Career Possibilities in the Self-Storage Industry for People with Barriers to Employment
The self-storage industry has been steadily growing in Ontario over the past decade. With the increasing population density and the rising cost of living, more people are looking for affordable self-storage solutions to keep their belongings safe and secure. As the self-storage industry continues to expand, a wide array of employment opportunities has emerged. Self-storage is a multi-faceted industry that features job opportunities from a diverse range of different disciplines that are available for people of all levels of ability. In this article, we will delve into the current state of the self-storage industry and the most popular jobs in the sector highlighting positions that would be best suited for people with barriers to employment and physical disabilities.
Recent trends in the self-storage industry
While modern self-storage facilities have been around for over half a century, the self-storage industry has seen tremendous uptick in growth in the last few decades, particularly in Ontario. If you plan on working in the self-storage industry, it is important that you keep up with the latest news and trends that apply to the self-storage sector.
According to a report by the Canadian Self Storage Association, the self-storage industry has seen an average annual growth rate of 7.2% in Ontario over the past five years. The development of self-storage in Mississauga, Toronto, and Ottawa has been particularly pronounced as those are the cities with the largest concentration of people in the province. Several key factors have contributed to this growth, including individuals opting to downsize, creating more space for remote work setups, and the trend towards smaller living spaces in urban areas.
In addition, self-storage continues to be one of the most stable industries during an economic downturn. While many businesses were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, self-storage remained relatively stable. The pandemic lockdowns led multiple business owners to opt for self-storage. In recent years, as more people are working from home, the need for alternative storage options, like renting out a self-storage unit, increases.
Job opportunities in the self-storage industry
With the number of self-storage facilities continuing to grow in Ontario, there are plenty of job opportunities available for those interested in working in the self-storage industry. There is a common misconception that the types of career opportunities available in the self-storage industry are limited to general labour jobs- this could not be further from the truth. Each new storage facility has a large staff with numerous positions working in different departments, which are all vital for making sure that the day-to-day operations of the storage facility run smoothly. The self-storage industry employs people with all kinds of educational backgrounds and levels of ability.
Careers in self-storage for people with physical disabilities
One of the most substantial barriers to employment is dealing with a physical disability. Stable employment can be vital to the well-being and independence of people with disabilities. However, due to their unique needs, workers living with a disability routinely face obstacles to finding and maintaining a job in traditional work settings. According to the Canadian Survey on Disability, over six million adults in Canada report some disability that limits their daily activities. This does not mean that these people are unemployable. People with disabilities have found tremendous success in many areas, including business, technology, hospitality services, health care, and many more.
In recent years, more and more employers have recognized the need to advocate for greater diversity in the workplace and advance career opportunities for people with disabilities. While this is an ongoing process that can still be improved upon, there have been great strides with many employers removing employment obstacles for professionals with disabilities. The self-storage industry in Ontario has made great efforts to foster more inclusive and accessible work environments for individuals with disabilities. Below are a few of self storage careers that are available to people of all abilities.
- Accounting Specialist: Accounting specialists are responsible for managing the financial aspects of the storage facility, including managing accounts receivable and accounts payable, preparing financial reports, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations. Accounting positions are great for people with limited mobility or other physical disabilities. About 20% of Canadians aged 15 or older report flexibility or mobility issues that interfere with daily functioning. Relying on a wheelchair or another assistive device does not mean you can't have a fulfilling career. People with physical disabilities that limit their mobility can often function very well in an office environment.
- Leasing Administrator: Storage Leasing administrators are responsible for providing excellent customer service, handling customer inquiries and concerns, and processing self-storage unit rentals and payments. This role is great for people with physical disabilities as it requires relatively little movement but still involves working in a fast-paced environment where you will encounter a wide variety of people and situations.
- Software engineer: As technology continues to play an increasingly important role in business operations, software engineers and IT specialists are responsible for managing and supporting various aspects of information technology within self-storage companies. Software engineer positions are good for people with physical disabilities because many software engineering roles in the self-storage industry can be done remotely. If you do have to come into the office, software engineers work elusively with computers, so the position requires limited mobility, and technological aids can be used to help people who struggle with fine motor movement.
Careers in the self-storage industry for people with other barriers to employment
The self-storage industry has a wide range of positions for people with all kinds of barriers to employment, not just physical disabilities. Other barriers to employment may include but are not limited to; low levels of education or literacy, limited work experience, poverty, at risk of victimization, mental health challenges, and criminal background. There are many job opportunities within the self-storage industry that can accommodate people with various barriers to employment, some careers to consider include:
- Facility Manager
- Administrative Assistant
- Sales Executive
- Customer Service Representative
- Production Manager
- Maintenance Technician
- Marketing Specialist
These are just a handful of the many positions available in the self-storage industry for people with differing abilities and barriers to employment. The self-storage industry offers numerous career opportunities for individuals with different skill sets and backgrounds. Whether you're interested in customer service, sales, marketing, or maintenance, the self-storage industry has something for everyone. Many of the positions available in the self-storage industry support remote work options allowing a greater degree of flexibility. As the industry continues to grow and expand across Canada, there will be more and more job openings in this exciting field.
*Storwell Self Storage offers a variety of career opportunities for people with differing abilities and barriers to employment, including several positions that are work-from-home and fully remote. For a complete list of the latest career opportunities at Storwell and details on how to apply, please visit: https://www.storwell.com/careers