Executive Privilege

It seems that the best way to celebrate doing well on the job is to get as far away from the office as possible.

Twenty-nine percent of executives who responded to a survey by TheLadders.com, a career site specializing in executive jobs, listed taking time off as their favorite way to mark major career milestones. Buying new clothing or a new car tied for second place with 16.2 percent, but for 9.4 percent of respondents, no less than a whole new house would do.

These hardworking execs weren't all me, me, me, though: 13.6 percent said they would give extravagant gifts to their spouses.

When given a list of options about where exactly they would take that swell vacation, more than a third picked sipping pina coladas on the beach in Barbados. The classic European vacation -- a gondola ride in Venice and enjoying the view from atop the Eiffel Tower -- came in a close second with 33.1 percent. Less popular options: African safari (12.3 percent), Disney World (10.7 percent) and mountain biking in Moab (6.9 percent).

The least attractive option of all: staying home (2.3 percent).

Now, maybe if it were a new home . . .

-- Mary Ellen Slayter