30 Best Perks of Corporate Work (Beyond Pay and Benefits)

When it comes to employee benefits, you probably think about the usual stuff. But there’s a treasure trove of unexpected corporate perks you can easily access too.

Corporate Perks: Beyond Standard Benefits

When it comes to employee benefits, you probably think about the standard stuff like vacation time, health insurance, health savings account, retirement plans, parental leave, and  corporate discounts.

And some of the best places to work also offer a bunch of other helpful benefits too, like free food, pet insurance, gym memberships, employee well-being programs, and even free access to financial planners.

But did you know there’s a treasure trove of additional benefits just waiting for you to access? And these corporate benefits aren’t exclusive to silicon valley tech companies.

I’m talking about perks that are freely available to virtually any corporate employee — and can be a total game-changer for you financially, professionally and personally! 

30 Best Benefits of Growing Your Career in the Corporate World

After spending more than 20 years in the corporate world, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. But you know what? I’ve also come to appreciate my career in business more than I ever thought I would.

By making the most of my time in the corporate workplace, I’ve been able to travel around the world, make lifelong friendships, achieve financial freedom, and enjoy some amazing life experiences.

So keep reading and I’m going to tell you all about the 30 best perks of corporate work! I’ve grouped them into 9 different categories:

Cool Life Experiences

First, let’s dive into the fun-side of corporate work, and many ways “doing business” can bring unexpected enjoyment. 

1. Overseas Assignments

This is an excellent development opportunity that global companies offer employees. In addition to being an awesome life experience, overseas assignments help to expand your worldview, gaining exposure to different cultures and diverse ways of working.

International business travel can offer this too, just in smaller doses. I never lived overseas, but I spent a lot of time traveling to new countries. Each time I traveled to a new place and spent time with local teammates, my knowledge and often appreciation for their way of life (and cuisine) grew.

If you work for a global company, be sure to seek out experiences to collaborate with international colleagues.

2. Rewards & Recognition

It’s commonplace for companies to treat their high-performing employees to a ton of different rewards and recognition.

First, there’s the basic employee rewards program, where you can earn points over time and redeem them toward different items. Meh, not all that exciting — but save up enough points and you can score some nice freebies.

Next, you have rewards you can enjoy with friends or family. For example, gift cards to higher-end restaurant, like Flemings or Roy’s. Or get free tickets to theme parks, sporting events, and concerts.

Thanks to my husband’s hard work, his company spoiled us with special tickets to dozens of basketball, football and baseball games over the years, often times in suite seats. As a sports fans, this was an awesome work perk for us!

3. Incentive Trips

Then we have the next tier of recognition: incentive trips! And these aren’t just for sales reps who exceed quota. There are always MVP slots offered to great employees across the other business groups—finance, marketing, HR, etc.

Not only do these trips reward you (and your spouse) with 5-star hospitality at fabulous destinations, but they often include high-end gifts as well. I once brought home a smart TV!

4. Entertaining 

Some of the best employee perks are the ones connected to business development and relationship building. Companies love to wine and dine their top clients and great business partners, and will spend big bucks to do it up right. 

High-end restaurants and private golf outings are often the preferred venues for entertaining clients and business partners. Coming in a close second are premier sporting events, like PGA tournaments, NCAA games, Super Bowls, College Bowls, and more. If you work in sales, biz dev or customer support, there’s a good chance you’ll get to benefit from much of the above.

For the uber special clients and partners, companies will often host events that include spouses at deluxe destinations—think Ritz Carleton and Four Seasons type resorts. However, participation at these events is typically limited senior leaders. A good reason to keep working on that promotion!

5. Giving Back
Do you want to support a good cause and make a positive impact in your community? Grow your career in corporate! All big businesses, and many smaller companies, have sponsored giving programs, like offering paid time off to volunteer, matching donations to various non-profit organizations, or running united way campaign drives. 

But there’s also grassroot efforts where coworkers come together on their own to make a meaningful difference for others. Like sending care packages to soldiers, delivering gifts to underprivileged children, volunteering to upgrade a playground, or raising money to cover medical bills for a colleague in need.

These are the benefits that make your heart full and happy

6. Friendships 

One of the very best perks of working in a corporate environment are the friendships you gain. Not just a network of business associates, which you’ll benefit from as well, but genuine friendships with colleagues that last well after you stop working together.

