Which is more important in choosing a career: salary or personal fulfillment? What do you hope to achieve through your career choice?

In a day and age when wealth and materialistic needs are valued over personal fulfillment, most people would choose money as a factor in choosing a career. I would choose personal fulfillment because it should not be how much money you make, but how happy you are while making it.

It is a shame that many people deny themselves the opportunity to do what they have always wanted because they are worried about having the highest salary possible. I had never given serious thought to choosing art, which is something I love doing, because I never thought any money could be made in it. After visiting with an artist one day, I changed my mind because she told us that she could do something she loved and charge her own price according to her own time spent on what she created. That made me seriously think and opened my eyes to doing something I liked, instead of being fit into the doctor-lawyer-engineer stereotype.

Which is better -- being stressed out and worrying about the competition, or being relaxed and at ease in your vocation? You make the choice. LAWANA HOLLAND Banneker

I believe that salary is the most important consideration in choosing a career. Sufficient monetary remuneration would allow me to pay my bills, feed my family and afford some entertainment and some luxuries as well. The cost of living has gone up tremendously and a dependable income would lessen my stress in dealing with the economics of life.

My long-range goal is to become a "business administrator extraordinaire" -- I hope to open and manage a beauty salon. I would find this career personally fulfulling and attain the salary level that I require to live comfortably.

I call this "having it all." PAMELA MATTHEWS Washington-Dix

Whenever I mention my future profession, I always hear the same question, "Does it pay well?" When I hear this, it sometimes makes me laugh, but mostly it makes me sad.

When I grow to be an adult, I would like to teach the deaf. As long as I can remember, this profession has interested me. I like to help people strive to overcome their disabilities, to live life fully. I also find sign language itself very interesting and have memorized much of it.

When I hear that recurring question, I always reply, "I really don't know and I really don't care. It is something that I will enjoy doing." KRISTIN O'CONNOR Georgetown Visitation

Choosing a career is perhaps one of the more weighty questions that a person can make -- one that should not be made superficially or hurriedly.

In make my decision, I am faced with the chore of choosing between personal fulfillment and salary potential. Although I would prefer not to discriminate and take both elements under consideration, as it seems, I must make a choice.

Being a young urban student who happens to be black and Republican, I would go with the obvious choice of salary potential. I am also a sentient, urban teen with dreams, aspirations and personality who craves excitement and personal fulfillment. On the other hand, I see no distinction or separation of money and career fulfullment. ERIC DYSON Roosevelt

Personal fulfillment is more important in choosing a career than salary. I define personal fulfillment as working toward my goal in a comfortable, stress-free stride. Moreover, in achieving my personal goals, I will not be afraid of asking for help. This task can be done if I gain all the education I have the patience, time and money for in the field of carpentry.

My career as a carpenter will provide a satisfactory and rewarding lifestyle for years to come. I will combine my skills and artistic talents in the beautifying of homes for the benefit of others.

I'll be killing two birds with one stone. RONALD COLEMAN McKinley

As far as I'm concerned, my salary will be the most important aspect in choosing a career because, in today's society, money comes before a lot of things. It really doesn't matter to me whether I like my job or not because I will only be there for so many hours a day, so I can learn to deal with it.

Being the best I can be and giving my all will give me fulfillment. The fulfillment will be all I need to make it in the career of my choice. As long as I have pride, I will be happy. To start something and not be able to complete it makes me angry because that is how people with low self-esteem or no will power act. DAYNELLE ALLISON Bell Multicultural

In selecting my career, I will base my career interest on personal fulfillment rather than salary. Even if I made tons of money, I might not be happy or really interested in the job. I hope to gain a sense of moral values and pride, obtain self-worth and independence and help humanity -- these things are worth far more than any amount of money. LARRY EVANS Anacostia

A good salary and personal fulfillment are both strong incentives for persuing a career. I think that it is sometimes a necessity for a person to choose a job that offers higher wages because the money is more important in their life, as opposed to a job that presents them with self-esteem and worth but not much else. While it is difficult to find a job that can deliver both, it is not hard to find one that can deliver the former.

