Vocational Service

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What is vocational service? If you are an active, engaged Rotarian, you probably view vocational service as a way of life, even if you find it difficult to articulate a clear definition. This handbook can help you gain a better understanding of vocational service and equip you with ideas to help you practice it through your club activities and in your career.

The concept of vocational service

The Object of Rotary is a philosophical statement of Rotary’s purpose and the responsibilities of Rotarians. The concept of vocational service is rooted in the Second Object, which calls on Rotarians to “encourage and foster”:

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

As a Rotarian, how can you put these ideals into action? Consider these suggestions:

  • Talk about your vocation in your club, and take time to learn about fellow members’ vocations.
  • Use your professional skills to serve a community.
  • Practice your profession with integrity, and inspire others to behave ethically through your own words and actions.
  • Help a young person achieve his or her career aspirations.
  • Guide and encourage others in their professional development.

If you do any of these things, you are performing vocational service. And if vocational service motivates and energizes you, then you’re in the right place, because vocational service is the very essence of Rotary. It is what sets Rotary apart from other service organizations.

Vocational training and profession al development

Rotary’s guiding principles emphasize the importance of work. Work provides people with a livelihood and gives them dignity, and society benefits from having all of its members employed in a manner that maximizes their talents and ambitions. It should therefore come as no surprise that those who join Rotary clubs are committed to promoting professional development. Rotarians can pursue this commitment through activities that enhance their own knowledge, and by guiding and training others to find gainful, fulfilling employment.

District Contacts:
Rotary Community Corps Chair George Layne
Global Networking Chair Tin Tin Nu Raschid
Learn/Grow Chair Mary Wharton


An Introduction to Vocational Service
Global Outlook Series: Guide to Vocational Service
Vocational Service Leadership Award Recipients