The legendary holiday bonus

posted by Jeff | Thursday, December 21, 2006, 9:56 AM | comments: 4

Half of my professional life I worked for government, where there is no such thing as a holiday bonus. Since then I've worked for failing old media companies, start ups and stingy family operations that can't or won't afford bonuses.

So imagine my surprise when I get back from vacation to see that I got paid a little less than half of a very substantial bonus last Friday. And it's the biggest one I've ever had, even though it's only a portion. They operate on the base percentage and multiplier system that has become popular in a lot of places, the multiplier being based on some company performance metric between 0 and 2.

I hesitate to call this "corporate America" since it's still very much a dotcom start-up, but it's nice to work for a company that rewards its employees for the company's success. I thought that was starting to become a scarce concept. There have always been three things that I didn't like about working for The Man: Lack of growth or advancement potential (skills/responsibility), disregard for financial rewards and no independence in terms of how and when you work. Admittedly that last thing I still don't really have, but the time off and flexibility for leaving early now and then makes that a little easier to deal with.

If I'm really careful, and pay myself out of the business a little, I might finally pay off all of my personal debt. That's pretty exciting since I started the year at around $15k in the hole (not counting business stuff). I give myself a lot of credit for being so disciplined and still manage to live the J-Pizzie lifestyle.

Now if I can get the biz under control in the first half of the year... life will be financially pretty cool.


Neuski, December 21, 2006, 3:26 PM #

I would be lying if I said that I didn't expect a bonus, but they could always call the time off we're getting post-Christmas/pre-New Years as a bonus. I'm so greedy.

Ty.Blog, December 21, 2006, 9:15 PM #

Walt, December 22, 2006, 4:01 PM #

I'm skeptical person in a world that is way, way, way too full of worthless self-help, diet, and money books. Everyone says, "I've got the best plan to help you do (XYZ)."

That said, I listen to Dave Ramsey every day. Very sound, common sense stuff that most people just don't do. I encourage everyone (and just ask my family, I do :) ) to read his book The Total Money Makeover. Financial freedom is pretty cool stuff.

Tekno, December 22, 2006, 11:47 PM #

Honestly, I've worked for Corporations and Big Business since I was 16, and the Xmas Bonus (not that I really care when I get a bonus, I don't even celebrate Xmas) was always a given in some form. Then I started working for the government and nothing.

Heck, we don't even get as many days off for it since the holiday falls after a weekend.

But, then in 2004, since our State Dept. saved so much money, they gave us all $1000. After taxes, that was enough for airfare and hotels for part of my 2005 SoCal/Vegas trip. I wish we got that more often.

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