I have worked full time for almost 50 years, I helped in my parents shop from when I was 11, I also did various paper rounds and babysitting. I worked in shops, veterinary surgeries and offices from age 15 until 25 when I had my first child.
When my son was about one I registered as a childminder, I did this for 10 years until my 4th child was 3 months old. I then started my own IT business and I ran this for 17 years for the until I was divorced.
After my divorce I temped in offices and did early morning or evening cleaning for a couple of years as I was moving around, I moved 3 times in 12 months. I took in foreign students or lodgers, even when it meant me sleeping on the sofa in the living room to free up a bedroom.
When I started in my current job I did any available overtime, covered lunch duties and I still took in lodgers, I temped during the holidays, I did dressmaking, alterations, took in ironing, dog sat/walked, knitted things to sell.
I now class myself as working part time as I work 30 hours a week.
In all this time I claimed one week's benefit, I was allowed £11. I also received child benefit when my children were younger.
I'm lucky, I live in an area where there is plenty of work, I do realise that these options aren't available to everyone.