to work your way up (to)

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - work your way up

"to work your way up (to)"

1) to advance in your job or position, from a beginning level to a higher level

2) to gradually prepare, through incremental increase, for a more complex or difficult task


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - work your way up

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: How did you become so successful in the company? Did you know somebody and start at the managerial level?

Colleague 2: No. I started in the mail room doing very menial labor for very little money and worked really hard and persevered and slowly worked my way up.

Colleague 1: And now you are the vice-president of sales. That is impressive having started from the bottom.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - work your way up

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: I would really like to run in a marathon race. Do you have any advice for how to train for that?

Friend 2: Start small. Learn to run five kilometers and when that is no problem, advance to ten kilometers and so on.

Friend 1: So, work my way up to the full distance of forty-two kilometers?

Friend 2: Exactly.

Test Your Understanding  

to work your way up (to) - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   2,669   click for frequency by country

to work your way up (to) - Gerund Form:

Working your way up from janitor can be a daunting task.

Working his way up to running a marathon race, he spent a year running increasingly longer races.

to work your way up (to) - Examples:

1)  Doing something everyday means you can start small and work your way up

2)  Continue to work your way up whenever the exercise gets to be easy.

3)  ... 10-minute walk around your neighborhood every morning. It's much easier to work your way up from there instead of setting goals that seem impossible to reach.

4)  ... way to get a paying job is to begin as a volunteer and work your way up.

5)  Please start at the local level and work your way up to what types of federal aid you would request and when.

6)  If you plan to work your way up to a vigorous level, check with your doctor first if you are a fit enough.

7)  In time, you can work your way up to management.

8)  I remember when working for the state, you could work your way up to Commissioner. Gave you incentive for hard work and initiative.

9)  ... or pay off the smallest loan first and work your way up to the largest.

10)  Starting as a deckhand, you can work your way up to a pilot making six figures in less than ten years.

11)  A lot of familiarity comes with practice -- start with easier problems and work your way up.

12)  Always slowly at first then gradually work your way up to a little bit faster then after a while do it even faster until ...

13)  ... approaching the people or groups you're least intimidated by, and then work your way up to the ones that make you more anxious. 

14)  You should belong to a good drama group and work your way up from minor to leading roles. 

15)  ... is to not be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up.

16)  Start with the easiest and work your way up to the most difficult.

17)  And even if you do work your way up the career ladder, that college degree is going to help you.

18)  You can't just jump in at the top, you have to work your way up the ladder of success.

19)  Start with the smaller weight machines and work your way up to the big ones.

20)  ... can cause fatigue. To avoid this, just start slow and work your way up to a pace that is comfortable for you.