Vocational Service: a pillar of Service Above Self

By Rotary Service and Engagement staff

Vocational service is at the core of Rotary, embedded in its history, present and future. It calls on us to foster high ethical standards in business, recognize the value of all occupations, and dignify our occupations as an opportunity to serve our communities. By including men and women from diverse professions and backgrounds, Rotary recognizes the importance of all skills and occupations and encourages our members to leverage their skills and expertise to enhance communities.

This January, Rotary’s Vocational Service Month, we are challenging every Rotary member to put their vocational service in action by:

  • using your skills and expertise to serve a community.
  • mentoring young people to help achieve their career goals.
  • offering leadership and professional development guidance to others.
  • practicing your profession with integrity and inspiring others to do so.

Here are some examples of how to put your vocational service in action:

  1. Join a Rotary Action Group to share your expertise and make a difference in projects outside your club or district. These global, independent Rotary-affiliated groups are comprised of members with expertise and experience in a particular area of specialization. They use their knowledge and global network to help clubs and districts plan and carry out impactful service projects. If your professional background and/or expertise fits one of the current 26 Action Groups, contact the group’s leaders using our directory (My Rotary login is required to view).
  1. Join or form a Rotary Fellowship related to your vocation. Rotary Fellowships are international groups whose members share a vocational or recreational interest. There are many vocationally-oriented fellowships such as: Health Professionals, Executive Managers, Lawyers, Editors and Publishers, Photographers, Police and Law Enforcement. There are also Fellowships for those who are passionate about Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility.
  2. Share your expertise through your district resource network. If you have expertise in one of Rotary’s areas of focus or with project planning and implementation, community assessment, measurement and evaluation, or other important aspects of large scale projects grants, let your district international service chair know. Lend your skills to local clubs and help develop more impactful projects.
  3. Mentor young professionals. Younger members of the Rotary family such as Rotaract, Interact and Rotary Community Cops members are interested in leadership and professional development training opportunities. Share your knowledge with young people in your community. Mentor them to achieve their career goals.  Encourage your club to organize business networking and professional development events and conduct leadership training workshops.
  4. Volunteer on a service project using your vocational skills or support a project that offers vocational training. Visit Rotary Showcase to review projects from around the world for inspirational ideas and/or projects in progress to support. You may find vocational service related projects using the keyword search function.
  5. Join TRF’s Cadre of Technical Advisors The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers is a group of volunteer Rotarians who provide technical expertise and advice to Rotarians planning and carrying out Rotary grant projects around the world. Cadre members review, monitor, and evaluate projects and ensure grant funds are being used properly. Apply online to be considered for the Cadre.

Review The Vocational Service in Action handbook for more guidance to practice vocational service in your Rotary, personal and profession life and share it with your club.


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