climb the corporate ladder


      • get promoted
        To advance in one's career within a company or organization, typically by receiving promotions or higher positions of authority

      • strive for success
        To work hard and diligently in order to achieve success or reach a higher level within a company or organization

      • use unethical or cut-throat methods
        To use manipulative or unethical tactics in order to advance in one's career, often at the expense of others

    Examples of climb the corporate ladder

    • Sarah has been working hard to climb the corporate ladder at her company. She started as an entry-level employee and has since been promoted several times. Her determination and hard work have allowed her to move up the ranks and become a respected member of the executive team.

      "Climb the corporate ladder" is a metaphorical expression that refers to the process of advancing in a career, especially in a large corporation. The image of climbing a ladder suggests that there are rungs or steps to be taken in order to reach the top, and that success is achieved through hard work and dedication. The expression can be used to describe someone who is working their way up the chain of command in a company, or to refer to the process of career advancement in general. In Sarah's case, she has been steadily climbing the corporate ladder by taking on more responsibility and demonstrating her skills and abilities. Her hard work and determination have paid off, allowing her to move up the ranks and achieve her career goals.


    The idiom "climb the corporate ladder" is often used to describe the act of advancing in one's career within a company or organization. It can refer to receiving promotions or higher positions of authority, striving for success, or using unethical tactics to achieve success. Overall, the phrase carries a connotation of ambition and determination in one's pursuit of career advancement.

    Origin of "climb the corporate ladder"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the concept of a hierarchical structure within a company or organization, commonly referred to as a "corporate ladder." This ladder represents the various levels of positions and authority within a company, with each step representing a higher level of success and responsibility. The phrase "climb the corporate ladder" emerged in the mid-20th century, reflecting the societal focus on career advancement and the competitive nature of the business world.

    One possible explanation for the use of the word "climb" in this idiom is its association with effort and struggle. Climbing requires physical exertion and determination, which can be seen as a metaphor for the hard work and dedication required to advance in one's career. Additionally, the use of the word "ladder" emphasizes the incremental steps and gradual progress that is often necessary to move up in a company.

    In popular culture, the idiom has also been used as a metaphor for the cut-throat and competitive nature of the business world, where individuals may resort to unethical or manipulative tactics in order to "climb the corporate ladder." This further highlights the negative connotation associated with the phrase and the pressure to succeed in the corporate world.