How I Doubled My Income In One Year

Nick Burgess
8 min readMar 29, 2022

What’s the fastest way to double your income?

Last year, when the Better Marketing publication called for a look-back on salary histories, I thought it a great opportunity to take a look at my own, what lessons I’ve learned, and what I think about salaries in the marketing field from someone who’s been in every part of the machine. Presented — my salary history from a lowly intern to department director in about 8 years. Let’s go!

now hiring image in a doorway
Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

Starting with the Unpaid Internship

My first job out of school in 2014 was as a radio intern, and it was one of the strangest jobs I have ever had and will ever have. Absolutely anything and everything was on the table in terms of job responsibilities. Drive a Sprinter van to a Comcast store so we can play music at a charity event featuring a former Atlanta Falcons NFL player? Sure! Produce a new version of a song so the music bed at the beginning lasts as long as an ad? You got it! Work with the sales team to program advertisements and focus groups? Why not?

All of this led to me doing social media for the radio stations under the corporate umbrella, as well as my introduction into other marketing avenues. From this super weird job, I discovered that marketing could be a real career! I decided to lean more into this world, and ended up moving on after about 15 months in radio.

Pay — $10 per hour

My First “Real” Job — Ad Agency Social Media Buyer

Ad agencies are famous for taking young graduates, giving them 15 clients and forcing them to work 80 hour weeks for $30k per year. Luckily, the 80 hour week part wasn’t true. Everything else was.

My clients included multi-national pizza chains, global apparel companies and local mom-and-pop shops like law firms and construction companies. At my agency I learned to hone my craft, as well as learn the ins-and-outs of media buying. You also learn one hell of a lot about office politics when your agency gets reduced from a headcount of 40 to a headcount of 8 literally overnight. After a promotion to “Social Media Planner,” I was contacted by a headhunter and shipped out to the client-side.



Nick Burgess

Making investing, stocks, cryptocurrency and personal finance easier for everyone.