Bachelors in IT....Messed up bigtime in 2009...feeling hopeless now
I graduated in the fall of 2007 with a bachelors degree in IT (Networking). I landed a very well paying job doing programming for a well respected company directly upon graduation. That being said, we all know what happened in 2008 and I got laid off from that job in November 2008. I quickly landed another job with state government of Arkansas and started in December of 2008. My passion and field of study is more geared towards the PC hardware/networking side of IT rather than the programming side, so this was the PERFECT opportunity for me to get my foot in the door to my dream career. Plus, being a government job it would be great for riding out the recession.
Unfortunately, I was young, immature, and naive at that time. In 2009, I let my personal life get control of me and to keep a long story short developed some bad work habits. That ended up getting me fired in September of 2009 (biggest lesson of my life). Immediately following that, I packed up and moved to North Carolina for personal reasons.
Since moving to North Carolina, I have been working a dead end customer service job that basically consists of being cursed out all day on the phone and having to meet insanely ridiculous sales standards. I am happy to be employed given the current economy but my job is making me miserable and its going nowhere. Plus, I am in constant fear of losing my job because of the sales standards which are difficult to meet in a bad economy. I want to get back into IT but am unsure how to do it. Unfortunately, due to my sporadic work history, I have yet to find a company willing to give me a chance to do IT, even basic help desk work. I have submitted hundreds of applications and gone to several interviews but no offers. I am sure its because there are so many unemployed people right now with stronger work histories I just can't compete. Everybody makes mistakes when they are young and I made my share, but I have learned from them and hope that I am not screwed for life.
In interviews, my sporadic work history prior to my current job and my abrupt move to North Carolina always comes up. At that point I lose confidence and my interview goes downhill from there.
In an interview, how would I explain my work history? How would I handle the issue of having been fired from a government job? How should I explain my abrupt move to North Carolina in a way that doesn't make me look unstable? Is landing another IT job even possible given my current situation? If not, what can be done to remedy it?
I appreciate any advice anybody can give on this situation.