The actress bowed out from her role as Weatherfield's Sian Powers in late 2011, but made a return to screens last night (March 5) in new BBC Three drama The Crash.
Parkinson told the Manchester Evening News: "I've been so happy and fortunate to do something a bit different since leaving Corrie - it's nice that people have given me a chance. When you're in something that's in the public eye so much, sometimes they can't see beyond that role.
"But to get better, the only way you can progress is through different experiences, to go away and learn more."
The Crash is inspired by real events, telling the story of a group of young friends who are involved in a devastating car accident.
Parkinson added: "I've been lucky enough never to have seen a crash in real life, but when I saw the whole crash scene for the show, it was really quite frightening.
"It's made me realise you're not invincible behind the wheel of a car."
Parkinson's Coronation Street character appeared on the soap for nearly three years and was Sophie Webster's first girlfriend.
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video - Amie Parker-Williams reveals the biggest storylines coming up in EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks next week: