It’s hard to say which would be more discouraging: drifting from job to job because you’re always the first to be laid off, or laboring in monotonous obscurity at the same job. The first results from not doing what you are told to do, the second from doing only what you are told to do. You can “get by” for a time following either approach, but you will never get ahead. Personal initiative is more important in today’s enlightened, high-tech workplace than it was during the Industrial Age, when the ability to follow orders was a critical skill. As technology makes many supervisory functions obsolete, every one of us is expected to do more with less, determine what needs to be done, and do it. Don’t wait to be told. Know your company and your job so well that you can anticipate what needs to be done — then do it! Stop explaining and start doing!