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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 ?
So far they depend on one another, they would not be questioning who earns more or who is supposed to earn more.
''Do you know that it will take a Nigerian worker earning N30, 000 monthly about 38 years to earn what a senator is earning per month?' he queried.
WOMEN working in Huddersfield still earn significantly less than men - and the gender pay gap in the town is significantly wider than the national average.
Since employment is scarce some men see it as a matter of survival to have a woman who earns well.
A typical woman aged between 30 and 39 earns PS23,075, while a man of the same age pulls in an average wage of PS34,500.
A MAN will typically have earned PS1m by the age of 51 during his working life but a woman will have to wait until her 70th birthday to do the same, according to analysis of official figures.
* 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.
The comedian earns big bucks for films like Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and the upcoming t h i r d installment in the Meet the Parents franchise because those films pay out at the box office.
He earns far less than he did at Phillips--but he's not doing it for the money.
Of the respondents that work in research and development, the largest subgroup (31.3%) earns $76,000 to $100,000 annually while the next largest group (18.2%) earns less than $30,000.
(29) A husband who, while living apart from his wife, voluntarily pays her rent while she is temporarily unemployed, does not act as if he is solely entitled to the income at issue, even if he deposits all his earnings in a separate account and his wife does not know how much he earns. The critical factor is that he made at least some of his earnings available to benefit the marital community.
Thompson, who is adopted, earns $48,000 as a music professor at the University of Central Oklahoma.
I suspect that Gemma Martinez, who earns a quite modest annual salary of US$16,723, has enough to eat.
Another issue which merits inclusion in a written agreement is the time at which the broker earns his or her commission.