In Jonas's highly structured society, citizens do not have the opportunity to independently make significant life decisions, such as choosing the person they will marry, deciding how many children they will have, or choosing an occupation. In regard to careers, the Committee of Elders spends a significant amount of time monitoring each child closely in order to determine their Assignment, which will be their future occupation. Each child must serve a specified number of volunteer hours working various jobs throughout the community. While the children complete their necessary volunteer hours, the Committee of Elders records their performance, skill level, aptitude, and behavior at each trade. While Lowry does not go into specifics regarding how the Committee of Elders determines what occupations need more workers, the reader is told that each Assignment corresponds to the child's skill set and interests. At the Ceremony of Twelve, each child is given their Assignment, which will be their occupation for the remainder of their life. However, Jonas is not given an Assignment like his peers and is instead "selected" to be the community's next Receiver of Memory.