As you go through your work life you can expect periods when you don't feel challenged, say, or when you're stuck with a co-worker from hell, or when the schedule is just a killer.

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Sure, the economy is getting better — slowly.

The key word here is “slowly.” Getting a job can still be tough.

Therefore, if you happen to already have a job, you should feel lucky. Right?

Right. In theory. But what if you hate your job? It’s hard to feel lucky then. In fact, you may even feel extra miserable, because you can’t help telling yourself that you “should” be grateful to even be employed right now.

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Maybe it will help to remember that everybody hates his or her job at one point or another. As you go through your work life you can expect periods when you don’t feel challenged, say, or when you’re stuck with a co-worker from hell, or when the schedule is just a killer.

In fact, no matter who you are or where you are in your career, chances are good you will reach a point where tolerating a given situation will be simply the best you can do. It will be temporary (everything in this life is temporary!), but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

So if hanging in there is your only option right now, here are a few tips:

Focus on what you do like about your job. Your witty officemate, for example, or even Mexican Food Day in the cafeteria — there has to be something.

Vent your stress. In healthy ways, of course. Yoga, basketball, your church choir — get out there and do something positive and/or physical.

Find an adviser. Talk to a mentor, clergymember, family member or neighbor to discuss ways to cope and to maintain a sense of perspective.

Look for an avocation that supplies what’s missing on the moneymaking side of your life. Creativity, challenge, a sense of accomplishment — you can get these outside of work, too.

At least once a week (every day if the situation is really dire), do something that contributes to finding a new and better job. Sign up for a class. Join a networking group. Research new fields. Schedule information interviews. Something.

Meanwhile, try to keep a sense of humor and to keep looking forward. Remember, nowadays people can expect to have multiple jobs in their lifetimes. Even multiple careers. Someday that hateful job you have now will be history.

Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at wg@karenburnsworkinggirl.com.