There are two important things that employees and prospective employees should do to ensure they don’t get and stay in a job where all you do is follow orders from others. Being a person who simply follows directions only, and nothing else, will position you to easily be replaced. Others can be found to do the same thing, i.e. follow directions, and for lower pay.
To avoid this eventual set of circumstances there are two main actions that can be taken. First, take initiative for yourself. Secondly, develop and enhance skills that aren’t easily replaced.
There are necessary “hard skills” and “soft skills” that are important and relevant for positions in all sizes of companies. A “skills gap” accounts for the difficulty of employers filling open positions at all levels.