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earn (one's) spurs

To prove one's skill in a particular area. Once you've watched the triplets for an entire day, then you'll have earned your spurs as a caretaker, as far as I'm concerned. After getting my bachelor's degree, I earned my spurs as a teacher by working in underfunded urban schools.
See also: earn, spur

earn (one's) stripes

To prove that one is deserving of a particular position or designation. I told the recruiter that I earned my stripes as a teacher before moving into administration. You'll need to earn your stripes around here before they consider you for a different position.
See also: earn, stripe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

earn (one's)

To gain a position through hard work and the accumulation of experience, often in the face of difficulties.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Members who elect to earn miles instead of points are not eligible for this promotion.
The African mentality would prefer the husband to earn more, because he is the head of the family.
Across the UK a full-time male worker typically takes home PS31,834 a year, while his female counterpart earns just PS26,103.
Nationally, women in academics earned 88 cents of a male dollar, though those with master's degrees earned only 73 cents.
'Pakatan Harapan seems to be a more urban party, so they have more people who are highly educated and earn more,' said Prof Datuk Syed Arabi Idid who led the survey, contrasting to the majority of BN and PAS supporters who come from rural areas.
Among doctors, those who specialize in pediatric care can earn as much as P86,000 a month; nurses can earn P65,000, while veterinarians can earn P58,000.
Luckily, with the new offer wall share option, users don't need to download apps or spend much time to earn credits.
Some 5.6% also earned between PS175,000 and PS200,000, while 14.5% earned between PS142,600 and PS175,000.
And chances are great that not all of them will find partners who earn more than them.
Halle Berry, Katherine Heigl and Tea Leoni, who star on "Extant," "State of Affairs" and "Madame Secretary" respectively, each earn $150,000 an episode for their shows.
Air France/KLM Flying Blue Award: double points or double miles Expires: 6/30/2012 Restrictions: Stay at participating Hilton properties worldwide and earn double hotel points or double airline miles/kms.
* The median salary of a woman is still only about 78 percent of a man's, meaning women have to work January to April of the following year to earn what men make in a calendar year.
M2 EQUITYBITES-March 24, 2011-Clayton Williams Energy Inc signs deal to earn 75% interest in leases in southern Reeves County, Texas(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.m2.com
QNB said it launched the promotion to give its customers 'greater value for money and also help them plan their family vacations' this summer utilising the additional Qmiles they earn when completing day-to-day transactions.
EVER wondered what your favourite celebrities earn? Topping the charts with $315 million earned in 2010 was - no surprise here!