Top 10 things I’ve learned in my first three months at Compassion Canada

Self, Community , Employment

Contributed by: Compassion Canada


Written by: Elizabeth St. John


In December I was hired by Compassion Canada as a Content Specialist and was quickly immersed into an exciting world of justice, love and a cross-cultural mission of setting kids free from poverty in Jesus’ name! Here is a list of a few things I’ve learned as a newbie in this dynamic organization.

1. “Work hard, play hard” is the motto here

While it’s often hard to find workplaces that execute this balance perfectly, I’ve gotten to experience it first-hand here at Compassion Canada. Everyone is passionate about producing the absolute best work possible because we know the impact it has on the people we serve. At the same time, having fun is top priority here as well. Our team meetings and staff gatherings are always filled with laughs, jokes and GIFS passed back and forth in chat rooms. We always jump on any opportunity for some friendly competition and games.

2. Our favourite spiritual discipline

One of the most obvious perks of working for a Christian organization is that you get to bring your faith to work. While I expected prayer during structured devotional times, I quickly realized that prayer is at the heartbeat of everything we do here at Compassion Canada. We pray during morning group devotionals, weekly group huddles, brainstorming sessions, one-on-ones, and even have a daily dedicated prayer time where all staff is invited to pause their work and pray for the people we serve. It’s such a blessing to know that every decision is surrounded by tons of prayer.

3. No person left alone

In my first week I had so many opportunities for connection and engagement. As an introvert I felt a bit overwhelmed, but also deeply seen and welcomed. In fact, there’s even a Culture & Connection committee dedicated to making sure that everyone feels like they are a part of the community.

4. The gift of generosity

From gifted time off during the holidays to Christmas goodies, from half-day Fridays before a long weekend to intentional acts of staff appreciation, the executive team works hard to model Acts 20:35 – “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

5. Friendships are guaranteed

While I can gladly say my colleagues are amazingly talented people; I’m extra blessed to be able to say that my colleagues are also my friends. My specific team comes from diverse backgrounds and experiences, but our love of Jesus and desire to foster authentic relationships has helped meld us together, not just as co-workers but as friends and sisters-in-Christ.

6. Flexibility & well-being

Life can be unpredictable and messy sometimes, and nothing makes that worse than a workplace culture that penalizes you for that. As soon as I started at Compassion Canada, I quickly realized that they understood that. Their priority is staff well-being and creating systems that help staff produce the best work possible. And luckily that system includes flexible work hours!

7. Life-changing stories

Before I started working at Compassion Canada, I knew very little about child sponsorship, and that made me hesitant as I had so many questions. Now, my husband and I are the happy sponsors of two children! This is largely because of the stories I got to hear week after week of the enormous impact that sponsorship has on thousands of children’s lives. Everyone I’ve talked to while working at Compassion Canada believes whole-heartedly in the mission we’re going after, and that means if you work here long enough you won’t be able to resist the call of sponsorship and contributing to changing a life forever!

8. Diversity and inclusion

Many organizations like to talk about becoming more inclusive of racial and ethnic diversity, but not many organizations are willing to do the hard work that comes with actually carrying it out. Thankfully, Compassion Canada is digging in to doing that work. From staff D&I sessions to the culture we intentionally build in our teams, it’s clear diversity is important here. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that is taking the necessary steps to do and be better.

9. Risks and creativity

If you’ve never failed at something it probably means you’ve never stepped outside of your comfort zone. The leadership at Compassion Canada knows this and embraces new ideas and projects that allows us to take on new territory and stretch our creative muscles, even if it means we may fail at first.

10. Purpose

If I had to sum up all the things I’ve learned and experienced so far at Compassion Canada, I’d wrap it all up in one word: purpose. Every morning is an exciting reminder that I get the privilege of contributing to something bigger than myself. And what makes it even better is that I get to experience that driving sense of purpose with teammates who feel the exact same way.


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