Travel Perks

Yes, business travel can be a huge hassle—taking you away from your family and routines. But there’s also a few big upsides to business travel.

1. Extending Trips for Personal Travel

One great benefit is the ability to extend your stay into a personal holiday and experience cool new places. If your business travel takes you to a fun destination, stay over the weekend (or longer) and take in the sights. And best of all, do it at a fraction of the cost of a typical vacation since your flights (and sometimes meals too) are covered by your company.

I did this several times, and even had my husband meet me a few times. Thanks to my business travel, I saw the pandas in Chengdu, enjoyed afternoon tea in London, toured Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and celebrated Fasching in Munich!

2. Free Vacations

Another big benefit of business travel is earning points and redeeming for FREE vacations. Sign up for all the travel cards, hotel loyalty, and frequent flier programs (Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, American AAdvantage, United MileagePlus, Chase Saphire, etc.), stockpile the points and redeem for flights and hotel nights. These can easily be worth thousands of dollars in free travel.

3. VIP Treatment

 And one more big benefit of business travel is gaining preferred status. If you’re traveling a ton, you’re going to quickly earn top-tier status with airlines and hotels. And this means access to big-time perks like priority boarding, first-class upgrades, free checked bags, complimentary drinks, upgraded hotel rooms, free breakfasts, lounge access, late checkouts, and much, much more to make you feel incredibly special.


In addition to free food, companies love to reward their employees with free stuff!

1. Branded Swag

While much of the branded company swag comes in the form of smaller stuff, like mugs, water bottles, and notepads, you can also expect to take home some higher-end gifts too.

Industry conferences are full of swag. You can start the event off with a goodie bag of necessities, like lip balms, snacks, eco-friendly totes, and more. Then hit all the different booths and gather more giveaways, like branded apparel, travel items, sporting goods, and even smaller electronics. 

And odds are that any internal “kick off” meeting you attend for your company will come with some type of welcome gifts, like golf shirts, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, etc.

2. Corporate Gifts

Then there are the end-of-year gifts to show employee appreciation. One of the companies I worked for held a holiday drawing for employees to win bigger-ticket items, like speakers, headphones, iPads, kindle readers, airline vouchers, and even laptop computers. People loved it!

If you work with external vendors, chances are you’ll receive holiday gifts to show you some client appreciation too.

And last, December is a great time to hang out with your marketing colleagues. This is when you can find them clearing out the goody closet to make room for the new stuff.

Motivation and Inspiration

Another fantastic perk for corporate professionals is the opportunity to hear from truly inspiring speakers and entertainers.

Companies love to bring in guest celebrities and thought leaders to motivate and entertain teams, especially at employee events, leadership summits, and client conferences. And I don’t think any industry conference would be complete without at least one headline speaker.

A few of my personal favorites were hearing talks from Ariana Huffington, Brene Brown, Marcus Buckingham and even former President Clinton. Then there were super entertaining sessions with comedians, athletes, and celebrities, like Frank Caliendo, Billy Beane and Magic Johnson.

So yeah, hearing stories from truly impressive people up close and personal is another very cool work-related experience!

Self Discovery

Another overlooked benefit of growing your career in the corporate world is you get exposed to plenty of opportunities to learn about yourself and what makes you tick. All big companies offer their employees free resources like:

1. Work Style Assessments

These are tools used to measure aspects of your personality traits and work style preferences. You answer a bunch of questions and in return you get a report describing your “type”. They’re often used by HR staff to facilitate team building and help coworkers get to know each other and work together better. 

I’ve taken several different assessments over the years, like Myer Briggs, Strength Finders, and DISC. I do think they offer value as part self-discovery, especially earlier in one’s career. You can learn about your work style preferences, how you respond to conflict, how you make decisions and more. Insights like these can help to heighten your self-awareness, which is essential for career success and advancement. 

2. Coaching

Sure you can expect coaching from your manager, but companies will often hire certified coaches to work with their high-potential employees. Coaches can act as a neutral sounding board, helping you identify and change career-blocking behavior, or work through career transitions. 

I personally had a company-paid coach work with me on my development. It was invaluable in helping me understand ways I was holding myself back and turn them around. If you could benefit from coaching (and I think most professionals can), ask your manager, or go directly to HR, to see what’s available.

