Danit Abaud-Perez doesn’t normally follow astrology, but she couldn’t help but find a deeper meaning in the position of the planets when she was hired at Squarespace in 2013.
“The year I joined Squarespace was also the year of my Saturn Return, when the planet is in the same position as the year you’re born,” she says. “It’s a time of big changes in one’s life—and it sure was for me. I’d had a number of jobs that didn’t work out, and was losing hope that I would find the ideal role.”
But she did, when she was hired as a customer care advisor at Squarespace. Almost a decade (and many promotions) later, Abaud-Perez now oversees the account management team, which she pitched and built from scratch at Squarespace to help support enterprise customers.
Here, Abaud-Perez talks about how she’s propelled her own growth at the company, finding community within Somos, the Latinx employee resource group, and why you’re better off in your career when you stop trying to please everyone.
Describe your career path at Squarespace. Where did you start and where are you now?
I was determined to make Squarespace work for me because I saw potential in the product. I believed in its value and I have always been a firm believer in supporting emerging merchants, artists, writers, and other creatives. Making a presence online is of the utmost importance and Squarespace makes it so easy to do.
In my time with customer operations, I moved up the ranks to shift lead, commerce team lead, and now manager of account management. I feel that as customer support advisors, we can teach the basics of how to use our platform, but there is also so much value we can offer to empower our customers by being much more consultative with our approach. I am grateful that I have been able to develop services to support our enterprise customers as well as introduce a new account management team to the organization. Every day I’m learning something new and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
The average tenure at a tech company isn’t very long. What has kept you at Squarespace for almost 10 years?
Two important things have kept me here. First, I have been able to work with incredibly talented people, both as my leaders and my direct reports. They are open minded, able to adapt to change, and are also excited about the work we do together.
Second, there has been no shortage of opportunities to challenge myself at Squarespace. I continue to find new avenues to better support and problem solve for our customers and our team, and that has kept me excited about continuing to grow here.
How has Squarespace allowed you to take control of your career growth and advance into different roles/departments that interested you?
After a year and a half of being at Squarespace, I told my manager at the time that I wanted to start an account management team. She was taken aback because she was new at the company. However, she understood the value of my vision and has continued to celebrate my ideas no matter how wild they might seem.
I’ve never been shy about speaking to someone new at the company. We have Squarespace in common and that’s a good enough reason to approach someone. Once that initial introduction has been made, there is no harm in asking for help or trying to collaborate, since we all have similar goals in mind even if we come from different backgrounds.
In what ways has Squarespace fostered an inclusive work environment for you?
I was fortunate to be able to come up as a manager with a great group of new team leads in customer operations. We all had growing pains and we all made space to support each other. I will always be so thankful for them.
I also really enjoy being a part of Somos, our Latinx employee resource group. We are a minority at Squarespace, but we are given a voice and a chance to celebrate our heritage with the entire company and externally as well. I so appreciate being able to share things from my upbringing and learn from others.
What’s one positive change you’ve made to your workday routine since COVID?
That wasn’t two weeks at home as we originally thought it would be, right?
One positive change is that if I’m working remotely, I make the conscious choice not to order takeout and cook something at home instead. This saves me money, I know what’s in my food, and I really enjoy it!
What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
The best advice someone gave me is that it’s OK if you’re not everyone’s favorite. As women, we try to be such people pleasers, and I know that I have in the past avoided saying things for fear of not being liked.
What advice do you have for women who are striving to achieve leadership roles?
First and foremost, always have a goal in place for your career. This goal can evolve into something new, and accepting that change while altering your game plan is so valuable.
At the end of the day, you are your own best advocate. You’ll find people along the way who will cheer you on from the sidelines, but it’s up to you to decide what you want and how to get there.