These days joiner Walter Spencer can pick and choose his jobs and his hours - and he’s on the same money as when he worked as a kitchen fitter for Henry Boot.
He worked for the building contractor until he was made redundant in 2009 and then spent years constantly in and out of work.
In that time he took a teaching qualification and picked up part-time but regular work teaching teenage lads joinery at Sheffield College.
But it in May last year he reached a turning point - sick of the constant threat of redundancy from his main job.
He was at Woodhouse JobCentre Plus again, sharing his woes about finding long term work, when an adviser suggested he consider working for himself.
Walter, aged 62, said: “I hadn’t thought about it before because I thought it was too much hassle. But they explained things and I signed up for a three-day course.
“After that I thought it didn’t sound as complicated as it might be.”
MCD Home Improvements was launched in September last year and business today is bustling.
Walter, of Beaumont Crescent, Manor Park, said: “I’m known locally and I get a lot of business through word of mouth. I work three to five days doing that work and haven’t had many days when I’m not busy.
“Without doubt I’m glad I did it.
“As for teaching, those teenage boys don’t want to listen, but it’s quite rewarding when they finish something.”