Few of us are lucky enough to find jobs that we love at the start of our career. Testing out new work environments and opportunities is how we experience more personal growth. When you don’t try various options, you are likely to feel stuck in your job, waiting for that golden opportunity to tap into your true potential. But what if that moment never comes?

Change jobs quoteI recently read that nearly half of all employees across the world are in jobs they don’t like. Worse still, many of these jobs were never part of their career choice. For most of us, work-life stability is our number one goal. It’s the main reason why we settle for jobs we don’t actually like.

But here is the irony in that decision, unlike the Baby Boomer days of job security, today’s workplace makes no such guarantees. Many of us have already faced or will face downsizing by the company we work for–it’s now our new reality.

Since job security is really a thing of the past, then the question is – why settle? Surely now, it’s even more important to do what you enjoy. We see more and more people embracing entrepreneurship, travel, freelancing, and other flexible working/living arrangements.

Here are three ways to tell you are ready for a new challenge (either a new job or something else)

1. You are Afraid to Make Long-term Commitments

People should dream big. Raising a family, travelling, returning to university are all plans that require flexibility. But if you are constantly afraid to loose your job, you will never commit to these long-term goals. Since job instability is now a global phenomenon, we shouldn’t be afraid to make these commitments. Now might be the right time to follow your passion for personal growth.

2. You Get Little or No Recognition at Work

If you feel unappreciated in your job, no matter how hard you work, then it’s time to move on. It’s not getting easier for the next generation as Baby Boomers in management positions are delaying their retirement even further, leaving little room for others to advance. With no bonuses and promotions, your ambitions and dreams may be constrained. Instead of waiting for recognition that may never come, put your energy into your own creative projects. The satisfaction you gain from these efforts can be your own personal reward.

3. You Settle for a Lifestyle of Need

I am part of a generation that might never do better than our parents. Our financial indebtedness is due to high student loan debt and home mortgages. Generation X has it even worse than generation Y, paying off university debt while raising families on stagnant salaries. I think that true stability is measured by the quality of time you can spend with loved ones, and if your career cannot afford you this lifestyle, then it’s certainly time to re-evaluate your life.

With so many companies scaling down, anyone of us can be made redundant without much notice. This reality should motivate us to reflect on what we want from life. Instead of waiting for our current jobs to live up to our dreams, do what others are doing. Define your ideal job, and then search for a challenge that will fulfil your dreams, both personal and financial.