The Six-Word Memoir Blog

Six Words About Work—a New Challenge, Best Prizes Ever

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

By Larry Smith

Are you ready to work for your six? We think so and are excited to announce a very big, bold, and exciting new Six-Word Memoir project, “Six Words About Work,” in partnership with Mercer, a global leader in human resource consulting, outsourcing and investments. Every two weeks from now until the end of August, we’re issuing a new “Six Words About Work” Challenge. One winning Six-Word Work scribe (from each of the U.S., UK, and Canada) per topic will win his or her choice of an iPad2 or BlackBerry Playbook. All entries also are eligible to be part of a special Six Words About Work book we’re publishing this fall. Our first topic gets right to the heart of the matter:”My Job.” In six words, tell us why do you do what you do. Our judge is a woman who loves what she does, Gretchen Rubin creator of The Happiness Project blog and New York Times bestselling book, The Happiness Project,.

342 responses

  1. Pam says:

    Work for self-respect, security, success.

  2. Sondra D says:

    Babies won’t throw out my back, (Neonatal Nurse)

  3. Tina says:

    Two words… My kids!

  4. Mike M says:

    Work hard, play hard, drop dead!

  5. andrew dahl says:

    planting success: I teach the future

  6. Worker Bee says:

    At work, I see lazy people.

  7. David G. says:

    Let the countdown to retirement begin!

  8. Sadie says:

    Free food, Money and Men.

  9. Janice says:

    Sell puzzles…love it to pieces.

  10. Jim S. says:

    Helping educators help students learn. Amazing.

  11. Laura says:

    Because I have to, to survive.

  12. Evan C says:

    I work to buy me time.

  13. Tara says:

    I love education, needing full-time work.

  14. T-bird says:

    The husband won’t hit the lottery.

  15. Melissa says:

    Ask for money, use the money
    (Development Director)

  16. Anne says:

    Retired. Money working for me now!

  17. Shannon Manning says:

    I fight to protect our children!

  18. jazzyj39 says:

    Wasting time until I win lottery

  19. jazzyj39 says:

    Thank God for several vacation days

  20. dorix29 says:

    I am grateful for my job!!

  21. Scott says:

    It is the Best of Times

  22. Scott says:

    It was the Worst of Times

  23. Scott says:

    Day with Pay, is Great Day

  24. Scott says:

    Contribute To, Not Take From Society

  25. MisEmployed says:

    My skills make other people rich

  26. Jason W. Womack MEd, MA says:

    I Believe: We are smarter together.

  27. Native Texan says:

    To make a difference

  28. Stephanie McCook says:

    Get to work with stimulating people!

  29. Helene says:

    Baby: Food Services and Waste Management

  30. maria says:

    a path to a beautiful future

  31. Park Slope says:

    The toughest job you’ll ever shove

  32. naomi says:

    It sure ain’t for the money.

  33. Bill (teacher) says:

    “It renews my hope for tomorrow.”

  34. hideaway says:

    Because past choices have present consequences.

  35. Flyfisher says:

    “Wherever change leads you, be there!

  36. ES says:

    Crunching numbers keeps me in balance.

  37. cathy says:

    living on the grid takes work

  38. Bill (teacher) says:

    “Your kids, my kids…OUR future.”

  39. Brush Up On Those Haiku Skills: Smith Magazine Is Asking You To Describe Work In Six Words | TheGrindstone says:

    [...] you thought you were going to have nothing to do this long weekend. The Mercer Consulting firm and Smith Magazine have launched a global competition asking people to talk about work but they have to do it in six words or less. This shouldn’t [...]

  40. Jay in Austin says:

    Need two to pay my bills.

  41. Jay in Austin says:

    Keeps me off the internet.

  42. Jay in Austin says:

    How else can I pay bills?

  43. Jay in Austin says:

    Thank god for weekends.

  44. Jay in Austin says:

    My friends all have better jobs!

  45. Jay in Austin says:

    One job - four mouths to feed.

