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Old 05-03-2013, 10:12 AM
70 posts, read 111,386 times
Reputation: 48


I was thinking of relocating to Houston to explore the job market there. As a more demographically and ethnically diverse US city than most, I am hoping that employers are more culturally exposed and have a more advanced worldview and are hopefully, less discriminatory toward racial and ethnic background. I am particularly interested in general views on this issue as it pertains to the Houston area, as I have encountered this attitude a lot where I currently live in SW Virginia.

As a pertinent example, most recently, I attended an interview in the area. I had submitted my resume weeks prior and had undergone the phone screening interview. Only to be told by the CEO, apparently only after seeing me physically, that he doubted I would have enough projects to be mentally and professionally challenged, and raised concerns that I would become "bored" quickly in his company, based on the educational and professional achievements on my resume. I thought this was a very "interesting" way to discriminate, however, I wondered why he had not figured that out when he received my resume several weeks prior, but had to see me first, to come to his conclusion.

Hence, I was hoping to get some good advice/insight from this forum regarding institutional racism and discrimination in the Houston job market, if it does exists.

Old 05-03-2013, 10:20 AM
Location: Sugar Land, TX
1,614 posts, read 2,664,511 times
Reputation: 2029
Houston is very diverse, and I would say that employers are welcoming to those with varying nationalities, races and backgrounds.

That said, a lot of people, esepecially in this economy, have been told that jobs are not going to be challenging enough for them. Maybe the CEO wanted to discuss that with you in person. Maybe it had nothing to do with how you look. I am just throwing that out there. I could be completely wrong.

Good luck to you.
Old 05-03-2013, 10:34 AM
70 posts, read 111,386 times
Reputation: 48
Thanks for the good encouragement. I am in the planning stage of relocating myself down to Houston for that purpose...just looking for a good area of town to start out initially, prior to buying a house.

I think your observation regarding my interview experience is very objective and could be valid. This was a smaller company (~$200MM) in the aerospace and defense industry, and I had always worked for the larger F500 companies. Interestingly enough though, during our discussion, he showed my a note that he had written on the copy of my resume that he had received, "Get this guy in here ASAP!"

Anyway, I really looking forward to coming to the Houston area! Thanks once again. All the best.
Old 05-03-2013, 11:01 AM
Location: League City
3,842 posts, read 8,273,096 times
Reputation: 5364
I doubt it was racially motivated. I worked in one of the larger aerospace companies in Clear Lake, and minority representation was a big deal to the point it was sometimes annoying (I am a minority myself). They went out of their way to recruit students from predominantly minority universities and also they liked to subcontract to minority-owned businesses quite often. Anything contrary to that was highly frowned upon. I am saying that just from my experience institutional discrimination would get you in hot water quick. Now ageism is a different story.

If you are targeting aerospace in Clear Lake, some places are in quite a flux due to budget cuts and periodic layoffs. God only knows why they chose to go another direction in your case, but I would bet it was something more related to $$$.
Old 05-03-2013, 11:22 AM
Location: Houston, TX
8,895 posts, read 20,007,186 times
Reputation: 6372
I know a lot of people of all races and pretty much every profession from hourly retail to executives who have been told that by a potential employer.
Old 05-03-2013, 12:59 PM
70 posts, read 111,386 times
Reputation: 48
I agree, you might be correct as well DanielWayne. However, I think the more the proffesional world learns to get along, irrespective of racial background, the better and more productive the work place will become. In fact, what once used to be the exception is fast becoming the norm, this is the inevitable future. Tomorrow's workforce, at the executive level as well, will be very different in comparson to today's, in terms of demographics, and of course skill set.

I am open to other industries beyond the Aerosapce and Defense, as I am targeting leadeship positions. One more reason why I am excited of the potential/promise the Houston job market may hold.
Old 05-04-2013, 09:30 AM
1,915 posts, read 3,242,936 times
Reputation: 1589
You sound like a highly qualified professional and hard-working go-getter. With that being said, I would not recommend moving to Houston before getting a job unless you have friends or family to stay with. At your level and if you're willing to go into energy or O&G, there should be plenty of Houston companies that would be willing to give you some form of relocation. Good luck.
Old 05-04-2013, 10:33 AM
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
9,053 posts, read 17,204,558 times
Reputation: 15226
I have a son in that field. From what I understand, companies try to hold onto their people. Is it possible that the CEO wanted assurances that you wouldn't leave, after a time?
Old 05-04-2013, 01:33 PM
70 posts, read 111,386 times
Reputation: 48
Thanks Htown2013, I am at the director level, I am not sure if all companies would offer relocation.

I have explored positions in Houston remotely for a while, I have had "hits", however, in many cases the clause, "local candidates only", "disqualifies" me. Recently, I came upon a particular opportunity with an industrial global corporation, which provides services to the energy industry, for a product development/management leadership position. The HR person politely informed me that only local candidates were being considered. I indicated that I could relocate myself, if relo was not part of the deal, however I was told that the hiring manager would not consider, as long as a Houston address was not on my resume.

This and other similar situations have been prompting me to solve the "problem" by becoming local in Houston, to conduct my career search. Besides, I like what I am hearing regarding Houston so far, and would not mind living there with my family, I think it is a great city and plenty of stuff to keep my family entertained.
Old 05-04-2013, 01:45 PM
70 posts, read 111,386 times
Reputation: 48
cheryjohns, possibly...I think that might have been part of the equation in his decision making, because I think he came accross as being candid and mentioned he had never had to say this [possibility of getting bored in his company due to lack of sufficient professional challenge] to any candidate before.

I think he subjectively came to that conclusion, based on my prior experience with big ticket defense articles, whereas his niche was in the defense textiles area [ballistic protection]. However, personally, I don't usually associate my professional value or identity with the "product", but I prefer to focus on value add. I think that is where he misread some of the softer qualities I bring to the table.
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