The Six-Word Memoir Blog

New Book Release! Six Words About Work

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

By Larry Smith

“My classroom is my Carnegie Hall.”
“Surprise your spouse, not your boss.”
“Who doesn’t love the payroll lady?”

What makes a good topic for a Six-Word Memoir? In short, a subject that evokes a passionate response. So when the consulting group Mercer asked me if I thought a six-word project around work would yield an enthusiastic response I knew it would. For better and often for worse, work works us up.

Now, just two months after wrapping up our Six Words About Work collaboration, SMITH Magazine and Mercer are pleased to report that the latest installment of the Six-Word Memoir series is already in print and available for your Secret Santa: Six Words About Work. The book offers 400 ways of looking at work today, and packed with inspirational quotes on why people do what they do, tips and tricks to navigate the work life, and lessons learned along the way. It even has some six-word thoughts on work from some folks who give out such advice for a living. Today Show personal finance expert Jean Chatzky has perhaps never summed up why motivates her to do her job as she does with this six words: “Personal finance expert: savings equals sanity.” Forbes editor-in-chief Randall Lane advises, in six words, “Add value—otherwise you’re a commodity.” And most of the work inspiration comes from regular people simply doing their job, like Catherine Lee who says, “I am librarian, hear me whisper”; and others simply remember the little things that help get us all through the day, such as Melesha Owen who suggests, “Press every button until printer works.”

Six Words About Work is now on sale at, and will soon be in some of our favorite independent bookstores as well. Read more about this unique collaboration on

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