Essex head coach Paul Grayson has admitted promotion straight back to Division One would have come too soon for his side.
The Chelmsford club ended their season with defeat by Surrey on Saturday, finishing with a record of four wins, four defeats and eight draws.
"We weren't ready to go back up this year," Grayson told BBC Essex.
"If we had gone up we would have probably come straight back down again anyway and we don't want to do that."
He added: "We haven't got the squad or the depth to go back up to Division One.
"Once we go up we want to try and stay there and that's got to be the main target for next season."
With the rest of Division Two yet to end their season, the highest Essex can finish is sixth.
But following relegation last summer, Grayson sees the campaign, which has shepherded in numerous youngsters, as the first stage in a work in progress.
"We're going through a rebuilding process," he explained.
"You can't just keep reinventing teams year in, year out. It does take a bit of time, Adam Wheater's coming through nicely, Tom Craddock, Tymal Mills, Reece Topley as well.
"There's an emergence of some very good young players and I just ask one or two people to be a little bit patient.
"We honestly believe in two or three years we're going to have a very good side."