📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

Want to Make More Money? Marry the Right Person. Things like your boss, your education and your industry are all important when it comes to attaining greater earning power and success. But there's one more factor you might not have considered.

By Jeff Haden

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

LinkedIn Influencer, Jeff Haden, published this post originally on LinkedIn.

Lots of things matter where your job satisfaction, earning power, and the success of your career are concerned. Your boss matters. So does your education, the industry you've chosen, and macroeconomics.

And luck. Luck definitely plays a part.

But while those are all important factors in your career -- and your earning power -- here's one factor you probably haven't considered:

Your spouse.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that people with relatively prudent and reliable partners tend to perform better at work, earning more promotions, making more money, and feeling more satisfied with their jobs.

That's true for men and women. "Partner conscientiousness" predicted future job satisfaction, income, and likelihood of promotion (even after factoring in the participants' level of conscientiousness) for both sexes.

Related: What Kinds of People Do You Hate to Work With? (LinkedIn)

According to the researchers, "conscientious" partners perform more household tasks, exhibit more pragmatic behaviors that their spouses are likely to emulate, and promote a more satisfying home life... all of which enables their spouse to focus more on work.

As one researcher said, "These results demonstrate that the dispositional characteristics of the person one marries influence important aspects of one's professional life." (Or, in non-researcher lingo, a good partner sets a good example and makes it possible for you to be an even better you.)

I know that's true for me. My wife is the most organized person I know. She juggles family, multiple jobs, multiple interests... she's a goal-achieving machine.

For a while her "conscientiousness" got on my nerves until I realized the reason it bugged me was because her level of focus and drive implicitly challenged my inherent laziness. I finally realized the best way to get more done, something we all want to do, is to actually get more done -- and she definitely helps me do that.

And I try to do the same for her. Since my daily commute is two flights of stairs, I take care of most of the household stuff: laundry, groceries, cleaning (I don't do all the cleaning but I make sure it gets done), etc, so when she comes home she can just be home.

So, while she's still considerably more conscientious and organized than I am, she's definitely rubbed off on me in a very positive way.

Which of course makes sense: as Jim Rohn (and others) likes to say, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with -- and that's particularly true where our significant others are concerned. Bad habits rub off. Poor tendencies rub off. We all know that.

But great habits and great tendencies rub off too.

Plus, if one person is extremely organized and keeps the household trains running on time that frees the other up to focus more on work. (In a perfect world both would more or less equally share train-engineer duties so that both can better focus on their careers, whether those careers are inside or outside the home.)

Of course I'm not recommending you choose your significant other solely on the basis of criteria like conscientiousness and prudence. As the researchers say, "Marrying a conscientious partner could at first sound like a recipe for a rigid and lackluster lifestyle."

Related: 10 Qualities of Really Amazing Employees (LinkedIn)

Nor am I suggesting you end your relationship if you feel your partner is lacking in those areas. But it does appear that having a conscientious and prudent partner is part of the recipe for a better and more rewarding career.

So here's what you can do. Instead of expecting your partner to change, think about what you can do to be more supportive of your significant other. Maybe you can take on managing finances, or take on more household chores or schedules.

Since the best way to lead is to lead by example, in time you may find that you and your significant other make a great, mutually supportive team, each of you genuinely, and actively, supporting each other... and supporting each other's goals and dreams.

You don't need research to tell you that kind of relationship would be awesome.

Before becoming a ghostwriter of more than 50 books, Jeff Haden worked in manufacturing for 20 years, starting as an entry-level material handler and eventually rising to plant manager. He holds the distinction of having made every professional mistake possible.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

These Coworkers-Turned-Friends Started a Side Hustle on Amazon — Now It's a 'Full Hustle' Earning Over $20 Million a Year: 'Jump in With Both Feet'

Achal Patel and Russell Gong met at a large consulting firm and "bonded over a shared vision to create a mission-led company."

Side Hustle

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Successful Business

A hobby, interest or charity project can turn into a money-making business if you know the right steps to take.


Want to Be More Productive? Here's How Google Executives Structure Their Schedules

These five tactics from inside Google will help you focus and protect your time.

Business News

These Are the 10 Most Profitable Cities for Airbnb Hosts, According to a New Report

Here's where Airbnb property owners and hosts are making the most money.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.