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

When choosing a career, there are many factors that influence your decision. Aside from the small concerns, such as whether the office will have a window or how far you will have to commute, the two main factors are salary and personal fulfillment.

There are two schools of thought on this subject: the first says that it does not matter whether or not you are happy as long as you get a large paycheck; the other is of the opinion that no amount of money compensates for unhappiness in the workplace. These are both valid opinions, but for me, a job that would not make me happy would not even be worth considering.

If your job brings in a lot of money but does not fulfill your personal needs, you will get frustrated and won't work to your capacity. On the other hand, with a job in which you can have fun, you will do everything you can for the job -- you won't mind a lousy boss, a windowless office or even a tiny salary. It is easier to make do with a small paycheck from an enjoyable job than with an ulcer from an unfulfilling job. QAMAR SCHUYLER Mount Hebron

The questions of occupation and salary are closely related. It is true that money plays an important role in today's society, but does wealth lead to happiness?

Personally, I feel that money plays the dominant role in my career choice. Money leads to happiness because, along with money, you obtain power. Today, power determines whether you are important or just another expendable in this world, controlled by the powerful. Personal fulfillment in a job is also important, unless the salary is dramatically less in which case self-fulfillment lessens in importance. If you can have a job for $20,000 a year that makes you unhappy or a job for $18,000 that you enjoy, then the obvious choice is the one that makes you feel good about yourself since the salary difference is so small.

Basically, looking for a career takes a lot of time and consideration and a suitable outcome can always be reached if all the factors are wighed together. Overall I conclude that when looking for a career, personal fulfillment should be considered, but it should not overshadow the need for money. JASON SHEFRIN Howard

Today's society stresses the importance of economic success as a measure of accomplishment -- those jobs that have a generous salary tend to be thought of as prestigious enterprises, whereas equally noble professions, such as social work, the performing arts and teaching which unfortunately do not pay as well, are considered common and average. My belief is that I will find more happiness in a job that is satisfying to me than I would in one that is satisfying to society.

A career is a lifetime commitment to a profession. In my life, I hope to do more than just earn a lot of money. Perhaps I will go through periods of economic strain, but to me, the fulfillment of my dreams is worth a few dollars.

Our society must forget its obsession with financial fortune and focus on the well-being of others. Greed and ignorance are the cause of almost all existing evils. I will not regret "sacrificing" my chances for economic wealth for the loss of the pain and prejudice that are directly linked to money. KYLA SANIN Oakland Mills

There is no question in my mind that salary is more important in choosing a career. Once you've got money, you can do whatever you want. Once you've got money, you can switch to a job you really like. I realize that most people look for personal fulfillment in a job thinking they would rather be "happy" than rich, but if you have a well-paying job for a certain amount of time, then you can switch to a job that makes you "happy." That way you can be both wealthy and happy.

As for me, there is nothing in life I want to achieve more that money and happiness. BRIAN HULKA Centennial

When choosing a career, personal fulfillment is more important than salary. If employees are happy at what they are doing then they will want to come to work each day. On the other hand, those who do not enjoy their jobs dread each long working day.

Money is not the most important thing in life. An individual who chooses to pursue a job that pays more money rather than the career of their dreams will eventually become miserable and wish that they had explored their true career interests.

Through my career choice, I hope to achieve a job that is both interesting and rewarding. The ideal job would be doing what I love and being paind a lot of money for it. Money is not the key to happiness, but happiness is more enjoyable when you are making a lot of money. JEFF MITCHELL Hammond Students Speak Out: Topic for December

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 they serve little sporting function and are used primarily in the commission of crimes.

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 applies only to those serving in the military and not to the civilian population.

Do you think 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 Dec. 17 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 December editions of the Howard Weekly.