[Infographic] oDesk study reveals freelance habits, including combatting the European crisis

May 30, 2013
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oDesk have released a study with Millennial Branding showing surprising results about the users of their platform, which allows freelancers and employers to find each other. The study looked at 3,000 freelancers, as well as examining both employer and freelancer data (number of hours billed, amount paid out to freelancers, etc.), and found some interesting results. The infographic below goes into detail about the changing ‘entrepreneurial’ mindset – the study showed that 90% of the study subjects consider entrepreneurship to be a mindset, and not just the idea of creating a company.

This is a mentality that we’ve seen reflected in the ‘startup hype’ in the past 2 years, with consultants, agencies, industrial companies & even law firms jumping on aboard the ‘startup bus,’ declaring themselves lean, bootstrapped, scalable and entrepreneurial – sometimes this is true, often it isn’t. Nonetheless, the study confirmed oDesk’s suspicions about its audience, that almost  2/3 of their freelancers are Millennials (age 19-30), of which many are moonlighting outside of a full-time work load, either school or a job, and that many are considering leaving their job in order to work on their own terms. As a “Millennial”, I couldn’t agree more. I’m writing this article in my kitchen still in my pajamas – I don’t think I’ll be able to give this up.

I also sat down with oDesk VP of Product Stephane Kasriel, who is a serial entrepreneur and former French Country Manager for PayPal, to talk about the company’s vision of the product, and how this study would impact their roadmap. The service, which has been around for 8 years now, has evolved rapidly in the past 2 years, seeing the number of ‘key categories’ jump from just a few to dozens. In France, the fastest growing sectors include Web Programming, Translation, SEO, Website Q&A, and 3D Modelling. French freelancers raked in $2.7M in 2012, making it the 8th most popular country on oDesk (much of the Top 10 countries are European). French clients, however, are mostly hiring from Russia, Ukraine, India & the Philippines; nonetheless, French freelancers worked 80% of the time with non-French clients, which means that oDesk brought in nearly an extra $1M to the French Economy.

There’s no doubt that, as the crisis continues, alternative ways of making money in strictly regulated countries are going to become more popular. Do you think you have an entrepreneurial mindset? Would you rather work at home than for a bank or big corporation?

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