I had been making the same hourly wage as the primary accounting contact at my company for three years. Every year, on my anniversary date, I was supposed to get some sort of wage increase, but it never happened—entirely because I didn’t ask for it directly, because negotiating for money is terrifying. I received other benefits—a bonus here, extra vacation time there. Three years in, I was the most senior member of my department, but was still pulling the same hourly wage as when I had first been hired. I blame myself entirely. Here’s how you can avoid making the same mistake, and maybe come out a bit better for it in the end.