Why ask why?

Over the past weekend, my boyfriend and I drove to San Antonio and back along with every other Memorial Day traveler. After sitting for close to four hours of traffic, I thought I had finally come up with a good idea for an original blog post. I arrived home, however, to discover that just last week Seth Godin beat me to the punch.

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Seth Godin’s post, ‘Why Ask Why?’, included below, covers the issue of not asking why in a single sentence: “‘Because I said so,’ is not a valid answer.” “Because I said so,” “that’s just the way it is,” or any other variation of that answer all fail to answer why.

“Why?” is the most important question, not asked nearly enough.
Hint: “Because I said so,” is not a valid answer.
Why does it work this way?
Why is that our goal?
Why did you say no?
Why are we treating people differently?
Why is this our policy?
Why don’t we enter this market?
Why did you change your mind?
Why are we having this meeting?
Why not?

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Rather than simply sharing Godin’s (consistently) wise words, I have a few questions of my own, based on my experience and frustrations as a recent college (and graduate school) graduate.

Why (and when) did it stop being OK to not know the answer to every question?
Why is a lack of on-the-job experience considered bad?
Why is training no longer provided? Is it not still needed?
Why is asking for help now often viewed negatively?
Why are we suddenly required to be an expert in everything when seeking entry level positions?
Why has it become so difficult for bright and ambitious ex-students seeking to begin their professional careers?


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