This past Tuesday, my wife and I celebrated our 30th Anniversary with a getaway to Minnesota’s scenic North Shore on Lake Superior.
Over dinner on the deck of a lakefront restaurant, we were sharing memories of our wedding rehearsal, ceremony, and reception. They are all distant memories now, but many stick with you from the time they happen.
I recalled my Dad’s reaction to the snazzy 1990 Cadillac Sedan de Ville I was driving on our wedding weekend, for instance. As a wedding gift, my brother & his wife graciously paid for us to have the luxe wheels from a rental car company.
With both of us admiring the car in the parking lot of the restaurant we held our rehearsal dinner at, my Dad said “work hard for MegaCorp, and they will buy you a car like this.”
That was an exciting prize to imagine at the moment and the challenge stuck with me. Anything seemed possible when you are in your early 20s and executives at MegaCorp did in fact drive cars like that Cadillac. It was good encouragement for me at that point in my life.
Flash forward almost 20 years later and I was actually picking out my first company-paid executive vehicle to go with my new VP and Officer title at MegaCorp. My Dad’s pre-wedding counsel had proven quite prescient and they had delivered!
Cadillacs were no longer as fashionable at that time, so I took delivery of an Acura MDX and later a BMW X5. They gassed, maintained, and washed the vehicle 2x a week for me in the executive garage. I still drive a X5 – and although I paid for my latest one with my own money in early retirement – it still feels like MegaCorp paid for it.
In addition to sophisticated wheels, MegaCorp largesse included a lot of perks and amazing experiences that made me feel generously rewarded.
I’ve always said that one of the best parts of my MegaCorp career was feeling a part of something much bigger than yourself. I don’t miss the work, but I look back with great fondness at the special opportunities I was afforded.
There is no real replacement for that in early retirement, but I have no regrets to have walked away from MegaCorp more than a decade early. Instead, I’m thankful to be well-enough off that I can now afford to create my own rewards & experiences – on my own terms.
What non-cash perks or rewards motivated you during your career?