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

or

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 periodicals archive ?
SCALING NEW HEIGHTS: Peter McAdam climbs the ladder
Teamwork Essa Njie climbs the ladder, supported by two of his colleagues at Meltham fire station MEET Meltham fire station's newest recruit.
HEAD FOR HEIGHTS: Peter McAdam climbs the ladder again