work one’s way up

Definition

To start at a low position and slowly advance to a higher one.

Examples

He worked his way up from a junior position to CEO of the company.

She worked her way up from a small town to the big city.

Origin

Believed to have been used since the 1400s.

FAQs

question

What does ‘work one’s way up’ mean?

answer

It means to start at a low position and slowly advance to a higher one.

question

Is this phrase used in professional contexts?

answer

It is often used to refer to a person’s professional career, but can also refer to any situation in which somebody works harder and smarter to achieve success.

question

When did this phrase originate?

answer

It is believed to have been used since the 1400s.