I Love Parking


I Love Parking

About 10 years ago, I woke up to turquoise waves lapping the sides of the 150-foot private yacht that I lived and worked on off the coast of Antigua. My 5-year plan at the time included crossing the Atlantic Ocean by boat and spending the summer on the Amalfi coast, trying to get in more diving. Little did I know that shortly after this moment I would be back in Washington State due to the illness of my mother, and would actually end up staying here, trying a new industry, a new job role and trying out life on land. 

Turns out that I love it. Almost eight years later I’m still here in the same industry, same company, richer two dogs, a husband, and a baby with very happy, dry feet.  

Sure, the response from family, friends, and strangers when they ask you what you do for work is different when you respond “yachting” vs. “parking” – but the real value and takeaway from both industries I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of is connection and camaraderie. I may not be trying to rent a trained sea lion for Ricky Martin’s birthday as part of my day-to-day, but I am still faced with daily changes that require critical thinking, creativity, and drive – all things that are firm requirements for me to feel satisfied with my personal and professional life. Camaraderie is something I have found in both of these industries, which are less known to those who are not directly involved in them. 

There’s something about being a part of something larger than yourself that is deeply satisfying. I feel that in my current role and in this dynamic industry where I am able to reinvent myself, making significant changes to my career path and personal development by staying in the same company in different job roles. 

The quote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit” is attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, and it means our habits and actions define who we are as individuals. This quote can be applied to the passion for the industry in the sense that our repeated actions in our chosen industry will shape our identity and define us as professionals. 

As someone who is passionate about our industry, I am excited to engage in activities related to our industry such as reading publications, attending events and conferences, and networking with other professionals to seek out new learning opportunities. 

The beauty of a technology industry like parking is that even if you are in the same job and industry, every year things change; every five years the trade show floor is almost unrecognizable with new companies and tech everywhere. A person can reinvent themselves by developing a new relationship with colleagues, clients, and industry professionals as this can expand the network and provides new opportunities for growth.

It’s hard to imagine what I would have thought if I saw myself today getting excited about a seminar on curbside management or feeling interested in presenting about license plate recognition solutions and algorithms for alphanumeric character identification. I chalk these new and niche interests up to fact that the parking industry creates passion around these subjects by providing real-life results, experiences, and changes. Being in this industry has given me the ability to pursue personal development, growth, and engage in the industry in a unique way. Finding renewed purpose in work on a consistent basis I find, at least for me, fosters a true passion for parking. 

As cities become more crowded and traffic congestion worsens, there is an increasing need for innovative parking solutions and technologies that help manage, track, and identify information so organizations are able to make data-driven decisions. From smart parking systems, guidance systems, mobile apps, intelligent identification solutions to autonomous vehicles – we in the parking industry have created an entirely new ecosystem of technology capable of changing the mobility, transportation, and landscape of today’s urban areas and cities.  

One of the most important takeaways from both of these industries is that stepping outside of your comfort zone can be a powerful way to grow, learn and develop as a person. Private yachting and parking may seem like completely different things, but there are quite a few parallels. One being that in both cases you have to consider factors such as availability, accessibility, safety, security and convenience. 

Understanding the big picture and the small steps you need to take to get there is paramount to being successful in any industry and is a skill that yachting gave me that is a steppingstone towards success in the parking industry. There are a lot of transferable skills between different types of jobs and industries and I look forward to continuing to build on mine as I push myself out of my comfort zone. 

I look forward to developing new skills, overcoming fears and doubt, and facing new challenges and pushing myself beyond my limits. I feel like these steps will help increase my creativity and innovation. When you stay in your comfort zone, you can become complacent and stop seeking new ideas and experiences. By stepping out of it you can stimulate your creativity and innovation and produce fresh perspectives and solutions. 

Almost every single person you meet has a story, experience, funny anecdote, complaint, or triumph about parking. I love the convenience new technology brings and the impacts on public safety and the environment our industry is able to make with it. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of what’s ahead of us in this growing industry. 

Amanda Joy Schores Duffy is a Senior Account Executive at TagMaster North America, Inc. She can be reached at aschores@tagmasterna.com.

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Amanda Joy Schores Duffy
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