Starving Creatives: Let's Talk About Promotions and Raises

I'm an advocate of getting what you're worth.  I'm also fairly candid about salary among my friends because, in order to create parity, you got to compare notes (Glassdoor and Comparably are also good resources.) Now that it's clear that I'm all the way here for you getting your coin, here's where I get a little unpopular amongst my peers.


I get it. You've been hustling. You've been staying late and coming in early to create dope work. And maybe even produced a few pieces. In essence, you've been killin' it at your role. But if you recall to your interview where you dazzled your CD with your charm, drive, and portfolio, that's exactly what you were hired for. No one hires anyone to be mediocre. You were hired to be a beast.

"No one hires anyone to be mediocre. You were hired to be a beast."

Being on a skyrocketing career path is exhilarating. One day a wide-eyed intern, the next an award-winning creative director.

Yeah, the come up is not that easy. Or fast. Or glamorous. 

The climb to creative mastermind takes patience. It takes resilience. And it takes being at the bottom for a bit. And while it's not as exciting as the elevator to success, the stairs to success has it's merits. It gives you the chance to make mistakes without the risk. The opportunity to learn from people you (hopefully) respect. And it gives you the chance to prove that you're ready and deserving of a jump in title and/or salary. 

If you are the ish you have to show them. As creatives of color, you may have to show them doubly that your skills warrant recognition.  It's going to take more than performing your current duties to show that are you're ready for your next jump. Are you keeping a record of your wins? Are you making quantifiable contributions? Do you have an advocate in your agency that can vouch for abilities? Really evaluate your current standing and take inventory on improvements you can make to solidify your consideration for a promotion.  

More money and fancy titles are always nice, but relish in your moment right now. Make more mistakes, earn your stripes and continue to make great work. Your time will come, and when it does be ready to show up and show out.