For Thanksgiving my husband and I opened a bottle of Soul Sister Pinot Noir. Rated highly by Wine Enthusiast, World Market had offered it at a discount during their annual red wine sale. By the time my husband got to the store they appeared to be sold out. Displayed prominently, not one bottle was left. My husband made some other selections and waited in line to pay. The cashier seemed friendly and he thought he’d ask, “Do you happen to have any more Soul Sister?” They did; they had just found one last box when they thought they had none. It was good he asked.

Do the same with your career. No one thinks about your career trajectory as much as you do. No one will know that you are interested in a new project, can handle more responsibility, need less special projects to handle your core responsibilities, and are interested in a transition to a different department or whatever it is if you don’t put it forward. Your colleagues are consumed with their own lives as you are with yours. Even if you should be so fortunate to have a sponsor or mentor, there’s much about you they won’t know unless you tell them.

Asking not only helps you get the pay you deserve but the opportunities you want. Put yourself forward with confidence. Be direct and explain what you bring to the situation should your request be fulfilled. If the answer is no accept it respectfully, but don’t give up on asking again in the future. You never know when the answer will be yes.