Achieving success is hard work. It’s not just your hard work though; it could also be your spouse’s. Research by the Washington University found that pay increases, job satisfaction, and likelihood of promotion were linked to a person’s partner’s traits.
The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.
Involved in the study were 5,000 married people aged 19 to 89. 75% of the sample had both spouses working. They took psychological tests to gauge their level of openness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness. The researchers also tracked the working spouse’s work performance through self-reported opinions on job satisfaction, salary increases and the likelihood of being promoted.
Results showed that the workers who have the high occupational success tended to have spouses who scored high on conscientiousness. People who are conscientious have a desire to do tasks well and are efficient and organized.
“The experiences responsible for this association are not likely isolated events where the spouse convinces you to ask for a raise or promotion,” said lead author Joshua Jackson, PhD. “Instead, a spouse's personality influences many daily factors that sum up and accumulate across time to afford one the many actions necessary to receive a promotion or a raise.”
The researchers then tested several theories as to why having a conscientious spouse led to a higher likelihood of workplace success. Three theories came up: working couples can rely on their partners to do chores and tasks, they’re likely to emulate the good traits of their spouse, and that simply having a reliable partner reduces stress and makes it easier to maintain a work-life balance.
So, the question is: are you being a conscientious partner to your spouse?
Source: Sept. 18, 2014. "Spouse’s personality influences career success, study finds". wustl.edu