Plan and Prepare

Time to Complete

1 minute


After discoverers decide on a career or education program, it’s time to plan how to carry it out. This is the fourth and final step of the ACIP Decision Making Process. In Career Key Discovery (CKD), we guide them through this step by recommending two actions:

  • Make detailed plans for putting one’s choice into action, and
  • Plan for how to handle any negative consequences that might arise.


  • Learn ways to help discoverers turn their program and career dreams into reality
  • Learn how preparing for challenges increases discoverers’ chances of success

Make Detailed Plans

When a discoverer chooses a career and program of study, they need a detailed plan to make it happen.  This includes,

  • Setting clear goals
  • Identify actions needed to reach those goals
  • Identify knowledge and skills required for a career or program
  • Create a timeline for when certain actions are due
  • Identify any support materials and people you need to reach those goals
  • Continually update the plan over time

Your organization may have a particular approach and support materials for turning discoverers’ dreams into reality.  In Career Key Central’s engagement hub Let’s Connect you can create a custom email message to send discoverers that information and support those ready to take action.

Prepare for Challenges

Negative Consequences

Studies show that if a person thinks through how to handle possible negative consequences of a decision, they will be better able to handle them later.

We know, for example, that when people are offered a job and told about the “bad” features of the job before they decide to take it, they are more likely to be successful and satisfied than if they are not told.  The same is true for medical decisions.  If patients consider the possible unpleasant effects of choosing a painful treatment like surgery, they are better able to handle them later.

So we recommend discoverers review the potential sources of loss and disapproval list on their Decision Balance Sheet from the previous step and prepare for them.

For example, a student whose parents will likely disapprove of his or her program or career choice, might ask themselves:

  • How will I tell them about my choice?
  • How will I respond to their negative reaction?
  • What approach and information is the most likely to help alleviate their concerns?
  • What will I do if they decide not to support me, emotionally or financially?
  • Who else can support me in my decision?

Although it’s sometimes hard to meet these challenges head on when a person is excited about a new direction, the time and effort spent preparing for them is well spent.  And hopefully, these negative consequences turn out to be less than anticipated.


Although this is the end of Discovery Step-by-Step, we know that career and education decision-making is a lifelong pattern.  Career Key Discovery’s (CKD) goals are not only to help discoverers successfully navigate their current decision, but to give them the knowledge and a successful framework to approach future ones.

We look forward to your feedback on how we can continually improve to meet these goals. Just contact us at

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