Dear friends,


January is Rotary Awareness Month, dedicated to Vocational Service, one of Rotary’s ways of serving the community.


What does Vocational Service really mean? It’s the service above self through our professions.


We can be useful to others using our unique abilities, being leaders in our professions, the reason behind why we were admitted to this organization, to answer to our community’s needs. We inspire others to act with integrity, following Rotary’s principles.


The idea behind the vocation services allows us to encourage:

– high ethical standards followed in our business and profession;

– the recognition of each profession’s dignity;

– honoring each Rotarian’s profession as an opportunity to serve society.


Vocational service is Rotary’s essence, the foundation out of which we are serving the entire world. We, the Rotary members, are a global network of 1,2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, problem-solvers, who see a world where people unite and take action to create durable change – on the globe, in our communities and in ourselves. They keywords that differentiate us are “take action”, that is why we identify as PEOPLE OF ACTION.


This beginning of year is a good reason to get some insight and to sincerely analyze the way we serve our communities. WHY ARE WE ROTARY MEMBERS? I noticed that, generally, clubs only have a handful of people who can actually be called PEOPLE OF ACTION. You know them well: these are those people who get involved in projects, not only in the beginning, but especially during the implementation process. These are those who put in time, money, talent and expertise. There are also those who cannot participate in the projects, but who make up for it by sustaining the projects financially. Or those who offer their skills to serve other people.


The value of the hours put in by the Rotary members around the globe amounts to $850 million annually. This would be the amount of money communities would have to pay if money were required for the service our volunteers are offering. The 1.2 million Rotary members are putting in 47 million hours a year. It’s obvious that the Rotary volunteering service is not only a calling that makes you feel good, or that allows you to enjoy the notoriety of being a Rotary member, but it’s one of the best opportunities we have to really contribute to real, measurable change of the communities we are part of. We, the Rotary members, are PEOPLE OF ACTION who act and who create the change we want to see in the world.


However, there are also members who do nothing, who are INACTIVE in their clubs, but who benefit from the organization’s notoriety made up by people who have invested valuable time, money, skills, support and feelings. You know these people well. If we tolerate such members, who are part of the club just to benefit from the organization without giving something back, we create a deficit in what concerns the image of this organization. It is unacceptable to have in Rotary, a volunteering organization with great notoriety, members who do nothing, but are members and they only appear to be doing things, they parade for hidden personal agendas. Once a club is charted, once a person becomes a member, we are connected to one another, we are part of a family, we can collaborate, we can engage in different projects dedicated to our communities, respecting Rotary rules. But we can do something about these people: we can motivate them to get them involved. Each of us can follow these suggestions:


  • Talk about your profession and allow time inside the club to find out about what your colleagues are doing;
  • Use your skills to serve your community;
  • Use your profession with integrity and inspire others;
  • Behave ethically through your words and your actions;
  • Help the youth achieve their career goals;
  • Guide and encourage others in their professional adventure.


Authentic professionals join a Rotary club only if they can find in the club valuable people in different jobs or activities. They can quickly find out if they have a chance to perform well inside your clubs.


Therefore, Rotarians have a double responsibility: to represent their skills inside their clubs and to showcase the Rotary ideals at their place of business. Rotary is a place where we are invited to come with passion, with an open mind and soul for friendship, for an authentic connection and for the service above self. This place should not consume our time, our financial resources, our energy, our health for occult, manipulative reasons, but it should be a place where we can happily give our time, money, skills and involvement.


No Rotarian should ever feel pressured to invest more time than a volunteer should ever invest or to neglect their family. This is a problem very common among young people in Rotaract, Rotary or potential members. This is the reason why one of RI President Mark Maloney’s priorities is to find balance between the Rotary requirements and the commitment to family and professional matters. Having children or partners at the club’s events encourages other parents or friends to join our club and to build a familial atmosphere. As president Mark Maloney says, we must promote a culture where Rotary does not compete with the family, but it completes it. Bringing your family to Rotary events is not only fun for them, but it also exposes them to the Rotary world.


This is the goal of our clubs as well: to make them become our second family, one where members can develop their skills, a space defined by the 4-Way Test and by a familial atmosphere. This is the reason why this newsletter is going to be more practical. How can we be useful through our profession?



  • Host a business networking event with professionals that are not from Rotary, but are part of your community;
  • Offer career counseling for adults that are unemployed or for people or communities that are in need;
  • Counsel teenagers in their career (for instance, have a career day or start mentoring programs);
  • Apply your skills in a project.



  • Rotary FELLOWSHIPS are international groups of Rotarians who follow mutual professional or recreational interests;
  • Apply to Rotary fellowships if they are related to your profession. If there is none, think about hosting one yourself.



  • Rotarian action groups are international groups of rotarians who are participants in Rotary programs and students who help clubs plan and implement projects in a certain service area;
  • Join such a Rotary action group and use your skills to support Rotary projects from around the world.



  • Subscribe to the Vocational Service Newsletter, a free trimestrial electronic publication –;
  • Find support for a project based on vocational service in Rotary Ideas;
  • Share your success with vocational service projects on Rotary Showcase to inspire others and to promote our collective efforts towards bettering communities around the world;
  • Find out how to organize a training team in collaboration with Rotarians from other countries, using Global Outlook.



As leaders in your business and professions, you can advance high ethical standards, by being a positive example for your colleagues and their communities. Here are a few specific ways to incorporate ethics in your day to day life:

  • Support honesty, responsibility, correctness, integrity and respect when talking, training and supervising your employees;
  • Praise and encourage your colleagues’ exemplary behavior;
  • Demonstrate commitment towards high ethical standards in your relationship with your clients, distributors and associates, treating every interaction with great care and consideration;
  • Promote responsible social and ecological practices in your business and your organizations.


This guide offers useful information, resources and ideas for projects related to vocational services.

You can get your copy here:


Rotary is not just an organization where you can do volunteer work. Rotary is, firstly, a philosophy that spreads, over time, in all areas of our lives. Older members say that Rotary is a way of life. It’s the 4-Way Test that shapes our thinking, then our speech, our actions and our impact in the world. I wish this newsletter encourages you to discover ways in which you can contribute even more to this world through your talent and skills. The fact that we can do volunteer work means we have something to offer others. Let’s be reminded that we are here for a short period of time, so we should think about taking action, to leave something beautiful behind. I invite you to contribute even more, to develop your communities in the simplest way possible: through your profession. May you have a happy new year filled with great achievements!


My motto: By giving, I’m becoming richer.

With friendship,

Marian Neagoe

District Governor 2241, Romania si Republica Moldova

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