Career success may depend on various important factors. Your determination, resilience and persistence. Your education. The opportunities for support and growth in your workplace. Your health and wellbeing. All of these factors can combine to help determine how successful your chosen career will be.

However, interesting results of a study published in 2014 by Joshua Jackson and Brittany Sullivan show another surprising factor which can influence your career success; your partner’s personality.

The study was carried out with several thousand married couples (4,544 people in total) over a 5-year period and discovered that one particular personality trait played a major role in the other partner’s career success; conscientiousness. 

The participants were given psychological tests to measure their openness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness. The study also tracked their job satisfaction, salary increases and promotion-eligibility. It was found that people with highly conscientious partners tended to thrive in the workplace – earning higher incomes, being able to concentrate more on their work, having higher levels of job satisfaction and being promoted more often.

The authors of the study guessed that conscientious partners may offer more significant support and take on jobs around the house, alleviating the pressure on their partners and creating opportunities for their partners to dedicate themselves to career success. Therefore, the results implied that people with ambitious career goals should seek supportive partners with highly conscientious personalities.

Let’s take a look at how this could translate to real life.


Ben is a highly conscientious person who is married to a career-driven woman named Isabelle. Whenever Isabelle has to work late, Ben prepares dinner, washes the dishes and stores the leftovers for lunch the next day. Isabelle is able to come home from work, take a shower and enjoy dinner without having to think about buying groceries, cooking, or washing up. Without those added stressors, Isabelle can head to bed earlier and get a good night’s sleep. The next day, she goes to work feeling fresh and focused, ready to perform to the best of her ability.

However, not only does Ben’s conscientiousness help relieve some of the stressors Isabelle could face; she has also learned some of his organisation and efficiency skills, which now help her finish work tasks quickly and meet important deadlines.

With her work regularly being completed to a high standard. Her boss notices and at the next opportunity, Isabelle is offered a promotion with higher responsibilities and a larger income.

These are just a few examples of how a conscientious partner can potentially influence your career success!

So, what exactly is conscientiousness and how can you tell if someone is more conscientious?

Conscientiousness is the personality trait of someone who considers and cares about how their behaviour impacts others. A conscientious person is more likely to be organised, efficient and helpful.

Here are 10 simple signs that someone is highly conscientious;

1: They usually have high self-esteem. They may appear more confident and sure of themselves, without being arrogant or intimidating.

2: A conscientious person is more likely to keep organised to-do lists and planners and write down appointments or important reminders.

3: They will try to prioritise their health and follow advice which helps them improve their wellbeing.

4: They consider purchases carefully. A conscientious person is more likely to stick to a budget and less likely to make spontaneous purchases or end up in unmanageable debt. They tend to display higher levels of self-control and will be less influenced by sales tactics.

5: Reliability is a sign of someone who is conscientious: because of their great planning abilities and the fact that they care about how their actions impact others. A conscientious person will rarely be late without a good reason.

6: A conscientious person will usually have great self-discipline. For example, marathon runners tend to display high rates of conscientiousness. They don’t like to quit and prefer to try new approaches and engage in problem-solving to find possible solutions.

7: They’re more likely to maintain a tidy home. A conscientious person cares about the way they look and believe their home is a reflection of them. 

8: A conscientious person actively seeks to support the people close to them.

9: Taking responsibility for their mistakes is another sign of a conscientious person. They don’t tend to ignore problems and they also pay attention to potential problems, working to decrease the likelihood that those problems will come to fruition.

10: A conscientious person tends to have better posture because they care about other people’s perception of them and they want to take good care of themselves.

Now that you know more about conscientiousness, you might be able to choose a partner who will help you be more successful in your career! However, conscientiousness has been shown to develop into old age. So even if your partner doesn’t display conscientious tendencies. You can try to encourage them by leading the way and becoming more conscientious yourself. Because, did we mention that if you’re conscientious, too, you’ll be more likely to be successful of your own accord? It’s true!


So, grab your planner, tidy your home and seek to support others. Take responsibility for your mistakes and think about your purchases before you make them.

If you are enjoying and benefiting from this rare but necessary focus on this self – then we would love to invite you to take part in our Self Series. Click the link below to learn more about this new collective!


An Interview with Rebecca & Amy



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Articles written by our internal Daily Guru writers, who are certified & qualified growth & development professionals.