Stage 2: Experience & Money

If you’re working in digital marketing and you’ve been in your first role for 12 months or more, the chances are this will be a familiar sight:


Why is this? It’s simple – there’s a high demand for candidates who are relatively low-paid but don’t need training from scratch. It means that as soon as you hit the one year mark, you’re considered ‘prime meat’ by many recruiters.

Percentage-wise, the first move is worth a fair bit. Graduates typically earn around £20k and a move after a year can mean a 25% salary increase, potentially more. If you are still sitting on the wage you were brought in on, the chances are that this will feel like a pretty attractive prospect. Living in London isn’t cheap and earning a little more can mean the difference between living at home and moving out, or not having to eat toast every day in the last week before pay day.


Should you stay, or should you go?

Well, it depends on a lot of factors – as a rule, it’s always best to stick around and get a decent couple of years under your belt if you can. Here are some questions which will help you assess your options:

Are you still learning?

If you’re still learning a lot and gaining exposure and experience, it’s best to soak it in while you can. A new employer will be paying the premium on your salary increase for you to come armed with this knowledge, so they’ll expect you to know your onions and you’re less likely to receive the same element of training.

If you’re not learning or gaining experience, that’s a different story. You’ll need to make sure that this will be different in the next role (which brings me neatly onto my next point):

Does the other job give you experience that your current job doesn’t?

At this stage in your career, it’s really important that a move is progressive and will enhance your experience beyond the money. Whether this is giving you account ownership, exposure to other channels, international accounts or something else.

If the answer to this question is no, we strongly advise not moving just for the money. Other roles will also offer the money, but will do more for your career as well.

Can you afford not to move?

It could be that you’re happy in your current role but that you literally can’t afford not to prioritise money. If you’re struggling to pay your bills or desperate to move out of home, you may need to do something to increase your earning. You don’t necessarily need to get another job offer or leave the company for this to happen.

The best approach is to have an honest conversation with your line manager – be open and tell them you know that you know you’ll get more money by moving companies, but that you don’t want to have to do that. You should get more perspective on your progression prospects this way. You probably won’t get as big a rise as you would to move, but this might be the better option longer-term.