win your spurs

win (one's) spurs

To prove one's skill in a particular area and earn distinction or a good position as a result. Once you've watched the triplets for an entire day, then you'll have won your spurs as their caretaker, as far as I'm concerned. After getting my bachelor's degree, I won my spurs as a teacher by working short-term contracts in small urban schools for two years.
See also: spur, win

win (or earn) your spurs

gain your first distinction or honours. informal
In the Middle Ages a knight who had won his spurs had attained knighthood by performing an act of bravery: a pair of gilt spurs were the distinguishing mark of a knight.
See also: spur, win

win/earn your ˈspurs

(formal) become successful or famous: You’ll win your spurs as a teacher if you can control class 5.
See also: earn, spur, win
References in periodicals archive ?
You've got to win your spurs is what I would say to Ryan.
What I would say to Ryan is you've got to win your spurs, then stake your claim