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Your Choice of Mate Can Make or Break Your Career

Choosing who you are going to spend the rest of your life with is a huge decision – possibly one of the biggest ones you will ever make. Your career path is another important decision that will affect your future and both choices will have a direct effect on one another.

Your spouse doesn’t complete your workload, they won’t make critical decisions with your employer and they likely don’t work with you, yet the person you choose to spend your time with can have a huge impact on how your career pans out.

A supportive and conscientious spouse can help your work-life balance flow smoothly and can even contribute to you getting ahead in your career, while a jealous or insecure partner may hinder your professional progression.

How your partner can hurt your career

The person you choose to spend the rest of your life with is going to have an impact on how your career pans out. A jealous spouse, for example, can demand much of your time and attention. An insecure spouse may be hurt or upset if you choose to spend extra time at your place of employment or work overtime. A narcissistic spouse can also drastically affect your personality or morale.

A conscientious spouse

A 2014 study conducted by two psychological scientists at Washington University looked at which personality traits influence their partner most and how it relates to career success. As it turns out, having a conscientious spouse is the most important trait of them all when it comes to your career.

To be conscientious means to give something extreme care or effort. Sometimes referred to as ‘scrupulous,’ a conscientious partner will be motivated to take on tasks without being asked, such as caring for the house, calling to make appointments, giving their partner space and doing other helpful things without being asked.

The study goes on to say that a conscientious spouse can affect three important aspects of one’s career: job satisfaction, promotion likelihood and income.

Since you take on personality traits of your spouse, their hard-working attitude can have a positive impact on how you approach tasks at work. These can lead to pay raises and promotions to higher levels of authority.

A supportive spouse is key

A supportive spouse is essential when you’re looking to advance in your career or go after your dream job.

Sometimes getting what you want out of your professional life means sacrificing some personal time with your family. Long hours, late nights or taking work home with you. This calls for a patient, supportive partner who cheers on your career goals instead of making you feel bad about them.

Look for someone who shows interest

It goes without saying that your partner should take a personal interest in you, but when it comes to your career, it greatly helps when you can find someone who takes an interest in your work life. When your spouse shows concern regarding your career, you will be able to share more about yourself and your day-to-day life with them.

Another great benefit of having a partner who wants a certain level of involvement in your career moves, is that you’ll be able to gain valuable insight from them that you may not have thought about otherwise. Your spouse will then be able to act as a sounding board for you about work-related issues, goals, and projects, and offer you an outsider’s perspective.

Create a work-life balance

It’s important to show your partner your appreciation for their patience, since they are likely making personal sacrifices in order for you to pursue your goals. You can do this by striving toward a healthy work-life balance.

This might mean leaving work at the front door, spending 30 minutes a day with your partner distraction-free or scheduling a weekly date-night to give you the opportunity to go out and have fun together as a couple. When you create a balance between your career and your marriage, you show your partner you appreciate their love and support.

If you want to have a successful career, it helps to have a supportive, loving, understanding spouse at your side. Look for someone who has a conscientious attitude and is always encouraging you to follow your dreams, chase new opportunities, and be your best self.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you create a better work-life balance? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

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About the Author Rachael Pace

Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.

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