How to be successful in the construction industry #JoinCSI

“In the architectural world there are two types of Architects, frustrated Artists and frustrated Engineers” ~ Raymond E. Gaines, FCSI

As anyone that knows Ray will understand, this is one of his favorite sayings. While I think there is more diversity in the industry that he lets on, there is truth to this statement. There are many architects that are known for their aesthetic design ability and others that are known for their technical knowledge. I believe I fall somewhere in between the two. I do love to measure and quantify design decisions and I am always looking back to find the successful moves, details, and proportions of various projects. This does not stop at design alone. I try to measure everything and analyze it based on some criteria that seems appropriate for the particular goal.

CSI Show in Vegas

My strategy to achieve my professional career goals has been a focus on education, mentorship, and relationships. Upon graduating from the University of Tennessee I joined multiple organizations and started volunteering. Looking back to measure my success so far the most beneficial organization in my career growth to date is the Construction Specifications Institute. I have built friendships with the leaders of the construction industry across the country. I know who to call to get the right answer for almost any issue that might come up on a construction site. I read the Project Resource Manual to learn the roles and responsibilities of those on a job site and how a project should be executed (so when they get off track you can get them back to where they should be as fast as possible). I learned about public speaking and gained confidence to stand in a room (this is almost always the case even today) of people who know way more than me and discuss intelligently many topics concerning the construction industry. CSI has allowed me to gain respect in my local community, have a network of supporters across the country, learn best practices to manage my active projects, and achieve many of my career goals before the age of 40.

While joining any organization is just a first step in the process to career growth and you can gain parts of any of these attributes from other organizations, CSI is the only one that brings all members of the construction industry to one table to have discussions, education, and networking. CSI members are the only ones that have supported my career goals without asking for anything in return. I hold many of my CSI relationships very highly and look to many CSI leaders as my mentors. While I have experienced this organization and the growth of my career from the standpoint of just starting out in the industry, there is no right starting point to get involved in CSI. No matter your level of experience, joining CSI, getting involved, and building relationships will help you do better work, create better projects, and have a more successful career.

Join CSI online between Wednesday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 20, and pay only $192 — a 20% savings — for your membership. Use promo code “12spring20” when you join at promotion is only available to new members joining at the professional level. Chapter dues are not included in this promotion. To join:

  1. Visit
  2. Select “Join Now”, and then click “Sign Up as a New Member”
  3. Enter Promotion Code 12spring20 when prompted
  4. Click the “Add Discount” button

Questions? Ask me.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Related Posts

Continuing Education

Continuing Education

By Architect, Adrienne Stronge.   Becoming a licensed architect does not mean that learning is finished.  ...
Lake Monticello Addition and Renovation project update

Lake Monticello Addition and Renovation project update

Working on a tight building site at Lake Monticello to do an addition and renovation has become one of our ...
Renovating your existing home into a lifetime home

Renovating your existing home into a lifetime home

When doing a renovation, it is important to take a holistic view of what is possible. Most of the renovation and ...
Gaines Group Architects recognized for 2024 Top Virginia Employers for Interns Awards

Gaines Group Architects recognized for 2024 Top Virginia Employers for Interns Awards

Thrilled to be included in the 2024 Top Virginia Employers for Interns Awards. We are honored to be recognized ...