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Vocational Service Month: Why is vocational service at the heart of Rotary?

As it is the start of a new year and first week back at work after a relaxing holiday, I can’t help but think about how vocational service is unique to the Rotary call to service. We ask our members to (1) have high ethical standards in business and professions; (2) understand and recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations; and (3) the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.

Volunteers applying their skills with One Laptop per Child Canada

Rotary was named because of the practice of rotating meeting sites among member’s place of work. It was founded on the principals of the Four Way Test, which provides and ethical framework for the workplace and all other areas of the Rotarian’s life and our Avenues of Services help us build the foundation of club activity - Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, International Service, and Youth Service.

To help understand what the Vocational Service calls our members to do, we must understand that vocation is defined as a “strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation”. If you are passionate about your work, vocation and vacation are not so far apart. Passion brings fulfillment and satisfaction in your life and allows you to wake up in the morning with a purpose. When that passion is mixed with a life of service, then we can truly change the world.

A snapshot of the Professional Development Committee's Peer Workshop Series

Reflecting back on 2017, I realized that vocational service was a major part of my Rotaract year as well. As a member of the Professional Development Committee, we hosted inspiring guest speakers to our meetings who inspired about the work they did in non-profits and other organizations that provided services to the communities. I led an Interview Skills workshop as part of the PD Committee’s Peer Workshop series that helped me prepare and practice for my own interviews. I also participated in the Rotaract e-club's mentorship program linking Rotarians and Rotaractors. I was lucky to be a mentor as well as a mentee and this experience helped me to find my role in Rotary as a medical professional as well as guide an aspiring medical student. I went to RYLA this year and learned how to be an effective leader in my workplace and community.

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

As young people, we are in the various stages of picking a career, figuring out resumes and job applications, and learning to network. So how can we tie it all together and apply the object of vocational service as Rotaractors?

Here are some of the ways:

1, Talking about your vocation in the club and asking other members about what their vocation is.

2, Volunteer for service projects that uses your vocational skills.

3, Practicing your profession with integrity and encouraging others to behave ethically.

4, Mentoring younger members of the club and help them achieve their career aspirations.

5, Encourage professional development.

6, Join a Rotary Fellowship related to your vocation.

Happy New Year!

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