  46. Jay in Austin says:

    I grew up for . . . this?

  47. Jay in Austin says:

    Five days of work - not fun.

  48. Jay in Austin says:

    Need to marry a rich woman . . . .

  49. Jay in Austin says:

    My kids have more money than me!

  50. Jay in Austin says:

    Work for money - and my wife.

  51. Jay in Austin says:

    Wife spends more than I make . . . .

  52. Jay in Austin says:

    She leaves if I don’t work . . . .

  53. Artrwood says:

    All people need to be needed.

  54. Jay in Austin says:

    My kids wonder why I work!

  55. Jay in Austin says:

    It’s a Faustian bargain - that’s all.

  56. Talon says:

    Working for religion is heaven cent.

  57. Alex says:

    I need to support my family

  58. Rod says:

    Love Information Technology, hate the managers

  59. Rod says:

    Renaissance man, has done it all!

  60. Rod says:

    To toil, to achieve, to succeed!

  61. Ashley says:

    Because I can’t find anything better.

  62. Kellie Freedom says:

    I know everyone’s secrets- Human Resources.

  63. Kellie Freedom says:

    I do it for the money.

  64. Belinda says:

    Help people to love their jobs!

  65. Faye says:

    Too poor to do anything else

  66. Kellie Freedom says:

    Surrounded by construction, love every minute.

  67. Kellie Freedom says:

    Respected company= respect from my peers.

  68. Ashley says:

    I often cry when I’m here

  69. Kellie Freedom says:

    They pay me a ton here!

  70. Ashley says:

    I have no other employment options

  71. Kellie Freedom says:

    Building a solid resume, future, life!

  72. Kellie Freedom says:

    Surrounded by hard-working people, very fulfilling.

  73. Kellie Freedom says:

    Never lonely, never unemployed, never boring.

  74. Kellie Freedom says:

    Money is no longer an issue.

  75. Kellie Freedom says:

    Surrounded by hard-working, cute boys daily.

  76. Kellie Freedom says:

    I get all weekends/holidays off.

  77. Kellie Freedom says:

    To pay for fun for family.

  78. Kellie Freedom says:

    Learning the ropes to run business.

  79. laura says:

    part time isn’t paying the bills.

  80. Cindy Dashnaw says:

    Was for me, now for them.

  81. jamesbhunt says:

    Don’t want to die in prison.

  82. Tmac says:

    Love the office sign…”CLOSED”!

  83. Mark says:

    goverment job, nothing i say matters

  84. G. Anisse says:

    After My Master’s Degree I’m Gone

  85. Laura says:

    boss does drugs in his office

  86. RRossi says:

    I’m thankful to have a job!

  87. wendy hajj says:

    with our lives, we give life

  88. ROSE ROSEN says:

    love seeing my work on screen

  89. Mariann B says:

    Two sons, four school loans, voila!

  90. Julie Ziemelis says:

    Love your work, love your life. (social media consultant)

  91. Amber says:

    All The Hugs I Could Want!

  92. BigDogTKDMom says:

    Fun Times, Great Friends, Lifelong Learning

  93. Katy says:

    I work therefore I’m overly taxed.

  94. Jessica says:

    Never thought I would enjoy retail!

  95. Linda B. says:

    It is all about the lunch.

  96. Jennie R says:

    Because they grow way too fast.

  97. Sandra D. says:

    Because I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

  98. amy kate says:

    i am the only reliable one here.

  99. Amber says:

    (I work with 3 & 4 year olds for a living!)

  100. April S. says:

    There are people who need me.

  101. Stephanie says:

    Need money and time for school.

  102. DP says:

    I owe, off to work I go

  103. Stephanie M. says:

    Is it Saturday or Sunday yet??

  104. Marci S. says:

    The disfunctional side of my family.

  105. Elizabeth says:

    Live flexibly, laugh everyday, love teaching.

  106. Sunshine says:

    It’s either this or we’re homeless.

  107. LA says:

    Social media all day. What’s better?

