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Study: Success at work influenced by personality of your partner at home

"Our study shows that it is not only your own personality that influences the experiences that lead to greater occupational success," said researcher Joshua Jackson.

By Brooks Hays
Study: Success at work influenced by personality of your partner at home
If your partner's not conscientious at home, it might affect your job performance. File Photo by Tigger11th/Shutterstock

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- You can thank your wife for that new promotion. You can also blame your boyfriend for getting canned. That's according to a new research suggesting the personality and behavior of a person's significant other has a strong influence on their success on the job.

So what should an eligible bachelor or bachelorette look for in a life partner if career advancement is a priority? Someone who is conscientious, according to psychologists Brittany Solomon and Joshua Jackson.

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In five-year longitudinal study, the two Washington University in St. Louis researchers found that surveyed couples tended to report higher job satisfaction and wages, as well as a better rate of promotions, when their partners were conscientious.

"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," Jackson, the study's lead author, explained in a press release.

The researchers didn't simply rely on husbands and wives to summarize their partner's personalities. The sociologists were able locate the correlation after having more than 4,500 married people take personality tests and relay career success over a period of five years. Roughly three-quarters of the study participants were dual-income households.

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As Solomon and Jackson explain, a conscientious partner is likely to be more dependable and organized, capable of taking on a heavier burden when it comes to keeping a house in order and relationship together. The researchers hypothesized that a conscientious spouse was more apt to run more errands, do more laundry and prepare more packed lunches -- the types of things that might let their partners save their energy for the office.

"The experiences responsible for this association are not likely isolated events where the spouse convinces you to ask for a raise or promotion," Jackson added. "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 new study was published last month in the journal Psychological Science.

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