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Maxine Meurer
Maxine Meurer

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Power with, Power within, & Power to...

Today marks my first week at Flatiron as complete. While the course load is heavy, I feel anything but weighed down.

Making a life style change is empowering. Whether you're starting a new health regime, or in my case, creating a career for yourself, it instills strength. But how that newly found strength is used, is all up to you.

There are four types of power:

Power over, Power to, Power with, and Power within.

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Power over. This would be all the negative associations you make with power. There are no long term benefits that come from "powering over", yet people still diverge down this dark path. And before you write it off as being some evil dictator, its not just that! Think of it more in the sense of feeling entitlement. No one likes working with people that feel entitled, so what's the point of "powering over" others? Well, it's often a result of not knowing how to channel that new found energy, skill set, and strength.

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When you pass the path of powering over, you reach "power with". Power with is a shared sense of power that grows from forming relationships and working with others. This type of power is crucial in workspaces, schools, friends, and families. "Powering with" involves collaboration, encouragement, support, and most importantly respect.

How does "powering with" pair with Flatiron? The school has a large community booming with people who support the "power with" method. Students are ready to help one another out, whether it's right after a lecture or at midnight. Your cohort leaders are friendly, providing an open space for work and encouragement, and most people who start out at Flatiron are new to programming altogether. Regardless, there is respect amongst the teachers to the students, students to students, and teachers to teachers. The point is, everyone is learning! Whether you started on Monday, or you started four years ago, there's a big possibility you still have a lot to learn about programming, and that leaves no room for entitlement.

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Power within. Finding power within is discovering and acknowledging your newly found strength. In my case, I'm beginning an intensive bootcamp that will give me new opportunities in life. Woohoo! But powering within can be as little, or as big as you make it, so don't limit yourself!

Finally we've reached Power to. If you take everything you've just learned, excluding "powering over", you get a nice big bowl of "power to". Powering to entails everything you've established in your "power with" phase. Remember all those awesome friends and coworkers you have? You'll be able to collaborate with them for life, while constantly expanding your network. How about that "power within"? Careers, and life in general, are full of hardships. Being able to dip down and scope up some of that power within when you really need it can be a huge game changer! Embracing things, people, and ideas that give us "power to" are what move us forward in life.

With all that being said, it's time to move forward in my life. That's why I gave myself the power to, and embarked on my journey as a software engineer.

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