3. 360 Reviews

This is how you can gain real insights into how others perceive you at work. It’s a process by which you collect feedback from your manager, peers, and direct reports about your work performance. The feedback gained through 360 Reviews can be helpful in identifying any potential issues or career blockers, as well as learning about key strengths and talents that you may not recognize in yourself. 

Sometimes 360 Reviews can be deployed as part of a performance review process, but the other way (better way in my opinion) is to use it for pure self-discovery. The feedback is for your eyes only, or for sharing with a trusted coach for action planning—now that you know this about yourself, what are you going to do about it? It can be an enlightening development tool, helping you to pinpoint and prioritize areas for focus.

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Free Training

If you love to learn, and professional development and personal growth are important to you (and I hope they are!), then the corporate world has much to offer. Companies know that advancing their employees’ education is good for business!

The sheer volume of programs, trainings, resources, and experiences available to employees in the business world is enormous. There really is no excuse not to continue your education after joining the workplace.

While some development opportunities are only offered to high-potential employees,  or those higher up in leadership roles, the majority of corporate programs, resources and experiences are open for the taking.

1. Mentoring

If you like to seek advice and learn from others higher up in the organization, mentoring may be for you. Many companies offer formal mentoring programs, matching up a high potential, or more junior employee, with a senior leader for the purpose of a professional development and career advancement.

My experience with mentorship was more informal, but still helpful in gaining fresh perspectives on how to manage various workplace challenges. (But, be careful how much advice you take—assess what makes sense for you)

2. Skill-based Training

There’s no shortage of skill-based training available to corporate professionals, both via in-house corporate trainers and external training companies.

Do you want to be a better writer, speaker, negotiator, facilitator, mediator, project manager? Or maybe you want to level-up your proficiency with data analysis and pivot tables, or learn a new programming language? Highlight the skill as a gap in your professional development plan and ask your manager to send you to on-demand classes. You can learn on the company’s time and dime.

3. Professional Certifications

Similar to skill-based training, certifications are another way to advance your abilities and knowledge. But you also gain a new designation verifying you’re highly skilled and knowledgeable—increasing your market value inside and outside your company.

It’s likely your company will pay for these programs as well, as long as it relates back to your role. 

4. Higher Education 

I debated whether to include this benefit in the prior post as a financial perk, but opted to highlight it here. Regardless, it’s a huge benefit! Many top companies offer partial, or even full, tuition reimbursement for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Cha-ching!

While I didn’t take advantage of this great perk myself (missed opportunity!), several of my coworkers in good standing did, including a single mom who earned both her undergraduate and J.D. degrees with tuition paid entirely by our company. Now that’s what I call making the most out of what your company offers.

5. On-the-Job Experiences

There are plenty of opportunities to get outside your comfort zone and push yourself in business. You just need to take them. It could be facing your fear of public speaking, networking with colleagues, or gaining the courage to ask your boss for a promotion. Or, maybe it’s time to take a leap and join a new organization that offers more opportunities for advancement. Whatever it is that you fear or avoid is probably a good place to start.

6. Stretch Assignments

These are somewhat similar to “get-outside-your-comfort-zone experiences” but are assigned by your manager as projects or tasks to stretch you developmentally. They are designed to challenge you and help you learn and grow.

Stretch assignments can also be used to give an employee a high level of responsibility on a temporary basis. And if all goes well, leads to a promotion.

You don’t need to wait for your manager to come to you with a stretch assignment, this is an experience you can (and should) request. Think about a skill or experience you want to gain, and then approach your manager with your ideas.

Leadership Development

Do you aspire to become a better leader? The business world is chuck full of opportunities for you!

1. Emerging Leadership / Accelerated Leadership Training 

These programs are offered to high-performance individuals who are recognized as emerging leaders, and fall into one of two different categories: 1) help employees in non-leadership roles become ready to take on leadership roles, or 2) help current leaders become better, more effective leaders.

While the duration of programs can vary from weeks to months or even a year, they often include some type of “leadership assessment” work (see 360 Reviews below), mentoring with senior management, team building with your cohort of peers, and even working on a special project to improve the business.

It’s a privilege to be selected for these programs. It means you’re in the pool of candidates that senior leadership is considering for next level responsibilities.

