How I Increased My Marketing Manager Salary To $125,000 Over 5 Jobs

  • Welcome to “Salary Journeys”, a series about what people have earned in their careers.
  • In this journey, a 30-year-old marketer shares how she landed a dream role working with influencers.
  • She negotiated her salary for her current job using a trend she learned about on TikTok.

I am a 30 year old Asian American female living on the west coast and working as a manager of


influencer marketing

in a small media company. I’ve been there for a year and make $121,000 plus a bonus of about $4,500. I don’t know if there is a “dream job”, but this one comes close enough for me.

On a daily basis, I manage a small team that works with food and lifestyle influencers on TikTok and Instagram. I love my colleagues and my job is fun and challenging.

It’s been a long road, though. I’ve worked in toxic environments, had my fair share of bad bosses, and been the lowest-paid manager on the team — which, as the only woman of color at the company, annoyed me. I feel lucky to be where I am now.

Here is my salary journey on five jobs.

Editor’s note: Insider has verified the source’s salary and identity with documents for his current or most recent work.

Marketing Coordinator, $42,000 plus $1,000 bonus

My first full-time job out of college was in the Northeast at a large media company. I was young, naive and desperate to find a job. I started as an hourly worker, and was hired full-time after a three-month probationary period.

I liked the job, but the work environment was terrible. My boss pitted me against my co-workers, and when she was upset, she threw things.

I stayed for a few years. By the time I left I had been promoted to Director of Marketing and made up to $50,000.

Senior Partner, $65,000

I was so excited to leave my last job that I didn’t negotiate my salary for the next one. Afterwards, a friend told me that every time a recruiter asks you what you want to do, throw the question back and say: What is the value of the role?

My next job was really cool. I was able to work on large accounts and travel to diet conferences in remote locations, and the benefits were amazing – the company even had a chiropractor come into the office once a week to help us with our alignments. Unfortunately, promotions and raises were virtually non-existent.

I was fired after a year.

Independent Marketing, $92,000

I was back looking for a job, but couldn’t find anything that interested me. I had a lot of contacts from my old job, so I decided to try freelancing. I focused on brand strategy and talent management for food influencers, and worked on social media campaigns for a food brand.

Business was slow at first, but I managed to get monthly fees for a few clients. It stabilized my cash flow. Also, my boyfriend and I moved in together, so the rent was cheaper, and I used Obamacare for health insurance.

I liked freelancing, but I didn’t like the constant hustle and bustle and paperwork. After two years on my own, I decided to return to a company.

Director of Strategic Accounts, $75,000 plus $200 bonus

Then I took a remote job managing influencer campaigns at a small agency in Los Angeles where I had freelanced. The base salary offered ($75,000 – I didn’t negotiate) wasn’t as high as what I was earning, but I was hungry for stability.

The agency was all women, but I was the only woman of color. Once I found out I was the lowest paid person at my level — all of the company’s financial statements were available on


Google Drive

“I was really pissed off.

Separately, there was a lot going on in the world and in my personal life at the time: my boyfriend – now engaged – and I had moved to the West Coast, my mother was sick, the pandemic was raging, Black Lives The matter movement was gaining momentum and Asian hate crimes were becoming more and more common.

I told my boss that I was exhausted and exhausted. She told me she was offended that I said that.

I was promoted to assistant director of brand partnerships after a year and asked for a week off. This shouldn’t have been a problem as we had unlimited paid time off. But my boss asked me if I could take a day off instead. I knew then that I had to leave.

Director, $121,000 more $4,400 bonus

I now work remotely at a small media company. I started a year ago with a salary of $90,000. I asked for $95,000 initially but was told salary bands were in place and there was no wiggle room.

Once I was in the job, I quickly realized that I was doing a lot more than what was stated in my job description. I had heard about “salary adjustments” on TikTok and looked into it. These are not annual increases, but off-cycle pay increases that get you where you need to be based on your role and responsibilities.

After six months, after researching salaries, I went to human resources and explained that the market value of the work I was doing was more than what I was earning. Shortly after, my company adjusted my salary to $110,000.

I really like it here. I feel valued and respected, and the job is exactly what I want to do. On my first birthday last month, I got a 10% raise and a bonus.

If you would like to submit your salary journey, please email employeejourneys@insider.com. All submissions are kept confidential.

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