earn (one's) stripes

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.
See also: earn, stripe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

earn one's stripes

Gain a position through hard work and accumulated experience. For example, She'd earned her stripes by serving for years as the governor's secretary and personal aide . This expression alludes to a military promotion or award, indicated by strips of chevron or braid added to the recipient's uniform and known as stripes since the early 1800s.
See also: earn, stripe
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

earn your stripes

If you earn your stripes, you gain enough experience to deserve a particular job or position. Mr. Thaddeus earned his stripes playing for such foreign bands as the London-based Pitiful Souls and Singapore's X-Periments. He has worked hard to earn his stripes as a skilled debater in the House of Assembly.
See also: earn, stripe
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

earn (one's)

spurs/stripes
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.
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