  108. t2leary says:

    It’s my lifelong dream come true.

  109. Heather says:

    I love the extraordinary daily challenges.

  110. Sarah says:

    applying myself to be gainfully employed

  111. Elizabeth says:

    Love to learn, learn to love

  112. Cathi says:

    Diversify my life, friends, mind, inspiration

  113. Erin says:

    Working from home makes me happy.

  114. LeeAnn says:

    If it was fun- I’d volunteer!

  115. Cheryl K. says:

    Feel needed in some way daily.

  116. Sandy D in Michigan says:


  117. Elaina says:

    Mothering mothers so they mother others.

  118. carolyn says:

    I wish for my dream job.
    I will get it one day.
    If I say the right thing.
    Who knows what that will bring.
    I will learn for my turn.
    Please see all my hard work.
    My enjoyment is just a perk.
    One day I will get it.

  119. Jules says:

    I make more than my husband

  120. Amie Trahan says:

    I bring grammar to the masses ;)

  121. Ayofemi says:

    Helping My Peers Realize Their Potential

  122. Virgil Bierschwale says:

    How will my work benefit humanity?

  123. Desiree says:

    Animals Don’t Talk Back Like People

  124. ittabenaanita says:

    Teaching is my God-given vocation.

  125. Elizabeth says:

    It’s my passion. Perk: summers off.

  126. Joslyn says:

    Passion, creativity, friends, freedom and money.

  127. Melissa says:

    I like eating, lights, and water

  128. djklaugh says:

    I helped, I saved, I retired :)

  129. Melissa says:

    Remember diamonds are made under pressure

  130. Tess2011 says:

    I learn, I teach, I work.

  131. Amy: stay@home mom says:

    Working moms wish they could stay…

  132. Abbydancer says:

    Love art, but must pay rent.

  133. Susan Komisar Hausman says:

    Maybe I can save one child.

  134. Julia Thompson says:

    Wish being a mom paid better.

  135. Vicki says:

    to give my daughters a home.

  136. Tess2011 says:

    I work so husband can retire.

  137. Lois Kelly says:

    Communications can change the world.

  138. DivaAngelic says:

    Netflix…facebook… Oh and audit reviews

  139. EMSJ says:

    SAHM: Hardest Job I’ve Ever Had!

  140. Carrie says:

    paid in kisses, hugs, and wishes

  141. Shannon says:

    I do it because I care.

    (Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner Student)

  142. Lisa says:

    I inspire, encourage, and change lives.

  143. danielle says:

    inspiring middle school minds- summers off!!!!

  144. Jana says:

    I have the best job ever!

  145. sonya says:

    Gotta get out of the house.
    Mortgage has to get paid somehow.
    Making money for my shopping habit.
    Winning the lottery would be fun.

  146. Chrissy says:

    Happiness isn’t a place, it’s a direction.

  147. Alan says:

    Living embodiment of the Peter Principle.

  148. Abigail says:

    Customers call to whine, I listen. (Customer Service Rep)

  149. Valerie says:

    Single Mom Desperate For A Job

  150. Gretchen says:

    Work my Soles, Raise two Souls!

  151. Cam says:

    Learning now will pay off later.

  152. Silvia says:

    Punishment for having a nice weekend!

  153. marsham says:

    Sold books. Borders closed. Unemployed. Reading

  154. Gina the Accountant says:

    I count beans; they make dough.

  155. JulesPDX says:

    Clean up after. Low paid temp.

  156. Corporate Chick says:

    Meaningful work doesn’t pay this well.

  157. Lori says:

    Touching lives, one at a time

  158. Corporate Chick says:

    I get to “work” from home.

  159. Brian Thomas says:

    honest days work, just paying bills

  160. Lynn says:

    Life’s buffet spreads itself before me.

    (I’m a psychologist)

  161. mis loe says:

    i don’t get paid to care.

  162. jess says:

    I didn’t need that sleep anyway.

