There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a life partner – whether you have compatible life goals, how well you get along with each other’s family and friends, physical attraction etc. You might also want to consider what your choice of spouse can do for your work life. A recent study by Washington University in St. Louis suggests that your spouse can help you succeed in your career.
“The personality of your spouse could influence a lot of your behaviors and these behaviors can then spill over into your work life,” says Joshua Jackson, assistant professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.
Joshua Jackson is leading a new study that tracked nearly 5,000 married Australians for five years and measured how a spouse’s personality impacted whether their partner received a promotion, earned a higher salary or experienced higher levels of job satisfaction. The study suggests that the level of a spouse’s conscientiousness is a consistent predictor of how successful a person’s career is.Regardless of their own conscientiousness levels, having a spouse who is highly conscientious increased chances of promotion at work, and is associated with making more money over time and increased job satisfaction.
An interesting thing about Jackson’s finding, however, is that there were no gender differences between the spousal personality traits that helped a woman’s career and the ones that helped a man’s. In both cases, having a conscientious partner was the only trait that had any measurable correlation.
So how exactly does a conscientious spouse help you in your career ? A conscientious spouse will create more bandwidth for you by taking on more responsibilities . For example, a conscientious spouse might take on tasks such as making appointments or cleaning the house, giving the other spouse more bandwidth for focusing on work, or even relaxing and recharging. A conscientious spouse is well-positioned to be responsible, efficient and organized.
A conscientious spouse is also known to lower your stress level.“Having a conscientious spouse is associated with a happier home life,” says Jackson. A happy home life reduces stress and means you’re better able to focus while at work without worrying about trouble brewing at home.
Such spouses also usually encourage similar behavior in their partners. Conscientious individuals are thorough, efficient and organized. They do things by the book and are able to control impulses. Studies show that a conscientious person encouraged similar behavior in their partner.People may also be inspired to emulate their conscientious spouses or pick up on behaviors so they aren’t seen as slackers.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from the study is that we should develop an awareness of how our own personalities affect our partners. Simply being aware of the characteristics and behaviors that may help – as well as hinder- one another can go a long way to working together as a team to reach your goals.