and great camaraderie.

All Four Seasons

A lot of the bad rap the Midwest gets is because of our weather. Every state has its pros and cons, but we’re lucky enough to get all four seasons, leaving people flocking to the Midwest when summer arrives to soak up the sun at the perfect vacation temperature all season long. In winter, we can pair our Christmas festivities with skiing and sledding. Any Midwesterner will tell you it isn’t Christmas without snow. I have never really understood the big deal – you either go from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned office or a heated home to a heated office. Pick your poison, but we still all have our weather “cross to bear”.

The region is also known for The Great Lakes. There are many things that make the more than 90,000 miles of water live up to its “great” name. Lake life is huge here and The Great Lakes lends itself to plenty beachside getaways just a short drive away. If you’ve never experienced the Midwest in the summer, you are missing out on a big reason why we love it here.

Perfect Mix of Big & Small Cities

The Midwest, while spacious, offers people the perfect marriage of city life and small-town community. Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Indianapolis are all big cities within driving distance for anyone in the region. From unique dining and breweries, to performing arts and attractions there’s a lot to see and do whether you’re a visitor or live in the area full time.

For people looking for a more relaxed scene, quaint cottage towns like the places dotting the Door County Peninsula and Mackinac Island offer a slower pace along the water away from the hubbub of city life. Waterfront dining, boating, and boutique shopping are popular pastimes on the lakefront. And don’t forget the Mackinac fudge!

The mix between expansive land and large cities makes the area a very affordable place to live while giving people the option of a picturesque, relaxed atmosphere or the hustle and bustle of a big city.

Food/State Fairs

The Midwest is home to a hearty number of fairs and festivals, especially in the summer. From cheese curds to cream puffs, fairs not only offer great weekend activities but some of the best food to indulge in, think deep fried everything! The area is known for State and County Fairs, Mile of Music, Oktoberfest, Country USA and Summerfest – the largest music festival in the country. There’s something every weekend for people to celebrate and Midwesterners are enthusiastic about anything to do with live music and a good beer. Did I mention the breweries?

All Things Considered…

It’s clear to residents how special the Midwest is, it’s America’s Heartland, and there’s a lot more here than what meets the eye. To someone less familiar with the area it’s easy to breeze past all that makes it unique and one of the best places to not only visit but also to live.

When all is said and done, the number one reason it’s such a great place to be is because of the people. A place is only as special as the community that resides there, and the friendliness and genuine care people have for one another and the cities as a whole is unmatched.

So next time you’re searching for tremendous talent or a company that follow through on their word, look no further.  We are happy to serve and all very “Midwest Proud”.

Are you missing a sense of urgency and commitment to getting the job done on time at your company? Let us provide your company with some Midwest talent! Email Sharon Hulce, President/CEO anytime at [email protected] or give the office a call at 920.996.9700!    

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