During the recession, you may have lost your job and then wound up taking another for which you are overqualified. Although initially grateful to have a job, you now feel bored and depressed.  What should you do?

In the “Career Couch” column in the New York Times, Eilene Zimmerman says it doesn’t matter what the job is, “there are always things you can learn and skills you can develop.”

Some recommendations for how to thrive during this time:

  • Recognize that the current situation isn’t the end of your career. Don’t overdramatize the negative aspects but try to view the situation more philosophically: life is a series of phases, and this happens to be one of them.
  • Because your job isn’t overly demanding, seek tasks and responsibilities that force you to learn something new or to work harder. “You may be operating on autopilot right now, but chances are people above you are stressed,” says an Atlanta-based career coach. “Offer to take things off your boss’s plate and let him know which projects or tasks you want to learn more about.”  Always frame your request positively, saying that you love new challenges, rather than complaining that you’re bored and underused.
  • Look at the company’s organizational hierarchy and find the person who has the job you’d like, and then offer to lend that person a hand. Or find a mentor who can help you understand the company’s needs and ultimately help you move to a higher level.