When You Work for a Unicorn

Back in August I asked for a raise as I took on more responsibilities and projects, and slowly learned that several of my co workers that have been here around the same amount of time, but do considerably less work, were getting paid more than me. Because there was a potential bill that was going to massively screw with the company’s taxes, and a couple uncertainties, I was given a “You’ll get a raise, but we need to figure some stuff out, so we just ask for your patience.” And because I have no plans to leave the area, and currently work at the company that is the biggest and highest paying in the area, I had nowhere I’d like to go.

Well I found out really quickly that I work for a unicorn employer. An employer that does things nobody else would have even offered. I asked for a $10,000 to get me from $50,000 to $60,000, which is what other companies outside of the area would have hired me for. When I got called into my boss’ office for my end of the year chat, My bonus was $10,000. Normally it is between $1,500-2,000. I was given my raise retroactively for the entire year!

I would have expected 4 months worth of retroactive pay if they would have offered that, not the whole year! Plus because my boss has seen us (my wife also works for the company), he offered me a deal. I’ll get paid the $50,000 rate in 2023, but he’ll dump my “raise” into my first paycheck to help us get a house, because he’s seen us try to get a house in this crazy market the last couple of years, and wants us to realize the dream of homeownership. He also gave a soft hint again that he’d love to have us on the leadership/ownership team in the future.

In a world of job hopping, like many of my friends do, sometimes you can find a unicorn employer that realizes your worth and will move the world to keep you. In the entertainment industry, most larger companies have a handful for full time, salaried staff, and the rest are contractors, maybe with minimal benefits. My company employs almost 30 full time staff and 4 part time staff (mostly people who want to only work select days of the week). We also tend to hire 6-8 interns every summer, and if they live locally, or can find a place to crash in town, we invite them back to help on their breaks.

We are also offered fantastic benefits like low deductible healthcare (which they paid for all of the premiums while we were shut down during covid), 2 weeks of vacation, having off between Christmas and New Years, so essentially 3 weeks of vacation, a retirement plan, dental reimbursement. And our scheduling person plans in days off when someone is working on the weekend or has a 21 day run like I did last year in July. We also have flexible office hours. I’m able to come in an hour early and leave an hour early. Which is fantastic because that gives me time to get home, finish some chores and get dinner on the table by the time my wife is home.

I am a follower of the Financial Independence (FI) community, and while most people follow the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) part, I have no plans to retire early since I’ve found this job and actually get excited to wake up every morning for work. I’m still barreling towards FI as fast as I can, but that’s so I can some day afford to retire in style, and enjoy my job along the way.

Published by personalfixerupper

An Entertainment Tech's journey to financial freedom, less gut, and inner happiness

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