A foot in the door


      • gaining access
        To make an initial step towards achieving a goal or gaining an opportunity, especially in a competitive situation

      • building relationships
        To establish a connection or rapport with someone, typically in a professional setting, as a means of furthering one's career or interests

    Examples of A foot in the door

    • After several unsuccessful job interviews, Sarah finally landed a part-time position at the company. She knew that this was just a "foot in the door" and that she had to work hard to prove herself and eventually secure a full-time position.

      The idiom "a foot in the door" refers to gaining initial access or acceptance into a situation, organization, or job. It suggests that once you have a small foothold, you can then work to expand your opportunities and eventually achieve your goals. In Sarah's case, she recognized that the part-time position was a chance to prove her worth and eventually move up within the company.Bite the bullet

    • Karen had been putting off going to the dentist for months, but finally decided that it was time to "bite the bullet" and make an appointment.

      The idiom "bite the bullet" is a figurative expression that means to face a difficult or unpleasant situation head-on, often with a sense of resignation or determination. It originated from the practice of soldiers being given a bullet to bite on as a way to distract them from the pain of surgery without anesthesia. In Karen's case, she recognized that avoiding the dentist was only making the situation worse and decided to take action and face her fears.Pulling out all the stops

    • The company was preparing for a major presentation to a potential client, and the marketing team was "pulling out all the stops" to ensure a successful outcome.

      The idiom "pulling out all the stops" refers to using all available resources and strategies to achieve a desired outcome. It suggests that no effort or expense will be spared in order to succeed. In the company's case, they recognized the importance of the presentation and were willing to go above and beyond to impress the potential client.Let the cat out of the bag

    • Rachel had been keeping a secret from her friends for weeks, but accidentally "let the cat out of the bag" during a conversation with one of them.

      The idiom "let the cat out of the bag" refers to accidentally revealing a secret or surprise. It suggests that once the secret is out, there is no going back and the situation is irreversible. In Rachel's case, she had been trying to keep her secret hidden, but ended up revealing it unintentionally.Piece of cake

    • The final exam for the history class was a "piece of cake" for Sarah, who had studied diligently throughout the semester.

      The idiom "piece of cake" is a figurative expression that means something is easy or straightforward. It suggests that the task at hand requires little effort or skill. In Sarah's case, she recognized that her hard work had paid off and that the exam would be a relatively simple task.


    In everyday conversation, the idiom "a foot in the door" is often used to refer to making a small start towards achieving a larger goal or gaining an opportunity. This can be seen in phrases such as "I just need to get my foot in the door at that company" or "I'm trying to get my foot in the door with that client."

    The idiom can also be used in a more specific sense, particularly in business contexts, to refer to building relationships and establishing connections. This usage highlights the importance of networking and making a good impression in order to advance one's career or interests.

    Origin of "A foot in the door"

    The origin of this idiom is believed to come from the door-to-door sales industry. In order to sell a product, salespeople often had to physically place their foot in the door to prevent it from being shut. This initial step allowed them to start a conversation and potentially make a sale.

    Over time, the idiom evolved to refer to any initial step towards achieving a goal or gaining an opportunity, drawing on the idea of physically placing one's foot in a door as a metaphor for gaining access.

    Today, the idiom is widely used in both personal and professional contexts, emphasizing the importance of taking small steps and making connections in order to reach larger goals.