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Survey: 72% of freelancers want to shed ‘regular’ jobs

May 14 2013

In a global survey of freelancers, 72 percent who also have “regular” jobs want to quit and work entirely for themselves, according to a new study by online staffing firm oDesk and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y consulting firm. And 61 percent say they will, or probably will, quit their regular jobs within two years.

Freedom is the top reason those at regular jobs would like to quit, and 89 percent say they prefer to work when and where they choose versus a corporate 9-to-5 job.

The study also reported an expansion of the definition of “entrepreneur.” Ninety percent of freelancers said being an entrepreneur reflects a certain mindset rather than being strictly defined as having started a company.

The study also found that members of the Millennial generation — those 19 to 30 years old — are more likely to see entrepreneurship as “entirely good” at 57 percent, compared to 47 percent for older generations, according to the survey. And 58 percent of Millennials in the study familiar with the term “entrepreneur” classified themselves as one.

“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,” said oDesk CEO Gary Swart. “No one today wants to be confined to a cubicle. As independent professionals embrace this freedom, hours worked on oDesk have increased eightfold since 2009.”

The survey was conducted by Genesis Research Associates on behalf of oDesk in spring 2013, among 3,193 freelancers worldwide, including 1,958 Millennials. All professionals surveyed had been active in oDesk’s online workplace within the past 180 days.

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