Do not just blame your boss or jealous colleagues for no promotion or salary hike at work – your spouse’s personality is equally important to decide if your chosen career will make you richer or poorer.
According to an interesting study, it is not only your own personality that influences career success but your spouse’s personality matters too.
“When it comes to pay raises, promotions and other measures of career success, it is the husband or wife at home who may be exerting a bigger influence on workplace performance,” said Joshua Jackson, an assistant professor of psychology in arts and sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
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,” Jackson pointed out.
To reach this conclusion, researchers did a five-year study of nearly 5,000 married people aged 19 to 89 with both spouses working in about 75 percent of the sample.
Jackson and co-author Brittany Solomon analysed data on participants who took a series of psychological tests to assess their scores on five broad measures of personality – openness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness.
The findings suggest that having a conscientious spouse contributes to workplace success in three ways.
First, the working spouse may come to rely on his or her partner to handle more of the day-to-day household chores, such as paying bills, buying groceries and raising children.
Workers also may be likely to emulate some of the good habits of their conscientious spouses, bringing traits such as diligence and reliability to bear on their own workplace challenges.
“Finally, having a spouse that keeps your personal life running smoothly may simply reduce stress and make it easier to maintain a productive work-life balance,” Jackson noted.
The findings also suggest how we should go about choosing romantic partners.
“People with ambitious career goals may be better served to seek supportive partners with highly conscientious personalities,” researchers concluded.
The study is set to appear in the journal Psychological Science.