The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!
I work for one of the largest private employers in the state of Oregon, and with this job comes some great benefits. Deals on cell phones, gym memberships, discounts for local businesses and my favorite — a free all-zone adult public transportation pass. To buy this privately, (as many people do) would set me back a whopping $946!
That is one mighty fine work perk.
Although I’ve been in the same job for 14 years, I have enjoyed employment by many different companies throughout the years. I’ve worked everything from retail in Idaho, shoe sales in London, (note to self — DON’T ask customers if they’re planning on wearing their shoes with a skirt or “pants.”) cinemas and restaurants in Portland, Oregon and even as an elf at Macy’s in Herald Square, New York.
Yeah, I moved a lot.
The jobs varied from interesting to tedious, poorly paid to semi-poorly paid. But they all had one thing in common — work perks.
Working retail meant an employee discount on merchandise, which could be quite sizable, other jobs provided handy perks as well:
- The variety store in Ketchum, Idaho gave a “cost plus 10%” discount, which sometimes translated to 90% off. Got my holiday shopping done early that year!
- The shoe store in London not only offered a discount on shoes, (the amount of which I’ve forgotten) but customers would occasionally purchase new shoes and leave the old ones in the store. As gross as this may sound, I got a new looking pair of super cool shoes this way, which I held onto for at least ten years.
- Work in restaurants always provided free food and drinks, and working at a movie theater meant I was able to see free movies at all the theaters in town for myself and a guest. This last job was during my senior year of high school, and my best friend and I took great advantage of the viewing opportunities, often seeing multiple movies in a single day!
- Oddly, the stint as a Christmas elf at Macy’s was one of the worst employee discounts, as it was for only 15% off products that could be worn on the body. (clothing, jewelry, make-up, etc.) Although, Wearing a head-to-toe sparkly elf costume meant I didn’t have to dress professionally, which I considered to be a huge plus. Not to mention, it was simply a lot of fun!
My current job as a labor and delivery nurse also provides my work wardrobe, (although there is certainly less bling than your average elf costume) which has probably saved me thousands of dollars through the years. Some nurses on other floors have to provide their own scrubs, but ours are provided by the hospital as we circulate through the operating rooms and need to have certifiably clean outfits. Infection control and all.
These work perks can be a huge part not only in making a job worthwhile, but in employee retention. My friend’s husband works in management at AT&T, and got free box seat tickets to take their daughter and her friends to see a Miley Cyrus concert last night. (This probably won him the daddy-of-the-year award at his house!)
The main work perk that attracts employees and then keeps them in place are health care benefits. How many of us have stayed in a job simply because we needed the benefits? Or even left a job we loved because it didn’t provide those essential health care benefits?
Have you ever taken a job because it came with fabulous work perks? Was it an employee discount on merchandise or comprehensive health care coverage? What was your favorite work perk you’ve ever had? Please share your stories in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”