As a professional, it is vitally important to have your own set of goals. After all, having a clear view of what you want to accomplish is the best way to insure that you remain focused and productive regardless of your area of expertise. However, sometimes your goals may not be exactly in sync with those of your employer. While it is perfectly acceptable to have personal goals, you also need to make sure that you are keeping your company's goals in mind as well in order to be the best employee possible and create a positive work environment.
When you are setting your own goals, be sure to align them with those of your employer as well. You may even wish to keep a copy of the company goals on hand while you are setting your own. For example, if your own personal goal is to advance in your levels of responsibility, which will result in more valuable work experience and a higher salary, then you might consult your employer to find out how best to achieve this goal in terms of the company's aims. It may turn out that there is a project that has gone unfinished because no one had time to complete it or another specific task that could accelerate the accomplishment of your personal goals while benefitting the company as well.
It is always wise to ask your employer outright how you can support their goals. This leads to improved communication between the two of you and also will make it clear to your employer that you value their success as well as your own. In addition, an immediate supervisor probably also has personal goals in addition to the company goals. Helping that person achieve their own personal or professional aims can aid you in your own professional climb and help you establish a reputation as a truly helpful and valuable member of any team.
Once you have set your own goals and aligned them with the company's goals and your immediate supervisor's goals, re-evaluate your target one more time. This is important because it will help you insure that you do not allow your own goals to be lost in this process. You will feel most fulfilled - and be the best and most productive employee possible - if your aims and those of the people you work with all work together for a positive end result.