These 5 Traits Lead to a Bigger Paycheck

Photo by kurhan / Shutterstock.com

It’s long been thought that attractive workers earn bigger paychecks than their not-so-attractive peers. But a study suggests that other factors might be responsible for the differences in pay.

The 2017 study published in Springer’s Journal of Business and Psychology found that other factors are closely correlated with taking home a bigger paycheck. They include:

  • Good health
  • Intelligence
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Low levels of neuroticism

The study authors concluded that there is “very weak evidence for the beauty premium.”

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Political Science, one of the study authors, says in a press release that the earnings difference between attractive and unattractive workers goes away once you factor in health, intelligence and other personality factors. Kanazawa explains:

“Physically more attractive workers may earn more, not necessarily because they are more beautiful, but because they are healthier, more intelligent, and have better personality traits conducive to higher earnings, such as being more conscientious, more extraverted, and less neurotic.”

Surprisingly, the authors found evidence that an “ugliness premium” might exist. People rated as “very unattractive” in the study consistently earned more than those rated as “merely unattractive” — and, in fact, sometimes earned more than average-looking or very attractive co-workers.

How to earn more at work

Setting physical appearance aside — since there’s relatively little you can do to significantly change how you look — there are things you can do to increase your earning potential.

For example, graduating from college can give your paycheck a big boost. Picking the right college also can make a big difference, as we note in “The Best College in Each State for Getting a Job.”

You also have the opportunity to increase your earnings if you negotiate your salary. As we point out in “13 Tips for Success in Any Negotiation,” it helps to take the initiative when fighting for a higher salary:

Your opening bid sets the terms for the negotiation. Try to name a price first and name it high if you are negotiating salary, low if you’re negotiating a purchase price. You can give ground later, but you’ll never get a better number than your initial bid.

Building stronger willpower also can translate into higher pay and more success. You do this a little bit at a time by learning from others who have done well in life. As we have written:

Immerse yourself in others’ advice, input and support. You don’t have to buy into everything you hear. “Take the best and leave the rest,” say users of Alcoholics Anonymous and other free, effective self-help groups.

For more, check out “7 Ways to Build Willpower That Creates Success.”

Do you think your looks hurt or help your paycheck? Sound off below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes
5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes

Here’s how to keep Uncle Sam’s mitts away from your nest egg.

8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will
8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will

Here’s why the last decades of life are harder now than they used to be.

5 Home Improvements That Help You ‘Age in Place’
5 Home Improvements That Help You ‘Age in Place’

These safety-conscious home upgrades can help retirees stay in their home.

5 Countries Where You Can Retire on $2,000 a Month or Less
5 Countries Where You Can Retire on $2,000 a Month or Less

These tips on retiring overseas come from someone who’s been helping American expats for decades.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect
Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.