Updated: Aug 15
If you’ve ever been to a parking conference, you're likely to have been asked this question many times, "How did you start in the parking industry?” The responses, in my experience, have typically been similar, unintentionally.
We recently posted a survey on our LinkedIn page to gather more research on this thought. The results showed that the majority did not intend to get into a parking career. It’s truly mind boggling that for an industry that’s projected to be estimated at $5.4 billion that more people don’t intend to seek parking-related careers. Of the respondents, 88% said they “stumbled upon it,” and 12% said they “intentionally” chose it.
The most interesting part of this survey were the individual stories gathered.
VP, EV Charging
“I was 17 and looking for a summer job. I saw an ad in the newspaper (yep, it was a while ago) for valet attendants. 25 years later and I'm still parking cars.”
Jonathan Wicks, CAPP, CPP
Consultant at Walker Consultants
“Just out of college, my girlfriend's sister's fiancé needed an evening and weekend hotel valet shift manager. Some of the union valets had worked at the hotel longer than I'd been alive!”
Dennis Johnston, CPP
Project Manager at REEF PARKING
“I had just finished 20 years in the nonprofit sector. I had worked in fundraising, event planning and volunteer coordination for the most part. Roles at PBS, a local zoo in Southern Indiana and a 15 year stint with ALSAC/St Jude Children's Research Hospital. WFM, staffing, recruiting, training, quality assurance and of course Customer Service were a big part of all my roles. My first District Manager told me I would be bored in six months. That was June of 2010. I am still waiting for that day to come. :)”
Director Of Sales & Marketing at Sensor Dynamics
“I was working in retail operations managing a chain of stores. I responded to a retail operations advertisement. It turned out to be for an operations manager for Melbourne parking sites with Wilson Parking. They were looking to run the operations more like retail stores and less like the wild west industry parking was in those days. The rest is history.”
Independent Marketing Contractor for Companies in the Parking Industry
“After 7 years in the Marketing/Ad Agency world and being laid off twice, I took a marketing job at a parking company having no idea how big and how interesting the parking industry could be. I stayed for 9 years and left for two, ventured into a new industry doing event marketing, and then COVID...so for the last two years, I've been consulting/contracting for parking/transportation/mobility - related companies. I just can't get away from it! “
EVP/COO at iNET dba iParq
“Fortunate enough to be recruited by Ace Parking after 20 years as a Corporate executive at a major retail chain. An excellent opportunity and a great learning experience that allowed me to transition from a Public to Private organization.”
Ray Infussi, Director of Parking & Transportation at Loyola University, Maryland, wrote a blog post for Middle Atlantic Parking Association (MAPA) within recent years, titled “The Parking Vortex” sharing his story.
Have a story you’d like to share? Comment below.