So, if you’re selected, congratulations! And if you’re not, find out how you can be chosen next time. (Hint: show your potential to take on more!)

2. Executive Leadership Programs

Executive leadership programs help professionals become better, more effective leaders—but taken up a few levels. They often center around self-discovery, coaching and gaining even more skills to lead people, organizations, innovation and change initiatives.

Executive leadership programs are reserved for a company’s more senior executives, or for a select few, high-potential leaders. And this world-class education is often delivered through top-ranked universities—Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Northwestern, Columbia—with tuition running anywhere from $20K to $80K (paid by your company of course).

If this type of program interests you, and you’re seen as a high potential leader, try proposing this training to your boss as part of your development plan. I’ve seen this approach work for others.

And who knows, maybe someday you’ll want to take what you’ve learned to do your own thing… like a second career. 

Second Careers

Corporate work doesn’t have to be your forever career. Starting and growing your career in corporate can also provide a great foundation for a second career.

In the future, you may decide you’ve grown tired of corporate work and want to do your own thing. Maybe you want to start a non-profit, work as a consultant, or become an entrepreneur.

I know plenty of professionals who were inspired to start their own business based on unmet needs they discovered while working in corporate. Or colleagues who leveraged their corporate experience and professional network to make a career change and start a new business—marketers who started creative agencies, program managers who became consultants, executives who became career coach, etc.

The point is, corporate careers can equip you with the skills, knowledge, connections, and confidence for whatever you may want to do next.  

Financial Freedom

Last, I would be remiss if I didn’t call out the many  financial perks that companies offer their employees.

I’m talking about company-matching 401K contributions, health savings accounts (frequently funded in part by your employer), flexible spending accounts, employee stock purchase plans, corporate discount programs,  paid maternity/paternity leave, sabbaticals, and free financial planning with certified advisors.

But beyond the annual pay raises, there’s a ton of ways to make more money and achieve financial freedom.

Especially for the team members who are seen as top talent and make their way higher up the career ladder.

1. Top Talent Pays Off

Get recognized as a top talent or high potential employee and you can expect to receive higher than average pay increases, yearly bonus payouts, special one-time bonuses and annual equity awards, which can grow larger and larger with each passing year.

2. Higher Ranks

If you make it your mission to advance your career into the higher ranks, you can  expect annual equity awards to be higher than your salary and bonus combined. This is when the big-time bucks start flowing.

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3. Deferred Compensation Programs

Highly-paid employees often get access to special perks like deferred compensation plans. Deferred compensation can be an excellent tool to save for retirement and lower your income tax—putting more money in your pocket.

In case you’re not familiar with deferred comp plans, it basically withholds a portion of your pay until a specific date. Your money can be invested and grow tax free, like a 401K, and then payout at a time when you will ideally be in a lower tax bracket.

4. Change Companies

If you really want to make more money, you can’t just stick with the same company year after year and settle for what’s given to you. By joining a new company, you not only benefit from a salary increase, but you might be able to earn sizable payouts in the form of signing bonuses and stock grants too. And try negotiating a short-term promotion into your next job too!

5. Relocate

Plus you can add in another lump sum if your new job requires relocation. But be sure to request a tax gross up or you may end up with an unpleasant tax surprise next April.

6. Retention Bonus

If your specific skillset is in high demand, you may even benefit from an unexpected retention bonus in a hot job market. This is especially common when turnover rates are rising and your company is losing top talent to competitors. Even without any special skills, I received a retention award early in my career during the dotcom boom! And if you want to build up in-demand skills, tap into the training and development programs covered above.

Simply put, if financial security is important to you, growing your career in corporate can be a great option!

More Ways Corporate Work Can Be Good For You

Bottom line, corporate jobs have a lot more to offer than you might realize.

Sure, there’s all the most popular corporate perks. But there’s also a bonanza of free resources and extra benefits that are yours for the taking. It’s all about seizing the opportunities and getting the most out of your corporate career!

You’ve got to own your journey and go after what you want. And if you do, I guarantee it will be worth it—you’ll be rewarded in more ways that you can imagine. 



About Author

As a former CMO who started her career as an admin assistant, Alison writes about climbing the corporate ladder. After several frustrating years stuck in middle management, Alison set a goal to use her corporate career to achieve financial freedom – and make work optional.

You can read more about her story here.



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