You've obviously done a little research on this question, and you are on the right track. Although I cannot advise you on your specific situation without more information, I can tell you the following general information.
In Texas, a post-employment non-compete agreement must have the following to be valid:
- reasonably limited period of time and geographical scope
- an agreement by the employer to give the employee something over and above the employment itself. Usually, this is confidential information that the employee would not be given absent the non-compete agreement.
There are some other factors that may be relevant, but those are the biggies.
Most non-compete clauses are tough to violate because companies in industries where they are regularly used ask job applicants whether they are subject to a non-compete. Even if you do not believe your non-compete is valid, a company may not hire you because of the risk of the prior company coming after you to try and enforce it.
If you are job hunting and have a non-compete clause that you believe is not enforceable, you do take a risk in violating the terms because the company may believe it is valid, and they may try to enforce it. Whether the company will do so, who knows. There are some ways to make an educated guess, like whether they have tried to enforce the clauses before, and whether you left on good or bad terms, etc. But they are only guesses.
If you can get the company to waive the non-compete, or to agree that it is not enforceable, you're golden. But then they're on notice that you might not abide by it.
Strategy is everything.
And again, I must state that the above is general information, and not specific advice for your situation.