Quiana Rowe shares five lessons she’s picked up from being a single mom building a career.
“I'm the person that just doesn't give up,” says Quiana Rowe, Walmart market manager in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“It's not that I do anything spectacular, but I just refuse to give up,” says Quiana (who usually goes by Q).
Fourteen years ago, Quiana was a married mom of five, looking for a part-time job to get her out of the house. She was hired at Walmart as a customer service manager. Within a few months, her part-time job became full-time. Or, as she puts it, “a job progressed into a career.”
When Quiana got divorced and became a single mom, she found herself juggling five kids (and their sports!) and her growing career.
“I think being a single mom teaches you a tenacity that some people just may not have,” Quiana says. “There's no backup for my kids.”
We asked Quiana what tips she would pass on to other working parents.
1. There is no work-life balance.
“I had to truly teach myself that there are going to be times in your life where work is going to need you more,” Quiana explains. “And there's going to be times in your life that your kids are going to need you more…. You have to just decide, ‘Okay, this is where I'm needed right now. This is what I have to take care of.’”
2. Let go of the guilt.
“I think as single moms, we have to learn not to feel guilt. Because we can't be every place all the time,” she says. “We have to learn to prioritize and really make our time count. Really make those moments count. So when I'm home, I'm home, and when I'm at work, I'm at work.”
3. Stay humble.
In 2020, the supercenter Quiana managed, Store 911 in Marrero, Louisiana, was recognized as Store of the Year for the region and division.
Quiana says it’s been gratifying to see so many associates from that store get promoted and move up, just as she was promoted to market manager earlier this year. But she doesn’t forget how far she’s come.
“I'm not afraid to talk about the times we ate ramen noodles and chicken for dinner when I was coming up the ranks, because that's all I could afford,” she shares. “And it's okay for me to say that, because there could be somebody in the store right now eating ramen noodles and chicken every single night, and not knowing if they're ever gonna see a breakthrough.”
4. Working hard works.
Quiana believes that if you just keep working, the doors will open. “Work hard and learn as much as you can. Don't shy away from learning new things. Because the more you know, the more you learn, the more valuable you are,” she says.
5. Be ready to change the plan.
With so many people dependent on her—her kids, other associates, her team and her stores—Quiana believes failure isn't an option. But change is.
“I think when you get that into your head—when you become comfortable with the fact that you're gonna fail, sometimes it's just inevitable,” she says.
Instead of allowing failure to enter your mind, be ready to update your plan. “You're going to have these great plans, and something's going to shake them up, and they're not going to happen the way you wanted them to happen. You have to be okay with revamping the plan, but keeping the goal.”
No one knows better than Quiana the potential payoff of a change in plan. Years ago, she was looking for a way to get out of the house; today she’s thriving in a career that supports her and her family.