Want a better job and more money? Then marry the right person…

She loves watching him work How successful you are are at work – and how well you do financially – could all depend on the person you’ve chosen to marry.

A study by Washington University in St. Louis has found a link between career success and the personality traits of your spouse. According to the 5,000-person survey, spouses who exhibit a high level of conscientiousness tend to ‘rub off’ on their partners, helping them to achieve career goals.

The study, published in late 2014, has raised discussion on the type of impact our partners have on us and what we should look for when choosing one.

“Our study shows that it is not only your own personality that influences the experiences that lead to greater occupational success, but that your spouse’s personality matters too,” said Joshua Jackson, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and lead author of the study.

“The experiences responsible for this association are not likely isolated events where the spouse convinces you to ask for a raise or promotion, 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.”

This is based off the findings of a five-year study that included 5,000 married people between the ages of 19 and 89. Both spouses had a job in 75 per cent of the samples. Participants of the study were assessed on five main personality traits. These were openness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness.


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While it may be obvious to some that the actions of your spouse can have an impact on your day at work, the study suggests that patterns like this exist continually throughout a relationship.

So, what does this say about how we should choose a spouse? If you’re dating someone who is lazy and has a messy apartment, could they hold you back from a future promotion?

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