Sorry for all the questions lately, been working on my resumes and work history, so lots of stuff popped up!
Anyway, I was on the "fast track" at my company (as fast as a defense company has) when I hired in, jumping from level 2 to 3 in less than 2 years (usually it's 2-4 years, and I started at level 2 because of my MS degree). Then I was supposed to have been considered a promotion to go to level 4 after 3 years (again, usually 4-6 years after promotion to level 2), but I decided to leave my technical job (within the company) and do a lateral transfer into business development. Since my BD boss was hiring for level 3, he said that he couldn't promote me for level 4 because I'm new to the world of BD. I totally understand his logic, even though I was a bit saddened that the lack of a promotion was the sacrifice I made to work in an area I wanted to work in.
With that said, I *might* get a promotion this November or December, but with my R1 applications, that may be too late. I have two ideas, so let me know which one you think is better:
1. Talk about what I just said (with better flow and grammar of course) in my optional essays. The problem with this is I'm using optional essays to explore another important part of me, so I don't want to sacrifice something that's positive and adds to my candidacy with something that can sound "whiny".
2. My 2 recommenders are my current boss and former boss. If I can get the former boss to vouch that he was considering me for promotion a year ago, and my current boss to talk about why he couldn't promote me immediately, do you think that will work?
I think #2 is a better route, contingent on one or both my recommenders collaborating with my story. Just wanted to get everyone's opinion on this.