How your partner’s personality affects your career: study

Choosing a spouse involves a lot more than just thinking about what your children will look like!

Choosing a spouse involves a lot more than just thinking about what your children will look like!


While it’s important to hitch your wagon to someone you enjoy being with and who complements your personality, your choice can also affect how well you fare in your career.

A study carried out by Washington University in St Louis in the US found that the type of personality your partner has can determine if you will progress in your career or stagnate. So, after you’ve checked off the height, colouring and dress-sense of the person you will be walking down the aisle with, you might want to look into your future spouse’s personality type.
How your partner’s personality affects your career: study
Occupational Success found that having a more conscientious spouse was associated with a higher level of income and job satisfaction and the likelihood of promotion. The research looked at 5 000 couples between the ages of 19 and 89 over a period of five years. The study found that the gender of the partner made no difference on results.

A conscientious personality type is one of the so-called ‘big five’ qualities. Others are openness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

The highly conscientious person is likely to be self-disciplined and tends to aim for achievement and display planned rather than spontaneous behaviour, according to Psychology Today. According to the research a partner with this quality is more likely to help out with household tasks and tends to be more pragmatic and reliable. These qualities can be mirrored by their partner and affect how they perform at work.

A person like this is likely to assist in your career because being more conscientious they are likely to perform more household tasks and create a calm home environment, which makes it easier for their partner to focus on their job.

Higher levels of neuroticism were associated with lower levels of future job satisfaction, while higher levels of agreeableness predicted lower income. Marrying people with other types of qualities is not all bad because being linked to a person with higher levels of extroversion and neuroticism is linked to a better chance of promotion.
Additional reporting: Psychology Today

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