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Candid Talk About Stock Options

Companies are clear: Stock options may not gain value. But employees still expect them. A burned senior VP at a big bank says just to cut her a bonus check.

This story appears in the November 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Candid Talk About Stock Options

I Did the Work--Now Pay Me
I like .There, I said it. I work unbelievably hard and it took me a long time to get to my level. So I think I should get choices about my compensation--and I wouldn't choose stock options.

I had a great year.I delivered. I hit the numbers the company wanted me to--and more. But at my level, where a 60-hour workweek is expected and the pressure and stress are unbelievable, there's no discussion: You take a big chunk of your reward in stock options. They can amount to as much as half your pay and bonus! You may have negotiated, as I did, to get a certain overall compensation number. But then the company tells you, especially as you climb the ladder: You need to take a bigger interest in the bottom line. So they give you stock options--and they tell you they didn't have to give you these and it's a privilege.

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