get a foothold in (something)

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get a foothold in (something)

To obtain an initial, stable position from which one can progress in a particular industry or area. Likened to the place where one can place their foot when climbing something. Taking a role on a soap opera has helped many aspiring actors get a foothold in the entertainment business.
See also: foothold, get
References in classic literature ?
I will not blame the course taken by the king, because, wishing to get a foothold in Italy, and having no friends there--seeing rather that every door was shut to him owing to the conduct of Charles--he was forced to accept those friendships which he could get, and he would have succeeded very quickly in his design if in other matters he had not made some mistakes.
The launch is the latest move in a high street price war as chains fight to get a foothold in a growing tablet market that is dominated by Apple and Google.