If you want to make more money, take a closer look at the person you are dating or married to.
Apparently, your husband or wife exerts a certain amount of influence over your own workplace performance – and for this reason, it’s better to be married to a dork than a jerk.
New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests when it comes to pay raises, promotions and other measures of career success, you are more likely to achieve your goals if married to a “conscientious” spouse.
“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 and sciences and lead author of the study.
The five year study, which polled nearly 5,000 married people ranging in age from 19 to 89, 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.
Workers who scored highest on measures of occupational success tended to have a spouse with a personality that scored high for conscientiousness, and this was true whether both spouses worked or not, and regardless of whether the working spouse was male or female.
Having conscientious spouse contributed to workplace success primarily through three ways.
Firstly, working spouses might 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, easing up pressure on the working spouse.
Workers were also 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 kept their personal life running smoothly may have reduced stress and made it easier to maintain a productive work-life balance.
“While previous research suggests that people seeking potential mates tend to look for partners who score high on agreeableness and low on narcissism, this study suggests that people with ambitious career goals may be better served to seek supportive partners with highly conscientious personalities,” the report stated.