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New Six Words About Work book captures passion and insights of today’s workforce

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Six words can pack a powerful message, especially when the topic is one that elicits strong views and emotions. Through the Six Words About Work online contest this summer, sponsored by SMITH Magazine and consulting firm Mercer, participants submitted nearly 8,000 six-word entries, sharing work-related experiences and words of wisdom.


Now, 400 of the best entries have been compiled into a new book, Six Words About Work, available for sale December 1, 2011, at http://bitly.com/sixaboutwork for $12.95. Among the entries included in the book:


Why I do what I do
• Little rocks can make big ripples.
• My words move things off shelves.
• Grandchildren need spoiling; I keep toiling.


What inspires my very best work
• Being someone my child can respect.
• Impending doom of the missed deadline.
• Receiving brand-new, shiny and positive feedback.


The best boss I ever had
• Defined destination without dictating the map.
• Promoted truth, justice and, eventually, me.
• Shouted “Get out now!” at 6pm.


Biggest lesson I learned at work
• Surprise your spouse, not your boss.
• Almost everything is better with snacks.
• Learn the ropes before challenging customs.


“In five years of running the Six-Word Memoir® project, I have found that the best memoirs are driven by passion and creativity, and this was certainly reflected in the ‘Six Words About Work’ memoirs; powerful, funny, poignant stories came pouring in by the thousands all summer long,” said Larry Smith, Founder of SMITH Magazine, which launched the Six-Word Memoir project in November 2006. “Selecting only 400 entries was challenging, but in the end, those chosen reflect the deep insights and emotions people feel about their own work experiences.”


Said Steve Faigen, Partner and Enterprise Marketing and Research Leader at Mercer, “Our goal in sponsoring the ‘Six Words About Work’ contest was to bring to life the human dimension of what engages and motivates today’s employees – a crucial insight for our clients. The quality and quantity of the submissions surpassed our own high expectations, and we would like to thank the thousands of participants who shared such thought-provoking work memoirs, six words at a time.”


About the Six Words About Work contest
The Six Words About Work contest was open to the general public in the US, UK and Canada and ran throughout the summer of 2011 in four phases.  Each country had four winners, one for each phase of the contest. Judges for the contest were well-known authors and experts on work-related issues, including Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project; Anne Ruddy, President of WorldatWork; Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent At Anything: The Four Keys to Transforming the Way We Work and Live; and David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.


Winners were chosen based on the submission’s creativity, quality and relevance to the topic, and each received his or her choice of a new Apple® iPad or Blackberry® Playbook™. The contest was a key element in Mercer’s year-long client outreach campaign entitled “Inside Employees’ Minds: Navigating the New Rules of Engagement.”


The Six Words About Work book was developed in just four weeks by Mercer and SMITH Magazine and is being self-published through Blurb. “Working with Blurb gave us the opportunity produce this book very quickly after the end of the contest, while creating a quality publication that both Mercer and SMITH can be proud of – and that many people will enjoy,” said Mr. Smith, who has published six books on various Six-Word Memoir topics.


Note to editors: A full PDF of the book is available upon request.


About Mercer
Mercer is a global leader in human resource consulting, outsourcing and investment services. Mercer works with clients to solve their most complex benefit and human capital issues by designing, implementing and administering health, retirement and other benefit programs. Mercer’s investment services include investment consulting, implemented consulting and multi-manager investment management. Mercer’s 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., which lists its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) on the New York and Chicago stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.mercer.com.


About SMITH Magazine
Founded in January 2006 with the tagline, “Everyone has a story. What’s yours?” SMITH Magazine has become a leader in personal storytelling, and home of the Six-Word Memoir® project. Originally launched in November 2006 as a collaboration with a then-little-known start-up called Twitter, now more than half a million Six-Word Memoirs have since been submitted to SMITHmag.net and SMITHteens.com. Six-Word Memoirs have become a bestselling book series, calendar, board game, live event series, inspirational teaching tool and global phenomenon. For more information, visit www.smithmag.net.