When I was President of my club, I remember asking our Vocational Service Chair to think about how we could fulfill a vocational service project.  It just wasn’t something we talked about in our club, and the vision in my mind was that of surgeons traveling abroad to provide needed medical treatment.   I didn’t truly understand what vocational service looked like in Rotary, and how someone like me – with no surgical skills - could participate.
A few years later, and a little Rotary wiser, I’d like to share my thoughts about how every Rotarian can perform vocational service.  First though, let’s take a moment to reflect on the purpose of Rotary.  You know the 4-way test, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves about the Object of Rotary.  For the purpose of this conversation, let’s focus on the second objective:

High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.

That certainly sounds like a worthwhile objective, but let’s examine how that might translate for most Rotarians.  Here are a few ideas:
  1. The 4-way test is your filter.  I encourage all members to keep a 4-way test card hanging up in their office or home.  Still today, I use the 4-way test as a filter for making decisions that are of high ethical standards.  Some issues are black and white. Other issues may seem gray until you apply that test, and then suddenly, the answer becomes clear. 
  2. Use your skills and expertise to benefit your community.  In our club, we decided to do vocational mentoring.  Monthly, one of our members would give a presentation at the Boys and Girls Club Teen group, to discuss what we did for our vocation and our career path. 
  3. Help young people achieve their goals.  Could your club instigate a young professionals mentoring program?  Young professionals seek out Rotary to meet other experienced professionals.  Why not formalize a program pairing Rotarians together, and see what you can teach each other?
  4. Act as a strategic consultant.  You have skills that benefit the nonprofit world.  How can you, or your club be an advisor to another organization?
  5. Get Involved in a Vocational Training Team.  This is a new concept within Rotary and one our District is exploring.  We hope you’ll hear more about this in the future! 
These are just a few ideas of how you can take action today in vocational service to others.  You have gifts that others can benefit from - share them.