climb (up) the ladder

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climb (up) the ladder

To become increasingly powerful or successful. You need to climb the ladder a bit before you start taking on your own clients. I'm an artist at heart, so I have no interest in climbing up the corporate ladder.
See also: climb, ladder
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

climb up the ladder


climb the ladder

If you climb up the ladder or climb the ladder, you become more and more successful or important. There's no need for the sort of competitive behaviour you get at companies where people are trying to climb up the ladder. He became the first man to climb the social ladder from a log cabin to the White House. Note: You can also say that someone moves up the ladder. If you think you can do more than you are doing in your present position, you owe it to yourself to make the effort to move up the ladder.
See also: climb, ladder, up
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in classic literature ?
The Lion climbed the ladder next, and the Tin Woodman came last; but both of them cried, "Oh, my!" as soon as they looked over the wall.
Anne climbed the ladder amid breathless silence, gained the ridgepole, balanced herself uprightly on that precarious footing, and started to walk along it, dizzily conscious that she was uncomfortably high up in the world and that walking ridgepoles was not a thing in which your imagination helped you out much.
At ten that night he climbed the ladder in the haunted house, pale, weak, and wretched.
She really came, the very next morning, and climbed the ladder to the garret, and stood and stared about her, turning pale at the sight of the blood stains on the floor where Ona had died.
Caderousse climbed the ladder slowly, and looked over the coping to see if the street was quiet.
In an unprecedented move, James Ellsworth climbed the ladder, grabbed the briefcase and tossed it to the "Princess of Staten Island," who was lying down in the ring.
Summary: He was considered one of Kejriwal's trusted lieutenants and he quickly climbed the ladder in the party
Hazel especially climbed the ladder of success, from leaving St Augustine's School in Walker's Westbourne Avenue, now known as St Alban's, her story alone could inspire today's pupils to greater things in the workplace.
The highlight of the night, she said, was when the Charlton PTO president climbed the ladder and delivered a $1,500 donation check to the teachers.
His family came back to the UK and Matt joined Carphone Warehouse in 2004 and has steadily climbed the ladder.
And now the trio have successfully climbed the ladder at the local law firm.
The bear eventually climbed the ladder and wandered away.
His dad netted the fish and climbed the ladder, carrying a dangerous 35lb 8oz stingray that went back after weighing.
HERE'S a man who has climbed the ladder in an illuminating career.