  163. Pam says:

    Back to school. Now the boss.

  164. HBB says:

    Perfect work comes from job pleasure !!

  165. Stephen H says:

    Reaching one kid makes teaching bearable.

  166. Brandon says:

    The government equals permanent job security.

  167. Marti says:

    So that others may heal patients.

  168. david-sensei says:

    Because the children are our future.

  169. Jeff in Atl says:

    Well somebody has to do it

  170. Carol D says:

    My kids need me at home.

  171. Dustman says:

    To feel complete, yet socially relevant.

  172. D Lo Car says:

    I really LOVE my job. Seriously!

  173. Bonita Powers says:

    I’m paid well, to be abused.

  174. B. says:

    Can’t fire me - I’m a slave!

  175. muse kidd says:

    I will provide content for cash.

  176. T Stanley says:

    I really do WANT a job!

  177. Angela Evans says:

    Shows my kids work is rewarding.

  178. Matt L says:

    Because I have a mortgage, wife

  179. bz says:

    i only work for the weekends.

  180. Matt M says:

    To pay my wife’s medical bills.

  181. bz says:

    a crappy pay = an unhappy day

  182. John C says:

    Because I love what I do :-)

  183. lazy says:

    my old boss called me this:

    bench leaner not a bench cleaner

  184. Liz says:

    Would do this job for free. :)

  185. Notaslave says:

    Workers work to enrich the wealthy

  186. bianca says:

    wages ages and creates excessive pages

  187. Jim Johnson says:

    My incredibly interesting occupation is photography

  188. bianca says:

    40 hours work, one shopping trip

  189. bz says:

    crappy pays lead to unhappy days

  190. Karalee says:

    Braille, canes, and advocacy change lives.

  191. rkc2001 says:

    I honor God through my work

  192. Jim Weir says:

    I’d do it for nothing (sssssh!)

  193. Katie Miller says:

    Work to live, not the opposite.

  194. Lauren L. says:

    Intellectually stimulating environment with great pay!

  195. Mjvdbs says:

    Fundraising to save lives. It’s gratifying!

  196. Hunter Gillezeau says:

    Love the work, people, respect, Visa.

  197. Notredamefan says:

    It is what it is not.

  198. Notredamefan says:

    One Flew Over the Cuckoos’ Nest

  199. like my job says:

    good work is its own reward!

  200. Rachel says:

    Work is a four letter word!

  201. Peter says:

    Take the money, live the lie.

  202. Annie Watson-Johnson says:

    It’s a lot easier than hookin’!

  203. Greeley O’Connor says:

    I work for Change. Beats tips.

  204. jen says:

    Like hell, but with fluorescent lighting!

  205. Nancy says:

    Freedom to think, not to act.

  206. Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd, Mars Venus Coach says:

    Balancing stress, focusing on en-JOY-ing life!

  207. Lynn K says:

    Risky business pays, captivates the mind.

  208. Jon says:

    Baby on way, career can wait

  209. Marcin L says:

    Its better(only slightly) than starving.

  210. Marcela says:

    Not just the money, but glory

  211. Justin says:

    Work to live, Live to work

  212. Mark says:

    Took a wrong turn, got stuck.

  213. Karen says:

    I have a mortgage to pay

  214. Joe M. says:

    Closer to relationship…employment lasted longer,

  215. DLK says:

    I get paid to be nosey.

  216. DLK says:

    Being nosey is my forte.

  217. DLK says:

    I work to pay for travel.

  218. James says:

    Have fun. Make a difference. Go!

  219. James says:

    The easy ones don’t pay much

  220. James says:

    Survive this work by laughing often

  221. Erica says:

    money, Money, MOney, MONey, MONEy, MONEY!

  222. Lauren says:

    Gas money to get to college.

  223. Shiloh says:

    The most real definition of insanity.

  224. terri says:

    I can’t wait until I retire!

  225. Cindy says:

    sold my soul for a paycheck

  226. Kelly says:

    Professional skeptic, or paid to doubt

  227. Zach says:

    I fear unemployment could be worse.

