earn your stripes
This page is about the idiom earn your stripes
If you earn your stripes, you do something to prove that you have the skills or ability for a particular job or rank.
- He earned his stripes in the department of foreign affairs before becoming one of our ambassadors.
- You'll need to earn your stripes as a travelling salesman before we can think about giving you more responsibility.
Origin: Probably related to the fact in many organisations, including the armed forces, police forces, fire brigades, the boy scouts, etc., a person's rank is often shown by the number of stripes that are sewn onto the shoulder of their uniform.
Contributor: Matt Errey