Lighting others' paths: Career coach Malou del Castillo finds purpose amid life-threatening event

Anne Marielle Eugenio
PUBLISHED April 23, 2018 04:28 pm | UPDATED April 24, 2018 08:49 am

(Inside Manila) She was 22, fresh from college, knocking on doors to offer hotel services. This was how Malou Treñas-del Castillo started her marketing career and for the years that went by, she was doing great in her job. But when a life-threatening event happened to her at age 27, she began to search for something more.

Malou is currently a licensed psychologist, workshop facilitator, speaker, and career coach. But before she was in the field of career coaching, she was in marketing and worked for big companies like PepsiCo International, Johnson & Johnson, Perfetti Van Melle, Best Foods, and Shangri-La Hotel. The shift in her career stemmed from a "moment of discernment."

"I had a brain operation. The doctor said you might not be able to speak anymore, but I was able to speak. I felt like I needed to do something more. So for about 12 years that went on parang what I'm supposed to do. What's this purpose?" she shared in a small group discussion held last week.

The turning point

When the career coach was feeling lost, she found answers in church. She recalled that the sermon focused on Matthew 5:15.

"The sermon was, nobody lights a light and hides it under a bushel. [I asked] 'What's my light ba?' And I realized it's really about finding your talent, what you know, meaning, finding what you're good at and giving that to the world. So I realized what I was good at was managing my career and being successful at it and how will I give it to the world," Malou shared.

She became a headhunter but realized that's not what exactly the career she was looking for. She took some time off. At the age of 37, she got pregnant and when she gave birth, she became a hands-on mom for more than a year.

Shifting careers

Still, her market peers continued to ask her to come back but she kept saying no. She wanted to help people in their career, and finally, a company that provides career counseling offered her a job.

"They said, 'We heard that you are an expert in the job market and figuring out what to do to find success in your career. Can you work part-time for us?'" she recalled.

This paved the way for her take her Master's Degree in Psychology at the age of 40, and after a few years, she passed the professional licensure examination for psychologists. Now at 48, she had helped different types of people–from fresh grads, those who want to shift careers, and even senior high school students who are having trouble picking what strand to choose.

Malou currently does one-on-one coaching, corporate engagements, workshops, and many others, and since she has so many stories to tell, people encouraged her to write a book. Thus, The Career Roadmap: Your Personal Corporate Career Success was published in July 2017. The book covers an entire life cycle of work, from finding work all the way to exiting it.

"They're like stories of my friends, my clients, and my stories, people who, the challenges they faced and how they overcome it and then in the end, I put exercises because that's one of the feedback I got. I self-published that," she shared.

Now that it is graduation season, Malou has an important advice for fresh graduates: "Be patient. It takes time. So know what's your career path and be patient with yourself. You can't expect rewards to come immediately. These things take time."

To read more about her tips for fresh grads, click here.

To set an appointment with Malou Trenas-del Castillo, you may e-mail or send her a message on Instagram, @malou_psycologist_coach.

Her book, The Career Roadmap: Your Personal Corporate Career Success, is priced at P350 and is available at select National Bookstores, which includes Mall of Asia, Greenbelt, Glorietta, Market! Market!, SM Aura, SM Megamall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Trinoma, and Ayala Fairview Terraces branches.



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