I work as an engineer - two years as an intern and one year full-time as an Engineer level 1. Several months after graduating and getting hired full-time, I had a performance review due to decreased performance caused by adjusting to getting married, graduating college, moving out on my own, and simply working full-time all in the course of about a month. Since then I have gotten back to expected performance levels.

Where I work, in general, you get promoted to a Engineer Level 2 after 2 years of employment. I have only worked 1 year as a full-time employee, but I also worked 2 years as an intern which counts as half time towards promotions.

Most managers don't seem to be aware that time as an intern can count towards a level promotion. I would like to debate my case to be made a level 2, but I am concerned that I may come across as greedy/over-selling myself. Not only have other employees who were at one time interns not leveraged their time as interns, but I also had a performance review this past year.

I believe I can make a strong case for my promotion, but I cannot shake the feeling that I will come across as greedy.

Is it safe to make my case for the promotion, or should I be cautious and wait until next year?


If your case to be promoted is simply based solely on "time served", that's never a great case in my book. People should be promoted based on their ability to perform the job at a higher level, not simply by having performed adequately at a lower level for some time. In your case, there's also the case that you were a below average performer for a period of time - that's never a good starting point to say you're ready to take on more responsibility, even if you're now back at "expected" levels.

I'd strongly suggest asking your manager what you need to do in order to be promoted, rather than walking in and presenting a case based primarily on the fact you've been there for (the equivalent of) two years. Maybe your manager will say they just want you to keep doing what you're doing for another six months, in which case you're pretty much good, or maybe they'll tell you something you need to be doing better in order to make the step up. This is all very valuable information, and it's a discussion you should be having with your manager on a regular basis anyway.

For avoidance of doubt, I'm well aware there are companies which do promote based on length of service. In my experience, they're the ones who end up with people at the level at which they are incompetent and I try and avoid those companies.


If you are worried about seeming greedy, ask if it's possible, and/or what you would need to do to make it possible, rather than telling them that you think they owe it to you.


Just do it, worst that can happen is you get rejected and can move forwards without wondering 'What if'.

Any asking for promotion is either seen as ambitious or greedy. Then it's the managements decision whether you're worth it. I've never worried about how other people are treated, that's their career, I just focus on mine. But if you wait to be given a free ride in your career it's usually a slow rise.


Instead of directly asking for a promotion, ask if you're back on track to become an Engineer II. Say that since everything's settled down in your life and your productivity has been going up, you'd like to start working on the next goal, and ask if there's anything you can do in the short term that will help the company/team meet its goals.

Promotions can sometimes be like merit badges - they expect you to know how to tie all the advanced knots before you earn the senior knot badge: a scout who never learns to tie his knots won't get his badge just for showing up.

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