How Does Birth Order Impact Career Success?

Are you related to siblings? Are you a sibling? Are you always fighting with your siblings? Or do you have a strong bond? It can have an impact on our psychology. These birth order traits can have an impact on our psychology.

Others often criticize us for the same reason, which is because we are a victim to the generalizations of birth order traits. It is often said that older siblings are more likely than younger ones to be the focus of attention in our family and to be prioritized by others.

The youngest sibling, on the other hand, is often referred to as the wild child of the family with a rebellious attitude. Of course, the middle child is often overlooked. Let’s see if these assumptions are real or false!

What does the birth order have to do with career success?

Research on personality and birth order

Many psychotherapists study the effects and patterns of birth order traits. Adler, an Austrian psychotherapist, states that older siblings tend to have a positive attitude and a responsible attitude.

They don’t have to live with their parents until they have a sibling. They can enjoy the love of their parents without restriction. They are often referred to as the soul prince or princess of parents. Many of these children feel dethroned when their second child is born.

Adler understood that middle children have the lowest importance in the whole scenario. They are often driven by emotions. However, they are often ambitious and driven by emotions.

They will likely be the center of attention in the house. According to other studies, firstborns tend to be more disciplined and conservative than the second. They also prefer safer duties. The riskiest games are more common for the last born.

Influence of the birth order on a single child

The lives of single children is another side to the birth order traits. This is probably the most overlooked side. These are also an issue. One child can be taken care of by his parents, and they have no siblings.

They live in the home and are able to manage it all on their own. One child is more stubborn than the other, as they can get everything they want in no time. Sometimes, it’s clear that a single child seeks a sibling in order to overcome their loneliness. Some children enjoy being single.

What does the birth order have to do with the personality and career of the firstborn?

There are many theories and interpretations of birth order traits across the globe. Research has shown that firstborn daughters are more ambitious than firstborn sons. They are 13% more sincere and responsible than their brothers.

Parents tend to be more strict when dealing with their first child. Parents are more accountable for their first daughter and have a more firm outlook. According to some, the priority given to firstborn daughters is higher than that of firstborn boys.

These girls are able to become more responsible and capable entrepreneurs in the future. They are capable of becoming franchisees for the business.

The career of the youngest child is affected by his or her birth order

The birth order traits describe the youngest child as the most spoilt and pampered. It also highlights the bright side that the youngest members of the family have. The youngest children are the most creative and enjoy doing odd jobs.

They like to follow the flow and eliminate stress from their lives. They enjoy working independently, which is why they chose their passion for their career. They are able to be stress-free and achieve great heights thanks to this. They can follow their dreams without additional factors, as opposed to their older siblings who have to do so.

What impact does drawing have on the career success and happiness of middle-aged children?

Birth order traits are a theory that suggests middle-aged children can be disorganized or have a troubled childhood. However, middle children can also have good virtues.

Middle-aged children are more creative than their peers and love to build their empires. Middle-aged children are hardworking and enthusiastic. They are close to their families and have strong emotional bonds.

They are open-minded, flexible, kind-hearted, and have a tremendous amount of thinking power. They excel at school and are not afraid of interruptions. They also become effective diplomats as middle children.

In a nutshell, this means that every birth order trait has its dark and light sides, regardless of where you are on the siblings’ list. This can have a bipolar effect on your professional life.

What does Oprah Winfrey have in common with Jeff Bezos and the late Steve Jobs? They are all billionaire moguls. But they also share something that goes back way: their birth order. Bezos and Jobs were born as the oldest siblings.

This begs the question: Is this where the potential stars are? What does your birth order have to do with career success? To understand the theory of birth order and find out if it is valid, we spoke to Sarah Greenberg, a psychologist and leader coach.

Let’s start with the birth order theory

How Does Birth Order Impact Career Success?

Both scholarly and commonplace roots are the idea that our personalities are affected by how we were born into a particular family. Birth order can be used to explain behavior in everyday life. It is used to describe the behavior of an attention-seeking friend (middle child syndrome? ), an entitled little sister (she is the baby of the family, so she needs a window seat), and a thin aunt (as the oldest, she believes she must take care of everyone!

Experts have been driven by the nature vs. nurture argument. Alfred Adler, the founder of individual psychology, believed that first-born children had certain characteristics. This enticing idea led to many studies in the 20th century, which examined if, how, and why birth order influences personality.

The birth order theory continues to be fascinating well into the 21st century.

Greenberg says: “There is an interesting 2017 Swedish study that shows first-born children are more inclined to become managers and later-born kids are more likely than their siblings to become entrepreneurs.”

( But how does this explain Oprah, Jeff, and Steve?) Greenberg continues to be skeptical of the whole concept.

She explains that A second study found that first-borns have a higher IQ. This was a good thing for the media, as it got a lot more shares from firstborns. But, the truth is, the difference wasn’t enough to have a significant impact on someone’s career.

