Freelance Talent Report

 

A detailed look at professionals and online work
June 2011

Highlights

  • 89% of respondents state that working independently or freelancing is an important part of their career strategy
  • 90% cite the ability to take control of their own schedule as the best part of freelancing, and 87% feel that following their passion is most important
  • 92% turn to online job sites as their primary method for finding employment, and 41% indicate they are using social media to land jobs
  • 65% state that digital portfolios and online resumes are more effective than traditional resumes in landing a job

Male or female?

I went from being a full-time teacher
to a part-time writer to stay home
with my children. Now I work on
projects for my clients while my children are
asleep at night. I feel like I have the
absolute best of both worlds!

-Survey respondent

What is the highest level of education you
have completed?

High School Diploma or Equivalent
Trade School Certification
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate Degree

Where are you located?

 
Northwest
Southwest
Midwest
South
Northeast
Southeast
 
 
 
 
 

What methods do you use to find jobs?

Online job listings (Elance, Monster, Craigslist, etc.)
Social media (Linkedln, Facebook, etc.)
Personal connections/netvvorking
Staffing agency or recruiter
Online applications at targeted companies
Job fairs
College job postings
Other
 

What tool is most effective
in landing a job today?

 

Is telecommuting part of your career strategy?

Yes, I want/plan to telecommute a majority of the time
Yes, but I want/plan to split my time telecommuting and working onsite at a company
No, I want/plan to work onsite at a company a majority of the time
It depends on the job requirements
Not sure

Is working independently an
important part of your career
strategy?

When were you born?

What is your annual income (including
freelancing and other income)?

 

Describe your level of freelance activity

I freelance full-time or as much as I can; it is my sole source of income
I have a full-time job and freelance on the side
I have a part-time job and freelance part-time
I am working as a freelancer until I find a full-time job
Other

Why did you begin freelancing?

I began freelancing after being downsized or laid off
I have a full-time job and freelance on the side
I have a part-time job and freelance part-time
I am working as a freelancer until I find a full-time job
Other

I have had excellent
opportunities on Elance.
Being on the receiving
end of a reduction
in force is the best thing
that happened to me.

-Survey respondent
 

Would you prefer to be a full-time employee at a company?

No, I prefer the freelance lifestyle and working with multiple clients
Yes, I prefer full-time employment with one employer
I'm currently a full-time employee, but I like to freelance on the side
I don't know

Has your income as a freelance professional increased in the last 12 months?

Yes, my freelance income has increased in the last 12 months
No, my freelance income has decreased in the last 12 months
My income has remained the same in the last 12 months

What are the things you like best about freelancing?

  Very
important
Somewhat
important
Slightly
important
Least
important
Being my own boss (no chance I'll get “laid off" by a single employer) 21% 9% 6%
Following my passion 23% 8% 5%
No commute/work from anywhere 24% 9% 5%
Control over my own schedule 18% 5% 4%
More choice over the projects that I can do 26% 10% 4%
No office dress code 20% 20% 24%
No cubicles 18% 17% 23%

Describe your overall level of happiness in your work

I am happier in my work as an freelancer than as an employee
My level of happiness is the same whether freelancing or working as an employee
I am happier in my work as a employee than as a freelancer

As a baby boomer, I am not certain
when I’ll be able to retire; the
flexibility I have doing freelance
work is very important to me.

-Survey respondent

How optimistic do you feel about your career path?

Where are your clients located?

 

Which issue is more important to men and women?

  Male Responses Female Responses
Being my own boss (no chance I'll get “laid off" by a single employer)
Following my passion
No commute/work from anywhere
Control over my own schedule
More choice over the projects that I can do
No office dress code
No cubicles