Posted by Steven Sager on Jan 04, 2019
January is Rotary's Vocational Service month.  

Vocational service can mean many things to many people.  In Rotary, Vocational Service means holding ourselves and our businesses to the highest ethical standards.  As the 4 way test instructs us, in all we think, say or do . . .  Maintaining ethical standards is ever so important in today's society where we prefer to repeat inflammatory discourse rather than engage in discussion to understand opposing views and seek compromise.  It is beholden upon us as leaders to set an example for young people and others. 
If not Rotarians, then who will set the example?  As former Ambassador Andrew Young told us at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, “Rotary is the glue that holds civil society together.”  Be sticky!

Vocational service also means appreciating the various trades and professions, and how each can contribute to making our communities stronger.  Think about some of the service projects you have helped
organize.  Do you do it alone?  No! You call in for help.  You get an accountant or banker to help with finances, you have sales and marketing people help promote the events, you have trades people help set up and build, and many more experts help in all different ways.  But appreciating the differing vocations is not just about bringing in talent to help with projects, it is also about training our youth on the value of various vocations and helping them choose one where they can shine!
Vocational service also means networking and doing business with other Rotarian.  Before Rotary became the leading service organization in the world, it started as a business networking organization.  There is something special about meeting someone through service and then doing business with them.  The confidence you have in their abilities to treat you right and get the job done is unparalleled.  Think of new way you can get to know what your fellow Rotarians do in their businesses, and consider doing business with them.
A few other ideas to help promote vocational service:
Introduce a "mini-classification talk" series in which members can give a five-minute talk on their vocations.
Present a vocational award to someone in the community who has exemplified outstanding professional achievement while maintaining high ethical standards. Promote the presentation within the community, and consider making it an annual event.
Invite local experts to present on the vocational needs of the community and develop projects in response to those needs. Possible projects could focus on developing character, providing career information to youth, mentoring small businesses, or organizing workshops that provide employees with new skills.
Sponsor a Rotary Means Business networking event for your communities.