An analysis of Escape the City members – all 103,482 of them

We’re currently hard at work building out Escape Profiles so that we can match peoples’ pasts and their future aspirations with new opportunities, organisations, people and useful content.

As a result we’ve got our heads in the database, reviewing who our members are and what they are looking for. There’s a lot more to come but we thought you might be interested to see who makes up this community at a basic level…

It’s incredible to think that a simple mailing list and a job board based around this idea of transitioning away from the corporate world has spread so far – across different industries and 197 countries – all with zero advertising budget.

The first thing to note from the data below is that although almost half of our members work in professional services (i.e. the lawyers, bankers, accountants and consultants that make up ‘the City’ professions in London), we have attracted people from a wide range of background and industries.

This reflects the fact that although our idea was born in a Big 4 advisory firm over by London Bridge (v1 was solely built for London finance and professional services workers), the chord we are striking resonates far beyond that demographic.

Another really exciting thing for us is the fact that almost half of our members aren’t based in the UK at all. This (the desire to escape unfulfilling work at large companies) is truly a global phenomenon. The pressure is on us to build something properly international to cater to this demand.

How are we going to do this?

1) As our community grows in other countries (see below) we’ll be able to attract a much more diverse range of opportunities from outside of the UK,

2) The next version of our website will provide much better tools for networking with other Escape members near you and, finally,

3) We’re bringing Esc – the offline community – to a city near you soon (vote for / volunteer for your city here).

So, the high-level analysis…. (let us know what you think in the comment at the bottom).

What industries do our members currently work in?

*Correction*: these are the industries that our members have experience in (which is why the percentages add up to more than 100%!).

  • Professional Services 44%
  • Tech / Internet 22%
  • Digital / Media 21%
  • Creative / Arts 18%
  • Social Good 17%
  • Consumer 13%
  • Education 13%
  • Adventure / Travel 11%

Drilling down a bit (most numerous industries at the top)…

  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Financial Services
  • Management Consulting
  • Internet
  • Information Technology and Services
  • Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Higher Education
  • Banking
  • Investment Banking
  • Leisure, Travel & Tourism
  • Computer Software
  • Accounting
  • Education Management
  • Public Relations and Communications
  • Telecommunications
  • Retail
  • Law Practice
  • Hospitality
  • Broadcast Media
  • Staffing and Recruiting

How much professional experience do they have?

61% of members have less than 5 years experience, 39% have more.

  • 0-2 years experience 33%
  • 3-5 years experience 28%
  • 6-10 years experience 22%
  • 11-20 years experience 13%
  • more than 20 years experience 4%

Where are they based?

At a high level?

  • United Kingdom 54%
  • USA 19%
  • Rest of World 27%

What are the Top 20 countries?

  • United Kingdom 56023
  • United States 19228
  • Germany 3710
  • Italy 2394
  • Canada 2390
  • Russia 1784
  • France 1569
  • Spain 1405
  • Australia 1394
  • Switzerland 950
  • India 841
  • Austria 690
  • Ireland 679
  • Portugal 640
  • Netherlands 612
  • Belgium 555
  • Brazil 513
  • Singapore 507
  • South Africa 474
  • Romania 443

What Job Functions do they perform?

  • Specialist / Expert 17%
  • Marketing & PR 15%
  • Business & Strategy 14%
  • Generalist 13%
  • Operations 13%
  • Business Development 10%
  • Creative & Design 9%
  • Finance & Data 8%

What skills do they have?

Top 27 skills of our members…

  • Project Management
  • Research
  • Business Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Event Management
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Planning
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Strategy
  • Management
  • Business Development
  • Advertising
  • Market Research
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Modeling
  • Change Management
  • Management Consulting
  • Account Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Negotiation
  • Fundraising
  • Data Analysis
  • Graphic Design

What areas do they want to work in?

  • Social Good 17%
  • Adventure / Travel 16%
  • Professional Services 14%
  • Digital / Media 12%
  • Creative / Arts 12%
  • Tech / Internet 11%
  • Consumer 9%
  • Education 9%


Rob Symington (@escroberto) is Escape the City’s co-founder. He lives on a boat, owns a double decker bus called Esmerelda and a motorbike that breaks down a lot. He passionately believes that ‘just because’ things are the way they are is no justification for accepting them. The Escape team are hard at work over on the main site building Escape Profiles that help people make big career changes.

If you want to receive Escape the City blog posts directly into your inbox just click here. We write about leaving big corporates, pursuing alternative careers, building businesses, and going on big adventures. Because life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.reno.543 Bob Reno

    Thanks for the information – pretty interesting breakdown of members to the site. Would be great to be able to connect with others to share stories directly, exchange job information (I’m on a job hunt at the moment), and other information.

    • http://twitter.com/escroberto Rob Symington

      Hi Bob.

      Great stuff, thanks for the thoughts.

      We’re building out a few community features over the next two months which will hopefully make sharing and connecting much easier than it is today.

      For now, if you want to engage with others the best way to do it is through your profile, other peoples’ profiles and our ‘ask a question’ feature: http://www.escapethecity.org/questions/new

      If you’ve got something specific I can help you with in terms of your job hunt let me know and I’ll see whether we can help.

      All the best,


  • Guest

    Very interesting stuff. Surprised (and pleased!) to find that there are a huge number of fellow (former) marketing and advertising bods amongst the community; I had assumed it would be predominantly finance/banking/consulting escapees. Have you thought about reproducing this as an infographic? It might make the stats quicker/easier to digest.

  • http://twitter.com/marishapink Marisha Pink

    Really interesting stuff. Surprised (and pleased!) to find that there are a huge number of fellow (former) marketing and advertising bods amongst the community; I had assumed it would be predominantly finance/banking/consulting escapees. Have you thought about reproducing this as an infographic? It might make the stats quicker/easier to digest.

    • http://twitter.com/escroberto Rob Symington

      Hi Marisha.

      Good idea.

      As we get more (and more interesting) data we’ll definitely have a look at how we can display it more visually. Talking of which, you might like this (more banker focused) survey that @escmikey ran on the US Escape the City community (see attached).



  • http://profiles.google.com/hidalgo.marchione Fernando Hidalgo Marchione

    I arrived to Escape The City through a guy in a train that I randomly met going to Plymouth. I think that your project expands very well trough the word of mouth. Therefore, you would need to translate the website to more languages to help the word of mouth works.

    According to number of speakers in the world you should first do it to Mandarin and then to Spanish… give me a shout whenever you want to enter the Spanish market ;)

    • http://twitter.com/escroberto Rob Symington

      Thanks Fernando!

      Based on the stats above we need to go to German first ;)

      Also, Google Translate automatically translates foreign languages in my browser (Chrome) which is pretty incredible.

      I’ll definitely let you know when we need some Spanish help!!


  • disqus_TaohOBcTcl

    I arrived thanks to Lola, my friend who moved out to the UK. Im from Kazakhstan, so it would be nice to see all break out too, i wonder whether there r any countrymates of mine)

    • http://twitter.com/escroberto Rob Symington

      Hi there – I’ve just had a look. There are 65 members from Kazakhstan! Shortly you’ll be able to find your fellow Kazakhs on the site via our Cities / Location feature.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bianca.dillon Bianca Dillon

    Thanks for yet another inspiring post! How fantastic to see there are so many talented people around the globe with a desire to do something different and more meaningful. Keep the momentum going!