Vocational Service: The least understood avenue of service

Vocational Service: keeping it simple:

Vocational Service is one of Rotary’s five “Avenues of Service”, the others are:
Club Service
International Service
Community Service
Youth Service

The above four are all “needs” driven, ie a need is identified and Rotarians work to help with that need.

Vocational Service is not needs driven, it is a resource!

It is the vocational “attributes” that a Rotarian possesses such as business skills, life skills, interests, hobbies, talents, influence, networks, etc. that they are prepared to contribute in meeting a need in the other four avenues of service,

Rotarians will contribute their 'vocational skills' towards an international project; a youth project or a community project. Hence, it could be said that there is no such thing as a Vocational project!

Vocational Service: the more formal perspective:

Historically, Rotarians have promoted the practice of high ethical standards as part of their commitment to vocational service.

Two tools developed by Rotarians – The Four-Way Test and the Declaration of Rotarians in Businesses and Professions – provide the basis for practicing ethical behaviour in all areas of life.

The Four-Way Test

Of the things we think, say or do:
1.  Is it the TRUTH?
2.  Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3.  Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4.  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Declaration of Rotarians in Businesses and Professions

As a Rotarian engaged in a business or profession, I am expected to:
1.  Consider my vocation to be another opportunity to serve
2.  Be faithful to the letter and to the spirit of the ethical codes of my vocation, to the laws of my country, and to the moral standards of my community.
3.  Do all in my power to dignify my vocation and to promote the highest ethical standards in my chosen vocation.
4.  Be fair to my employer, employees, associates, competitors, customers, the public, and all those with whom I have a business or professional relationship.
5.  Recognise the honour and respect due to all occupations which are useful to society.
6.  Offer my vocational talents: to provide opportunities to young people, to work for the relief of the special needs of others, and to improve the quality of life in my community.
7.  Adhere to honesty in my advertising and in all representations to the public concerning my business or profession.
8.  Neither seek from nor grant to a fellow Rotarian a priviledge or advantage not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship. 

Vocational Service is the second area of service: no aspect of Rotary is more closely related to each member than a personal commitment to represent one’s vocation or occupation to our communities and fellow Rotarians.

Vocational Service is the way that Rotary fosters and supports the application of the ideal of service in the pursuit of all vocations and Rotarians have the opportunity to apply their vocational talents to address the problems and needs of society at all levels.

In summary, the Four Way Test is fundamental to every Rotary club and every Rotarian – it should permeate through every event, every meeting, every contact, every area of life and we should miss no opportunity to promote the ideals it represents and to recognise and utilise the worthiness of our own occupations to serve and to ‘be a gift to the World’.

Peter Harrison
Rotary Club of Dawlish Water

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