REDWOOD CITY, CA–(Marketwired – May 14, 2013) – oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace, and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y consulting firm, today announced results of a new study, “Millennials and the Future of Work.” The survey, conducted by independent research firm Genesis Research Associates, examines perspectives on the future of work from 3,193 freelancers worldwide, including 1,958 Millennials (19 – 30 years old). Findings reveal a desire to follow independent career paths due to the freedom and flexibility professionals say these paths provide, as well as a groundbreaking redefinition of what it means to be “an entrepreneur.” For full survey results, please visit https://www.odesk.com/info/spring2013onlineworksurvey/ or see our infographic.
Key results include:
Professionals are crafting entrepreneurial, independent paths to freedomOf the freelancing Millennials surveyed, 58% of those familiar with the term “entrepreneur” classified themselves as one. Among all generations, freedom to work how they want is critical — 89% said they’d prefer to work when and where they choose (versus in a corporate, 9 – 5 job). In fact, among those surveyed who were still at “regular” jobs, freedom was the top reason they wanted to quit. When comparing freelance work to “regular” jobs, freelancing was seen as providing more freedom to:
Karen Queller, a 24-year-old Millennial who is working online while traveling the world, is quick to urge others to follow a similar path: “I want my life to inspire other people to live how they want. People have a lot of fears that hold them back from doing what they really want and I think many people would love to travel and work at the same time.”
Take note, companies, it’s time to embrace independent pros — 72% of freelancers who are still at “regular” jobs want to quit soonAmong the freelancers who were still at “regular” jobs, 72% indicated that they would like to quit their job “and work only for myself at some point in the future.”
“We believe that the barriers of Industrial Age work simply don’t make sense for businesses that want to get more work done, or for workers who are demanding more freedom. No one today wants to be confined to a cubicle,” said Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk. “As independent professionals embrace this freedom, hours worked on oDesk have increased eightfold since 2009.”
Freelancers’ intent to follow through on the desire to quit and work only for themselves is high; 61% say they are likely to quit their “regular” job within two years (44% “probably will” and 17% “definitely will”).
Being “an entrepreneur” has become a mindset that’s critical to career successToday many of these independent professionals classify themselves as entrepreneurs (almost 60%). The survey found that being “an entrepreneur” is defined today as someone who has a certain mindset, according to 90% of the professionals surveyed (versus only 10% who chose “someone who starts a company”). When asked to define an entrepreneur, aspects of this mindset mentioned included being a “self-starter,” “risk-taker,” “visionary,” and someone who “spots opportunity.”
“This signals a major shift in our economy and how we manage our careers,” said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of Promote Yourself. “Entrepreneurship is now accessible to everyone regardless of age or occupation. You don’t need to own a business to be an entrepreneur, but you do need the entrepreneurial mindset to be successful in business.”
Entrepreneurship is something to aspire to, especially for MillennialsWhile entrepreneurship can be challenging (47% of those familiar with the term “entrepreneur” felt “there are downsides” while 53% indicated it is “an entirely good thing”), Millennials are more likely to see it as “entirely good” (57%, compared to 47% of those from older generations). However, the benefits of being an entrepreneur outweigh the downsides (75% of all surveyed agreed). In fact, 38% would even recommend pursuing a “promising start-up opportunity” versus completing a “traditional college degree.”
Groundbreaking Survey Reveals the Rise of Freedom-Seeking Freelancers and Redefinition of Entrepreneurship