Six Words About Work book captures passion, insights of today’s workforce – six words at a time


Book contains 400 six-word memoirs culled from nearly 8,000 contest entries


Six words can pack a powerful message, especially when the topic is one that elicits strong views and emotions. Through the recent Six Words About Work online contest – sponsored by SMITH Magazine, creator of the Six-Word Memoir® series, and 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 compelling new book, Six Words About Work. 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.
  • I’m good at pushing around commas.
  • Who doesn’t love the payroll lady?


Click the word cloud created from all entries on this topic.


The best boss I ever had


  • Defined destination without dictating the map.
  • Promoted truth, justice and, eventually, me.
  • Shouted “Get out now!” at 6pm.
  • The respect was earned, not demanded.
  • Listened, led, cared. Every single day.


Click the word cloud created from all entries on this topic.


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.
  • A secret passion for flawless formatting.
  • Parents sacrificed so I could soar.


Click the word cloud created from all entries on this topic.


Biggest lesson I learned at work


  • Surprise your spouse, not your boss.
  • Work like you own the company.
  • Almost everything is better with snacks.
  • Learn the ropes before challenging customs.
  • Press every button until printer works.


Click the word cloud created from all entries on this topic.



The Six Words About Work contest was a key element in Mercer’s year-long client outreach campaign entitled “Inside Employees’ Minds: Navigating the New Rules of Engagement.” The 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.




Purchase this book


Six Words About Work will be available for sale beginning December 1, 2011, here. The cost is $12.95 plus shipping and handling.