Sponsored by Squarespace
Maria Ramirez. Photo courtesy of Squarespace.
Want to build a career that enables you to constantly grow? While it may sometimes feel like you need to jump between companies to see consistent development, Maria Ramirez, a Senior Team Lead at Squarespace, shares that “developing your career is not limited to changing companies, but, rather, it is about continuously learning and growing within your current organization.”
During her career at Squarespace, Ramirez has found this to be true many times over. “At Squarespace, I have been able to advance my career through learning opportunities, such as attending industry-related training sessions and conferences, taking on new and challenging projects such as leading the Social Customer Support team, and collaborating with different departments that have diverse backgrounds and skill sets,” she says.
As an example, Ramirez shares how she came to Squarespace with a background in Journalism and Culinary Arts. “I worked in various positions in the journalism field in Spain and the hospitality industry in Spain and Ireland,” she shares. Using this experience, she joined Squarespace as a Customer Support agent who provided support to Squarespace customers in English and Spanish.
After almost five years in this role, Ramirez transitioned to a position as a Team Lead in October 2019, which was “just a few months before the pandemic hit the world,” notes Ramirez. And her growth didn’t stop here! “As a lead, my role has evolved a great deal in the past few years,” she explains. “In a short period of a year, the team transitioned into a new role that required me to gain expertise in a number of areas, including change management, market research, and project management.”
Now, as a Senior Customer Support Team Lead, Ramirez manages a specialty team focused on providing customer support via social media channels for Squarespace and its Unfold and Acuity Scheduling brands. “This is a Global team that I co-manage with a U.S. lead,” she says. “I have a team of five direct reports in Dublin.”
Reflecting on her impressive growth, Ramirez shares that “it's motivating to work for a company that invests in its existing talent and empowers individuals' continuous learning and career progression mindset by offering resources such as a personal development budget that employees can use to expand different skills, as well as promoting internal mobility, which allows employees to advance in the organization in different ways.”
It’s no wonder that employees like Ramirez decide to stay and grow with Squarespace! Here, Ramirez dives more into her inspirational journey and best advice for you.
There are multiple reasons that led me to that decision. Firstly, Squarespace's strong commitment to inclusivity and diversity at the workplace. The company not only fosters that culture internally but also actively seeks out and welcomes employees from all backgrounds, cultures, ages, and experiences. Creating a community where everyone can be their authentic self, feel valued and heard, and have equal opportunities to grow within the company is something that resonates a lot with my personal values. As a Hispanic woman in her 40s who comes from a culture where age and gender can still impact job opportunities and advancement, it gives me a sense of pride to work at a place where these factors are not limiting and where inclusion and equality are actively promoted.
Squarespace also fosters a collaborative and supportive work environment, where employees are encouraged to share their ideas and opinions. Despite the company's size, the atmosphere in the company is very family-like, and there is a lot of eagerness to collaborate and connect among the employees. As a creative person, working in an environment where I can share my ideas and be innovative has been a key component to my personal and professional development.
Furthermore, Squarespace recognizes the importance of work-life balance and really cares for its employees’ wellbeing, offering flexible vacation time, flexible work arrangements, and comprehensive health and wellness programs.
As a new manager, I was aware that managing people would come with a set of unique challenges, especially when you transition to a leadership role internally. I was eager to learn as much as possible from my peers and my manager to be successful in the new role. Fortunately, the company not only provided me with a training program for new managers, but also external management training sessions, alongside an incredibly supportive group of leads from whom I received mentorship and guidance.
My manager has been a huge part of my professional growth and development within this job. The constant feedback, coaching, and support offered to me by my manager has enabled me to hone my skills and confidently undertake new challenges. But what's really helped me succeed as a manager is the trust they have in me to make sound decisions related to managing my team and projects. It's great to have that kind of autonomy and responsibility.
This kind of support is reflective of the overall culture at Squarespace: encouraging a collaborative approach and providing opportunities for employees at all levels to contribute their ideas and the necessary resources to ensure that everyone has what they need to succeed.
I would consider myself good at listening and data analysis. Both are crucial skills for a leader because they help to obtain a deeper understanding of your team, the organization, and the market environment. Listening actively to my team members and peers has always helped me to better understand their needs, challenges, and aspirations, and to align my approach to their goals or others desired outcome.
Additionally, building up my listening skills has helped me to be a more empathetic and supportive lead and build authentic relationships with my team members and peers.
On the other hand, Data analysis has enabled me to make data-driven decisions, identify new business opportunities, and develop strategies that align with the organization's goal while developing action plans to drive positive change on my team performance.
When I'm not working, I'm usually getting my creative juices flowing by cooking, doodling in my sketchbook, painting with watercolors, or upcycling old clothes. I'm also into all sorts of crafts. But, when I'm not working with my hands, you can find me chilling out with some sci-fi movies, meditating, taking care of my expanding cactus and plant family, or doing some yoga.
I’m working on sharpening my communication skills since English isn’t my native language. It’s an ongoing process, but the rewards are worth it. I’m very fortunate to have a workplace that encourages me to improve day-to-day, celebrates when I succeed, and provides me with constant feedback.
The career move that I’m most proud of is definitely taking on the opportunity to lead a specialty team that implied adding more complexity to my role when I was still new. I knew it was one of those opportunities that wouldn’t come around too often, and I couldn’t pass up.
Despite my initial self-doubt and fear of making that career move, I was lucky to have the support and encouragement of my manager, which made this decision an incredibly rewarding learning experience. It has been a learning journey in which I still face new challenges and find new opportunities to learn new things. Definitely that was a decision that I don’t regret and something to be proud of!
Ready to make a career move of your own? Consider joining the Squarespace team!