  228. Frank says:

    To golf on the weekend!

  229. LilPea0725 says:

    Because, sadly, bills don’t pay themselves.

  230. Jennifer says:

    Preschoolers are worth more than money!

  231. Donna says:

    Teaching kids to read is fun!

  232. JodieAnn says:

    i do it for the KIDS…

  233. Weezy says:

    Because I like the daily abuse.

  234. Chris L. says:

    Responsibilities to daughter, need the money!

  235. Julie says:

    Teach Prek: Never a dull nanosecond

  236. Lauren says:

    It finally means something to me.

  237. Eymee says:

    Want to be valued - add value

  238. spoirot says:

    On clock, off clock, doesn’t matter!

  239. Kristy says:

    Unnecessarily stressful, at least I’m paid.

  240. Emily B. says:

    Teaching reaches into the future: Purpose. 

  241. Haiku says:

    Work is a four letter word.

  242. vlong says:

    A woman’s work is never done!

  243. TexasT says:

    they don’t care why do I
    Monday Monday Monday Monday Friday YAY!
    Thank you may I have another

  244. mrs_smith says:

    I ask myself this question daily…

  245. Michelle says:

    I very much miss my job.

    Now, I’ll take anything out there.

    At night, I dream about working.

  246. Maggie says:

    Because unemployment checks don’t last forever…

  247. Jennifer says:

    Magic 8-Ball says: Ask again later.

  248. lynneasborealis says:

    My boss is 10 months old. :)

  249. Anne says:

    So many people, not enough booze…

  250. Jacan says:

    I have a duty to do.

  251. James Lavigne says:

    I have two (different views of the same half-full glass):

    Family, dignity, purpose, contribution, goodies.

    Elusive if paid, plentiful, and purposeful.

  252. James Lavigne says:

    I already posted but I thought of a variation of my post that I also like:

    Family, fulfillment, dignity, purpose, contribution.

  253. ROX says:

    I work from home…Praise God!

  254. betts says:

    part time job sustains unsustainable artist studio

  255. Chris says:

    Abandon hope all who enter here.

  256. John says:

    Work hard and teach others well.

  257. Mackle says:

    Waiting for Godot…no, he left.

  258. Sue says:

    I’m the toughest boss I know.

  259. Roadking says:

    To keep ahead of the rats.

  260. Sue says:

    Living the self-employed dream–twenty-four seven.

  261. Steve says:

    Teachers help the world, politicians divide

  262. Brooks says:

    But a means to an end.

  263. Liz says:

    Write clean code. Make stuff work.

  264. Sue says:

    Four thousand days until I retire.

  265. Constantino says:

    I work because I like to party!

  266. Constantino says:

    Gotta be miserable to be happy.

  267. Bret says:

    I was told to do it!

  268. sultanmitch says:

    I am enslaved; I will survive

  269. Rose-Marie says:

    A prescription for life without cancer

  270. clara says:

    be a voice for the voiceless

  271. clara says:

    free the enslaved; empower the free

  272. jo anne says:

    I teach others to help themselves.

  273. gleauanae says:

    blood, sweat, tears, for my family

  274. Lori says:

    SAHM - Not my cup of tea!

  275. RJ says:

    It’s an excuse to do nothing.

  276. Sandy says:

    A good team makes the day.

  277. Cimbali says:

    Retail is theatre, ok you’re on.

  278. Christine Nordstrom says:

    If you like work it’s “Workplay.”

  279. Terri Farley (author) says:

    Young heads and hearts soaring, reading!

  280. Ashley Moltzan says:

    a dedicated worker without much appreciation

  281. Kris says:

    Because Ed McMahon never showed up!

  282. Kris says:

    I don’t have a Sugar Daddy!

  283. Kris says:

    I change lives, lives change me

  284. Kris says:

    I don’t have a rich relative

  285. Kris says:

    I’m addicted to food and shelter

  286. Kris says:

    Need money to support coffee habit

  287. Joy says:

    Teenagers aren’t the nightmares they’re portrayed.

