I had a meeting with my boss today. I want to become the Marketing Director. I asked for a pay raise. It turns out that I was cited as losing a major customer of ours. So my boss said the only reason I wasn't fired was because he liked me.

So I left the meeting, stewed in my own anger and went back. I told him I messed up, but I have tackled everything he's thrown at me, and I have done it well. He decides to tell me that if he were to use his metric for employee value, that I would actually be overvalued (I'm making minimum wage).

So I left after that, to which he came to my cubicle and said, "If you can come up with a metric to decide when you deserve a raise that's fair, I'll sign off on it."

So is there a metric that a marketer can use to decide when they deserve a raise? Like if I can get sales above a certain percentage above the expected growth?

  • 1
    I'm sure there's a metric you can find, for example "number of times you went to the bathroom". But we have no idea what your boss considers "fair", so... Dec 23, 2016 at 0:30
  • @PhilipKendall That's the crux of it. Neither do I. I just want to see some possible metrics and go from there. Dec 23, 2016 at 0:33
  • I tend to use what I could get elsewhere. It's hard to measure, but its worth it: How can I determine a reasonable salary to ask for?
    – Nathan
    Dec 23, 2016 at 0:42
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    You are making minimum wage. You want to be made Marketing Director. Seems to me that you're overreaching and/or in the wrong company. Re metrics: Sales incentives aren't uncommon, but the companies which offer them pay more than minimum wage
    – keshlam
    Dec 23, 2016 at 1:01
  • 1
    Be careful with introducing any metrics, as it gives rise to a management anti-pattern called "Management by Objectives". I read this somewhere on this site: we set out to measure what we value, but end up valuing only what we measure.
    – Masked Man
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:43

2 Answers 2


Metrics that can justify an increase of salary:

  • gain new client, project, product that will increase the revenue of the company,

  • make the company save cost by applying new process,

  • explain you gain experienced and that you work faster and better and that your work improved in a way that benefit the company,

Don't focus only on salary, you can also ask for benefit that will cost less the company to pay you but will be the same net amount to you, like : reinboursement for restaurant, fuel for your car and so on.

Moreover, you need to clarify what you want : is it to become director and a pay raise at the same time or to get a pay raise now and become director within the next year?

FIY : A director ( someone of upper management) would already know BEFORE going into this meeting that if you ask for a raise your boss would say "no" because you lost a major client. So a director would have prepared an answer. The fact that you didn't prepare the answer, go out of the office then go back in show lack of preparation.

  • Your third point could get a little sticky. This assumes when you started you weren't being over-compensated and have now improved your performance to a point to justify the initial salary.
    – user8365
    Dec 23, 2016 at 14:17
  • @Jeff : indeed if you do the exact same basic task as the first month you started to work in the company it doesn't justify a salary increase. But if you do the basic work faster and in time gained you can do extra work it can justify the ask for an incease.
    – Dupond
    Jan 3, 2017 at 1:54

So is there a metric that a marketer can use to decide when they deserve a raise?

Use the same metric anybody can use: Can you get a better job?

If you cannot, then the company has no reason to pay you more, whether it's fair or not. Companies don't pay what their employees deserve, they pay as little as they can get away with.

Pick a metric that makes you look good. Any metric. Whatever you are good in. If that's what your boss needs as an excuse to offer you more money, give him something. Most likely, it's just a game. You waste time hunting for that metric, while the company is still profiting from you only making minimum wage. Don't go hunting for that fair metric. Go hunt for a better job.

Maybe you find one, or maybe you find you wouldn't get one. Either way, you will be more rooted in reality the next time you speak to your boss.

  • "Companies don't pay what their employees deserve, they pay as little as they can get away with." And that's why these companies also only get minimal effort from their employees.
    – Erik
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:28
  • @Erik Depends... if they want more effort, they will pay more money. But never more than they would have to pay for the level of effort they seek.
    – nvoigt
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:38
  • I can't keep thinking about how horrible a business-model this is. It seems very cultural to the US to think of every interaction as a conflict with an enemy, even when it's the people you're hiring into your company.
    – Erik
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:40
  • @Erik Well it's capitalism. You buy a good for as little as you can, you sell the good for as much as you can. Many companies buy manpower and sell products, buying manpower as cheap as possible and selling the product as expensive as possible. That's not a bad thing. It's only a bad thing if you stay in a job and don't look for a better one. Capitalism means you need to be informed about your options.
    – nvoigt
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:46
  • As I said; that is a terrible business model. Thinking of employees as "manpower" will always result in bad deals. People are so much more if you treat them as human beings instead of machinery that performs a task.
    – Erik
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:47

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