Vocational Service is an obligation that derives from having a classification in Rotary. This Third Avenue of Service was actually one of the founding principles of Paul Harris in 1905, when he met with his fellow business and professional friends and yet, it is the area in which much work is needed. Clubs and members tend to stress and excel in the Club, Community and International Avenues rather than the one that is indigenous to Rotary membership.
The opportunity for the development of Vocational Service has no limits. Perhaps the most widely used approach is having each club member give a 5-minute talk on his/her profession or business about a month after induction. Employer-Employee day is held annually by many clubs – a great way to share Rotary and also foster a potential Additional Active member into the club.
Many clubs are now holding counseling days at the local high school, allowing soon-to-be-graduates to listen and confer with business and professional leaders in the fields they may be interested in. Many clubs are now sponsoring PRIVATE ENTERPRISE seminars for teachers and/or students – a subject so badly needed and so little understood.
A recommended area for Vocational Service is a tour by members of a Rotary Club (as part of or in lieu of their regular meeting) of local industries, hospitals, schools, military installations, etc. This can usually be done by moving the weekly meeting to the location to be visited and having a box lunch or by eating in the facility cafeteria.
These are only a few of the more prevalent ways to implement Vocational Service. With a little thought and imagination, this can be a very delightful image builder for every club.
Basic to Vocational Service is “The Four Way Test” as originated by Rl President Herbert J. Taylor. This 24-word test of the things we think, say and do is a convenient and effective instrument of Vocational Service and is more fully described on Page 11. Our district sponsors an essay contest in the schools each year on “The Four Way Test. “
Members are expected to adhere to the “Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions” which Rotary has officially adopted to foster high business standards and ethical practices.
We practice Vocational Service in our daily working schedule, but are we not selfish if we don’t try to share the Rotary philosophy of fairness and truth with our friends and particularly with the youth of our community?