Can a spouse influence career prospects?

Family|September 25th 2014

The personality of your spouse could influence future career success, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis claim that the more “conscientious” the spouse, the greater a person’s chances of getting a promotion or a raise.

According to the study, this was true if one or both spouses worked and regardless of gender.

The researchers examined a five year study of 5,000 married people of various ages. They compared “occupational success”, factors such as salary, job satisfaction and the likelihood of being promoted, with the personalities of the working people’s partners.

Conscientious spouses, who were defined in the study as rule followers who work hard and can control their impulses well, benefit their partner in a number of ways. These include being able to rely on their spouse for household chores, like paying bills or raising the children.

Joshua Jackson, an assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study, said that the results indicate that it was more than “isolated events where the spouse convinces you to ask for a raise or promotion” but an accumulation of a partner’s influence over time. He said that people with a conscientious spouse may often seek to emulate their good behaviour.

Photo by aaron gilson via Flickr

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