It does not take much, in my opinion, to get a job that guarantees financial security and outstanding pay. All that is needed is a vivid imagination, flamboyant speech or knowing someone who can pull a few strings to get you where you want to go.

On many occasions, jobs are passed up because they do not lead a person to big houses, fancy cars or major monetary success. Still, a few people accept this type of career totally and manage to be consumed by the pride and respect that they can bring.

I would like to pick a job that can provide me with money and fulfillment, one that can satisfy my conscience as well as my wallet. RAQUEL BOYD Archbishop Carroll

I think that salary and personal fulfillment are equally important in choosing a career. I don't think you should take on a job you don;t like just because of the money. I also think that while it is good to get personal fulfillment out of a job, if it has a salary it would be hard for you to live on, I think you should find another.ANITRA PALMER Dunbar

In choosing a career, personal fulfillment is much more important than the amount of money that is made. In life, we try to live each day to the fullest. Without some personal satisfaction in our work, we are then pursuing false dreams and are not living life the way it was intended to be lived.

Even though abundant money is beneficial, doing what you love to do is even more rewarding. For instance, when my father is not occupied with computer programming, he likes to indulge in photography. Though computers are his bread and butter, my father would enjoy taking pictures because he gets a special satisfaction out of it.

Money is not the answer to our problems. The answer lies in the way our lives are lived. Personal fulfillment from a career makes us better individuals. Having personal fulfillment is the most important necessity in our lives today. KEVIN PARKER St. John's

In choosing a career, personal fulfillment is more important. Even though a high salary can be satisfying, the hassle one experiences in such situations is not worth the extra money. Personal fulfillment is peace of mind, which is much better for one's health and well-being. ROBERTA JACKSON Woodson

It is more important to me to have personal fulfillment in choosing a career. I would rather go to work and enjoy it than go to work and hate it. If you work just for the money, you'll only be happy with yourself when the paycheck comes and that might make waking up in the morning miserable. Whereas, if you have a job that you believe in, you'll feel really good about your life and be a happier person.

Money can buy a lot of things, but it can not buy everything. A greedy person is never happy. I want to achieve respect in my career; I want to reach my goals and have people admire me for doing something I believe in. SARAH SLAUGH Wilson

In choosing my career, both salary and personal fulfillment would be important. I want a lot of money and in the career I will be pursuing, I know I will make it. I expect to make at least $60,000 per year.

I want to be good at my job, to make sure I earn the pay that I receive. I want to learn more, not just what I have to learn, but simply more. I want to be a pediatrician. I will give respect to my babies and take pride in my work. DETRA SMITH Eastern Students Speak Out: Topic for December 6

Last year, Maryland enacted a law submitting the sale of all handguns to review by a panel of experts, legislators and citizens to determine whether the guns are "Saturday night specials" and should therefore be banned from sale in Maryland. Other states around the country have proposed laws restricting so-called "assault rifles" and semiautomatic weapons on the grounds that these weapons serve little sporting function and are primarily used in the commission of crimes. In the District of Columbia, possession of handguns by private citizens is illegal and all firearms must be registered with the police.

The National Rifle Association and other organizations argue that these laws are infringements on the Second Amendment to the Constitution which stipulates the right of the people to bear arms and maintain a militia. Others say that this Amendment only applies to those serving in the military and not to the civilian population.

Do you think that gun-control laws are necessary? What should those laws say? How does this relate to the Second Amendment?

Written responses should be no more than 150 words in length and typed or written legibly. We are also interested in receiving political-style cartoons on the topic. Cartoons should be drawn on posterboard.

Students should submit their responses by Nov. 26 with name, age, grade and school included on the work to: High School Honors, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071

We will publish selected responses in the Dec. 6 editions of the District Weekly.