A recent but extremely long and drawn-out study has revealed that kids who act the arse at school may go on to have great success in their careers. Published in the US National Library of Medicine, the study (which took four decades) tracked 745 people from ages ranging between 8 and 12, right up to 52.

The study revealed that those bad boys and girls who'd broken the most rules were often high earners in later life, with the trait of doing it major with the bad behaviour turning out to be the highest cognitive indicator of this success.


Researchers reckoned being aggy in earlier life may lead to being competitive for success in the classroom and equally (perhaps more) so in the working world. Alternatively, it may be a case that the arsehole who likes the sound of their own voice tends to get what they want out of life. That's just a personal theory, but I did carry out my own study. At the University of LIFE!

Ahem. The report's authors suggested it's possible stubborn kids might be more equipped when it comes to demanding better salaries in adult life and doing well in negotiation processes, both of which are likely to correlate with doing well at work. The study focused on career success (or failure) rather than being a holistic summary of how childhood naughtiness might affect a person's adult life (i.e. family, personal happiness etc), but its conclusions do have some legs, with some notable examples throughout history.

Nigel Farage was famously revealed to have been a bad boy at school, yet he seems to have done alright. Michael Bloomberg, the media mogul worth upwards of a whopping $50 billion dollars (£38.7 billion - yes, it's less in pounds but still loads) said: "Stubborn isn't a word I'd used to describe myself; pig-headed is more appropriate." So while it might not be pleasant to be around driven, loudmouth types, there is evidence that they tend to get ahead.

Mark Zuckerberg

Credit: PA

Meanwhile, academic success hasn't always been the precursor to career riches. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both dropped out of university, as did Mark Zuckerberg, though in his case the Facebook empire was already looking likely to bag him more buck than a jackpot night on the fruity. Oprah dropped out of Tennessee State University and ended up a billionaire, while John Lennon got himself expelled from Liverpool College.

So, the rule of thumb is: kick up a fuss, be loud, be proud, get expelled from school. You might want to fine-tune those rules a little bit. I was not naughty at school and I write for a living, so I am the 'living' embodiment of a quiet person. I'm also broke. Off to the fruity!

Words: Ronan O'Shea

Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television/The Simpsons

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