  288. Gatorpetvet says:

    My hands heal sweet helpless dogs.

  289. Silvia says:

    Pastime between this and next weekend!

  290. ShaiJ says:

    Do it for love, not money.

  291. Tawna says:

    Doesn’t scare easy, works retail

  292. Tawna says:

    Does not scare easy, works retail

  293. Tawna says:

    I just need the insurance. Thanks.

  294. Tawna says:

    Too educated to get hired anywhere

  295. Tawna says:

    Cashiering pays rent, student loans, food

  296. Tawna says:

    Bachelors degree, want fries with that?

  297. Tawna says:

    BA in English , Paper or plastic?

  298. Keith says:

    Work. Because Fun is over-rated.

  299. Scout says:

    Gotta have money to make money!

  300. Scout says:

    I use my brain and gain

  301. MHR says:

    mind opens, heart beats, words come

  302. Scout says:

    tis shame, no pain no gain

  303. Scout says:

    i yearn to learn and earn

  304. Lady Voodoo says:

    Are we supposed to enter here or on the Work tab??

  305. Linda C. Wisniewski says:

    Retired. Work for myself now. Writing!

  306. D Martin says:

    To avoid using my own a/c.

  307. Rebecca says:

    For the money, not the happiness.

  308. Beaumont says:

    I see world changing potential

  309. @DespiDoodle says:

    Self-employed. Tough gig. Tough boss!

  310. Tameka Mullins says:

    Writing is my soul’s resume objective.

  311. Tameka Mullins says:

    It helps to pay for doughnuts.

  312. Tameka Mullins says:

    Literal movements beats lateral by landslide.

  313. Tameka Mullins says:

    Without purpose and poetry we die.

  314. Mich-again-der says:

    Making the most of it; (F)Unemployment!

  315. Angie says:

    Catching babies is an awesome job.

  316. M.H. says:

    I promised ten-year-old me.

  317. @DespiDoodle says:

    To help heroes of small business!

  318. @DespiDoodle says:

    Write to fight for others’ jobs.

  319. Josephine says:

    Sucking up to boss is loathesome.

  320. Josephine says:

    My paycheck isn’t worth the hassle.

  321. Josephine says:

    It’s OK to work for joyfulness.

  322. Josephine says:

    Going to work should be fun.

  323. Josephine says:

    Work and play aren’t mutually exclusive.

  324. Josephine says:

    Every morning I go in smiling.

  325. Josephine says:

    I do this for the satisfaction.

  326. Josephine says:

    The paycheck is just an afterthought.

  327. Bethe says:

    I’ll always work–even after retirement.

  328. natalie says:

    survival comes in all forms:work

  329. Meghan says:

    They’re finally paying me for this!

  330. dp says:

    Frustrating job, providing means for great holidays

  331. Jo Ann Daniels says:

    Working with people, who become family.

  332. William (prof.) says:

    Trusting boss: …”Just keep me posted.”

  333. Smith Magazine Wants You To Describe Your Boss In Six Words | TheGrindstone says:

    [...] part of its four-part global competition collaboration with the Mercer Consulting Firm, Smith Magazine is asking people to talk about work, [...]

  334. Al D says:

    Working is better than not working.

  335. Francesca Busca says:

    Dreaming astronaut, doing law, sweating motherhood!!!

  336. Jim Curry says:

    Work to live; live to enjoy.

  337. bert says:

    Job is better than no job

  338. Gene H. says:

    I love being around people, just don’t like working with them!

  339. Judy says:

    One more day closer to retirement

  340. Brittany Gillaspy says:

    You want me to do what?

  341. Joseph says:

    I still don’t know why.

  342. Joseph says:

    Have to pay back school loans…

Leave a Reply

The name you want displayed with your comment.

Emails are not published with comments (i.e., everyone won't see it).

Your Website. This is optional.

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.