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Q and A with David Hodgson, creator of the Buzz Quiz

Where did you get the idea for The Buzz Quiz?

I was a Careers Adviser for 20 years. I met some young people that knew what course or career they wanted to follow. Most were less sure. I looked around for different approaches that might be helpful and attended many training courses. I tried each new idea with teenagers and by far the best were personality type (Carl Jung) and Temperament (Keirsey). The feedback was so positive I started to develop my own resources using the models and over a period of 10 years it became The Buzz book and more recently Buzz Online.

I'm delighted to be working with the North East LEP and to have found the Buzz a new home in England on the North East Ambition website. However, I am even more excited about the work that we are going to do together, to develop additional resources and training so that The Buzz can be utilised to its full capacity and support young people in the region, and beyond.

What’s good about The Buzz?

There are many positives. For example, the model is easy to understand. We only have to identify our preferences in four chunks of personality. It’s also positive. It quickly identifies our strengths. We are usually too modest to list our strengths without cringing. Not only that, but it also boosts our self-awareness and confidence. People who know their strengths can then apply these to become happier and more successful in work and in life generally.

The Buzz identifies suitable career paths for users. New jobs are always being created and although exciting it can be scary when we need to make decisions about our own career path. Type helps us identify job titles in which we could be successful. It also helps us think about the values and beliefs we have that can steer us towards career areas of interest. For example: Birds generally like solving technical or complex problems, Sea Animals to use their imagination to help or understand people.

Has anything surprised you about using The Buzz?

Yes. I saw it as a careers advice tool. However, most young people looked beyond this and asked about using it to understand and make relationships better with their friends and family, how they might learn best, how to beat stress and to live a happy life. This is why you’ll see more about these topics in the results.

Why is personality important?

I think it helps us work out how we can be happy and successful in life. That is our main aim. We want to be happy, successful and feel we made the most of whatever talent we have. Focusing on personality helps us achieve this more than focusing on skills and knowledge.

Although important, skills and knowledge need to be regularly updated throughout our lives. Choosing a course or job based only on our current skills misses so much about what makes us human. By exploring personality animals, we glimpse our values, beliefs, identity, future, and underlying potential. That is exciting. It often creates a buzz in the room when people discover their animal, which is where the name came from.