An important thing to realize about benefits is that they are often negotiable. You shouldn't just automatically accept the first offer. Of course there is the negotiation on salary that is a given. But it can go far beyond that. Through a variety of companies I negotiated several different things over the years.
Back in the years before work-at-home became common, I negotiated the practice for our whole DBA group when gasoline became very expensive. Most of us were commuting from 20 miles or more to work. Each of us was given a day working at home in order to save driving expenses.
In terms of vacation, I have negotiated immediate maximum vacation time instead of the common ramped-up schedule. Another time I ask for and received a credit of 120 hours of paid vacation the day I walked in the door. You don't always have to wait a year to get your vacation.
Further, I have negotiated immediate participation in company profit-sharing including the ability to make my contributions, the immediate participation in company contributions, and immediate 100% vesting.
In another situation toward the end of my working days I negotiated unlimited unpaid time off at any time the rest of our DBA staff was present.
Be creative in your negotiations. Just because there is no existing policy that doesn't mean you can't obtain unique benefits. But of course it all has to be confidential.
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