What are the most common characteristics of birth order traits?

Take this theory with a grain. Here are some common birth order stereotypes that pop culture and media have reinforced.

  • First-born
  • Rule-followers
  • Neurotic
  • Higher ego
  • Higher intelligence
  • Approval-seeking
  • Controlling
  • Jealous
  • Managers
  • Middle
  • Attention-seeking
  • Peacekeeper
  • Fairness is the focus
  • Social butterfly
  • People who please
  • Histrionic
  • Youngest
  • Other thinkers
  • Thrill-seeking
  • Relaxed
  • Coddled
  • Playful
  • Only
  • Socially awkward
  • Spoilt
  • Bratty
  • Twins/Multiples
  • Merged personalities
  • Troublemakers
  • Creepy

What does it mean for career success and the truth of birth order theory?

Greenberg says, “I don’t think there is enough evidence to draw sweeping conclusions about the effect of birth order on career achievement.” There are many variations in how people experience their place within the sibling constellation.

A child who has two younger siblings and was born within five years of one another will experience a different experience than if they have two older siblings. Greenberg explains that a younger sibling will have a much better experience with trusted caregivers than one who is forced to take on adult responsibilities and worries from an early age.

In a piece for Scientific American, Sara Goudarzi and Corinna Hartmann make great points about the misleading data in studies that confirm the effect of birth order.

Researchers must be cautious when conducting such studies. In addition to age, sibling position is also affected by the size of one’s family. A child born to a four-child family has a 50% chance of becoming a firstborn. The higher the number of siblings, the lower their chances. The fact that so many astronauts were firstborns doesn’t necessarily mean they have special qualities. Many astronauts are likely to come from smaller families.

Do we really need to worry about our career and birth order?

Not quite. Greenberg sees merit in career success and birth order. “Curiosity over birth order touches upon a deeper truth: None are blank slates. The psychotherapist says that our lives are shaped by our experiences over the years, both consciously and unconsciously.

Although birth order can make a difference in how we experience our family and our lives, it is just one aspect of what makes a difference. Research shows that birth order has a minimal impact on career prospects, compared to other factors such as gender or where we were born.

Greenberg still questions the birth order of clients she works with in therapy and coaching. I’m more interested in their entire history. Greenberg says it is similar to the Myers-Briggs test. These tests are widely used but are not scientifically sound.

It’s powerful to see why we are who we are when someone’s experiences align with Myers-Briggs or birth order theory. She reiterated, however, that “it’s important to not cling to our notions about birth order because it just doesn’t work for everyone in a consistent way.” However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t useful.

Is self-fulfilling prophecy a factor in career success and birth order?

“Absolutely!” says Greenberg. It can impact how we view ourselves and how we relate to those traits. The Pygmalion Effect is another factor that can impact our success.

This happens when we expect others to be there for us, such as caregivers or teachers. If you believe you will be president of the United States, it could have a significant impact on your self-confidence.

Greenberg warns that none of this is set in stone. We all have the ability to rewrite our stories at any time.

What can someone do to use the knowledge they have gained growing up to be successful in the workplace?

Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. It’s not just about your birth order. Greenberg recommends taking a “strength inventory” to discover what your strengths are and focusing on them, rather than trying to change weaknesses.

Here’s how you do it: Begin with your strengths in your career but also look back at the strengths that you have displayed in your family. The prototypical eldest child will possess leadership skills.

The prototypical youngest child will be able to march to their own beat. The prototypical middle child is a peacemaker. Recognize the strengths that you have displayed since childhood and apply them to your work as a middle child.

Greenberg says that these strengths might feel so natural to you, you may dismiss them. Don’t. These tools are important in your career toolbox.”

Are there signs that your workplace is falling into the same birth order patterns you were taught growing up?

You won’t notice positive patterns if they are positive. Greenberg says that you will feel at home in your environment. However, if these patterns don’t work in your favor, Greenberg says you may find yourself becoming self-destructive, fearful, or otherwise out of sorts.

Here’s a case from Greenberg’s (names and details have been changed to protect privacy):

Martha was the middle of three siblings. Martha was the middle child of three siblings. Her older sister was described as a natural-born leader. Martha sometimes longed to have more space but she loved her sister and happily deferred.

Martha was frustrated at work that newer employees kept being promoted, while she remained in her same job. Martha longed for promotion and advocated for them to climb the ladder.

Greenberg asks, “See the pattern she was following?” It’s possible to let go of old identities that no longer serve you. Although it can be difficult, most people find it rewarding and liberating.

Martha was a champion for herself and a leader when she got promoted.

What does this mean for Oprah, Jeff Bezos, and Steve Jobs?

Based on what we know about birth order theory there is a possibility that these billionaires were first-born. It may have lit the spark that ignited their passion for business.

We also know that the icons were born into very different families and had different strengths. This would have a profound impact on their path to becoming moguls.

Greenberg states that nothing is fixed and we can change our stories at any time.


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