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Career Advice: If You Want Maya Bowie to Hire You, You Better Ask Questions

A veteran marketer and merchandiser, she can quickly tick off career advice—what it takes to succeed in marketing: an obsession with customers, a hunger to learn, and serious interpersonal skills. 

But despite her professional success, Bowie’s best life advice boils down to not working too hard. “A lot of people are career driven and, in some ways, live to work,” she says. “But there comes a point in life where you work to live, really fueling the areas of your life, whether that’s time with family, exploring your hobbies, traveling. Those are the things that you look back on at the end of your life. So, make sure you balance broader things in your life that make you happy.”

Read on for more words of wisdom from Bowie. 

Glamour: What time do you wake up in the morning?

Maya Bowie: I’m unique in that I don’t have a consistent time. It generally ranges from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., and it depends on what time I go to bed, because I like to get about seven hours of sleep. 

What is your typical morning routine? 

The only thing I’ve tried to incorporate consistently is a form of daily meditation. When the weather is great, I love to go outside and just kind of feel the earth, staying focused and grounded. And I think about my energy across four dimensions: I think there’s emotional energy, mental energy, physical energy, and then, ultimately, spiritual energy. I really try to center myself on why I’m here, what my purpose is, what’s important in my day, how I want to show up, and making sure that I come from a place of gratitude and joy. We often have busy days, but how we engage with people ultimately impacts how we feel and the output of our work. And so, starting with some very focused time, and remembering what’s important, really sets my day up for success.

What was your first childhood dream job?

When I was younger I wanted to be a “doctor scientist.” Science was a big focus of my mom’s, and she exposed me to science in interesting ways, invention and innovation. I was given exposure to everything from robotics and NASA astronauts. Plus, exposing girls and women of color to science was kind of popular back in the day—and I won’t name the decade!—so, I talked about wearing those dual hats for a couple of years. 

What was the moment you realized, “OK, I might actually be successful?”

I wrote in a college paper that success is a journey, not a destination. I do really believe that. I think it’s a mindset of how we approach life. I was someone who was achievement-oriented throughout my life. Being accepted into Duke University was an accomplishment because it’s a great school with competitive students. That felt like a great moment. But at different points in my career, I’ve always felt that I’m on a journey, with a real desire to do something great. I don’t think I ever felt like I “arrived.” I’ve just always been on the journey. 

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