Life

How being a younger sibling could affect your future career prospects

Posted by
Harriet Hall
Published

There is lots of talk about the order in which children are born – be they a middle child, youngest child or even single child – affecting how they lead their life. We've already been told that that personality traits are determined by the family pecking order and that elder siblings are nicer and more outgoing.  

Now, new research suggests that being a younger sibling might also affect your future career prospects.

Researchers at the universities of Reading and Birmingham have discovered that the youngest children born into families with no sign of entrepreneurial spirit are more likely to take risks when it comes to business, reports The Sunday Times.

Their findings also suggest that these children are also more likely to become entrepreneurs later in life.

Academics studied the lives of over 6,300 British men and women who were born in 1970 and raised with siblings.

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Being a younger sibling might affect your future career prospects.

The study found that in families which were not entrepreneurial, the younger sibling of two was as much as 49% more likely to forge their own career path and become their own boss by the age of 38.

However, when families have three children, this figure reduced slightly, with the youngest child being 43% more likely than the eldest to start their own business.

Apparently, according to the study, this ‘born to rebel’ mentality suggests youngest siblings are more likely to be “exploratory, unconventional and tolerant of risk.”

The newspaper references billionaire businessman Allan Sugar, who was himself the youngest of four siblings.

Interestingly, though, in families where parents were self-employed, it was actually the first and middle children who were more likely to become entrepreneurs – suggesting that the older siblings are more influenced by the career paths of their parents, while younger siblings are more likely to go their own way (cue Fleetwood Mac singalong), and become successful via their own means.