Does Cairo, GA and ‘Syrup Country’ Hold the Secret to Landing a New Job?

Have you ever been to Cairo? Georgia – not Egypt. Didn’t think so.

Could you show me where it is at on a map (without the map in this post)? Didn’t think so.

Can you tell me anything about it without using Google? Didn’t think so.

So how can a town you have never been to, never heard of, and know nothing about impact your job-search? You’d be surprised.

Cairo (pronounced like Karo syrup, not Cairo, Egypt), known as Syrup City,  is a small town (population, 9,000) in south Georgia that is 30 miles north of Tallahassee, FL.

For being such a small town it has produced its fair share of people who have helped shape the world, including baseball player Jackie Robinson, Teresa Edwards (Olympic Gold Medalist), Daryle Singletary (country music singer) and Mickey Thomas (lead singer of Jefferson Starship). Most importantly, however, it is the home town of Christina, my much, much, much better half.

So now that the commercial is over the question still remains – how can a small town in the middle of nowhere affect your job-search? Read on.

They have created an identity and brand for themselves that makes people want to know more. If you look at any list of the best highschool mascots put out by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, or anyone else you will find the Cairo Syrupmakers (yes I said Syrupmakers) always ranked high on the list.

They could have gone with the wildcats, rebels, predators, bears, tigers, lions, or any other popular name out there and they chose someone who makes syrup as their namesake and a pitcher pouring syrup as the mascot of their highschool athletic teams.

My wife has a Syrupmaker pullover and without fail it is a conversation magnet every time she puts it on. People want to know what a syrupmaker is, what it means, where it’s from and everything else about it. If by chance they know the meaning behind it they beam with pride like they are part of a special club that has exclusive membership.

The take away: What is the brand you have created for yourself? Are you a lion, rebel, or bear just like everyone else or are you a Syrupmaker? Do people remember you and want to discuss you and what you are about?

They take pride in themselves and their product. If there is one thing that Cairo is, they are proud of their Syrupmakers. If you drive around town you will see signs everywhere that say ‘Go ‘Makers’ or ‘Syrupmaker Pride’.

On Friday nights during high school football season the town nearly shuts down to watch the ‘Makers play. In fact this football season they played a state playoff game near Atlanta (nearly three hours away) and had more fans in attendance than the home team.

The take away: You have to take pride in your craft (both your function and your search) and be your biggest cheerleader because no one else will be. If you are not excited about what you do and your quest to find a new opportunity why should anyone else be?

They have created a community. In Cairo (and in small towns everywhere) people know one another, generally care for each others well-being, and help each other out because it’s the way they do things and their way of life.

The takeaway: From a job-search perspective if you do not build a community that you can call on for networking purposes, support, and help you are going to find yourself in bad shape very quickly.

So does Cairo have the magic bullet to you landing your next opportunity? Maybe, maybe not – but it sure does have the roadmap for laying a good foundation.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

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5 responses to “Does Cairo, GA and ‘Syrup Country’ Hold the Secret to Landing a New Job?

  1. Thank you so much for this uplifting article. You are so correct here in Cairo, there is magic in those “friday night lights”. We love our Syrupmakers, we love our town, and we mostly love our neighbors. We are not pushy in our love….nosey I mean, but if anyone needs anything, you have but to ask. Ya’ll come back now ya hear.

  2. Actually, I have been to Cairo, seen a Syrupmaker football game, and experienced the joy of “Hospitality City” first hand. This just reminds me I need to go back and visit–it’s been a few years!

  3. Enjoyed the article and so glad to see Cairo in the news and it is a positive upbeat piece too! We may be small a town of only 9,000, but we do pull together to help our own and help others as well. Syrupmakers reign in all our sports, not just football, but basketball, track, tennis, golf, soccer and other school related sports and we are proud of them all! We support our schools, communties, and we are proud of being Cairoites and Syrupmakers!
    Gimme a C, Gimme a A, Gimmie a I, Gimmie R & O! Whaddya got…CAIRO!

  4. I am from Cairo, Ga.. and I miss home so much. I moved to Fl. and got married to a Navy military man and have not been back to Cairo but to visit. My grandmother had worked at the Cairo Pickle Plant till she passed… I use to love to hear that whistle blow. You want find people any freindlier than in Cairo Ga.

    • That whistle blows each and every time a touchdown in scored in the Syrup Bowl on Friday nights during football season! It was moved over to the stadium a few years back, and a syrup-cooking mill was built beside the Williams Field House. When a touchdown is scored, steam comes up through the chimney and the whistle blows. Ted Long, or Stadium announcer, used to announce that “The Syrupmakers have cooked up another touchdown”! Quite unique – I didn’t even attend CHS, but have found that certain devotion to the team and the Syrupmaker Marching Band! A truly great place to live and work!

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