In general, I'm not a big fan of waiting. So here is advice on how to wait from someone who does it only rarely. But I have found that the art of waiting is to do it actively. The more action you can take, the more you feel like you're in control of your life.
...for a raise
Most companies have a designated time to dole out raises. So when you decide you deserve more money, you probably have to wait for your big moment. In the mean time, constantly remind your boss about the good job you're doing, and subtly prepare her with all the supporting material she will need to justify your raise to her superiors. This means documenting as you go, with an email that's easy to add to your yearly review as evidence of outstanding performance. Also, do research about salaries in your field. If the raise comes in low, whip out these statistics to show your value in the market.
...for a job you love
Many people know they're not happy but don't know what would make them happy. The only way to figure out your dream job is to try doing a lot of things. You don't have to change jobs to try something new– you can volunteer, travel, interview people who are in fields you think might make you happy. People who know themselves well can pinpoint the job that would make them happy. So give yourself opportunities to learn about yourself. And think of your career like a mate– you're better off actively looking that waiting for one to magically appear in front of you.
...for an offer
Here's a common scenario: You just interviewed for a job, and you think everyone loved you, and you think you're a perfect fit. So you sit by your phone hoping for a call. This is not a good way to wait. A better way to wait is to step up the job hunting. If you can get another interview during your waiting time, you will not be so desperate for the phone call. If you can drum up another job offer during your waiting time, be sure to tell everyone, because you will be more appealing to the employer you really want.
...for a meeting
If you don't know the person you're meeting, assume each person who goes through the lobby is your person. Look occupied and thoughtful but not busy, and be ready to stand up and shake hands. This means, for example, that you cannot have a stack of waiting room magazines on your lap. One is fine. The same is true if it's a meeting with your co-workers and you're the first person there– try writing on a notepad, or checking your Blackberry. Don't stare into space. Not that staring into space isn't productive, but it's like sex: It might be good for you, but that doesn't mean you look good doing it.
...for a better boss
Assume your boss is never leaving, and change your boss by changing yourself. Become better at managing up. Key factors are: understanding your boss's fears so that you don't play into them; understanding your boss's preferences so you can be easy to deal with; understanding your boss's goals so you can help her to meet them. Difficult bosses are usually scared and overwhelmed. Develop better people skills so you can soothe her worries where possible, and ignore her the rest of the time, so she doesn't derail your career.
...for a better opportunity
Forget it. Create your own opportunities. You can only find opportunity behind a door if you knock. So, knock on a lot of doors– you have no time for waiting.